Not a Day Promised

Battling mental illness through education and resources. "Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance." Proverbs 1:5

About - The Tatoo



Carson was back home for a few days for his high school graduation in May 2010; just about to return to his summer job in Southeast Texas.

He was finishing his graduation Thank You notes for his mom to mail when he left. His mom was standing in the kitchen by the coffee pot, when he came to her and said, "I know that I've disappointed you and dad and done things you didn't approve of, so I might as well show you the tattoo I just got." Then, he raised his shirt and across his back was the declaration "Not a Day Promised" tattooed in stately lettering. He then told his mom, "In your memory, I'm going to put the dates you and dad die on each side."

He had waited until after his 18th birthday to get the tatoo. Julie assured him that at that particular time in his young life, she and I were worried for him in more important things.

Carson asked his mom to put ointment on the tattoo, because it was still fresh. As he was putting his shirt back down, she asked him to wait so she could take a picture to show his dad.

How could we have known the incredible importance of his declaration at that time?

Less than two months later, in the early morning of July 12, 2010, after suffering from chronic Bipolar illness for many years; the continuous mood instability between the severe lows of depression and the risk-centric highs of mania, the hand tremors (which made it almost impossible for him to weld, his true vocational dream), fractured sleep patterns, the medicine, the changes in medicine, the doctors, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and so much more, Carson took his own life in the corner of a peaceful meadow, enveloped by aged trees that overhung as great protectors, where he made his final earthly rest, took his final breath, and met the Lord of his eternal life.

In humility, we offer our transparency in this Blog. Our prayer is that you will come to know the One whose grace sustains us. Our mission is to educate the world about mental illness. Our goal is to eradicate the vial stigma attached to the invisible "mental illness." We encourage you to join us on this journey.

6 comments:

  1. I came across your in memory page because a friend posted there."
    Mark Williams
    I think youd approve of some of the new hard rawk i just got!!!"
    Bless you for ALL you do. I cry and scream in pain over the beautiful life unfulfilled and am sorrowful for your pain and loss.

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  2. Marqie,

    Many read but few comment. Thank you for pausing to read through this site and especially for sharing such kind words. I am an open book. Feel free to reach out if you ever have questions. Thanks again. Todd Brooks

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  3. I am so very sorry for your loss. I want to thank you for reaching out and working to help those of us who have an invisible illness. The battle is hard and scary and a lot of times lonely. I know in my own life I hate to let the people I love see the struggle, it causes them to worry and I HATE my illness because it touches everyone in my life. Friendships are difficult to maintain and friends are exactly what is needed a lot of the time. My life is a roller coaster and prayers and God are the seatbelt on this ride. There is so much work needed in the mental illness field. Some doctors suck, the one I saw most recently is condesending and acts like he is doing me a favor. I asked to be tried on a medication even if only for few weeks, No. But he was more then willing to send me for Electro shock therapy. I haven't seen him since. Sorry to vent, now worried about posting. Thank you again for sharing your story to help others.
    Denise

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  4. Denise
    Thank you so much for stepping out and sharing from your heart. You are so right sharing with others help so much...but a small voice tells us if we do share people won't understand. What I have found is by sharing we give others the opportunity to share their struggles and talk about mental illness just as we would diabetes,cancer and other chronic illnesses. I know some people fear the rejection of others if they share but each time we share it helps bring awareness. You have taken the first step! Try not to worry and second guess...instead use that energy to direct people you share your struggles with to resources...like our website. Thru sharing and education we can make a difference one by one!
    I am so glad you mentioned the Lord in your post He is our hope!I will be praying for you to find the right Dr. that can assist you in feeling better. Please feel free to contact me. Julie Brooks

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  5. Carson was a good of mine. As a young mother it was difficult to keep friends and find those that were good to bring my son (aged 2 1/2 at the time) around. Carson was definitely one of those people :) he could always put a smile on our faces and make us laugh. My son loved the faces and voices he would make. If i could change anything it wouldve been to pay closer attention. You see, many in my family including my father and myself suffer from bipolar disorder as well as severe depression. I wouldve told him he was never alone because I am one of those friends that you can call no matter what or when. I understand the battles of emotions and messy logics that happen within your own mind.

    Theres not a day that he isnt missed or thought about. But most importantly loved simply because he was himself.

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  6. Anonymous,

    You are so gracious to share how Carson impacted yours and your son's life. You and your boy are unrepeatable miracles of the Lord. Be blessed. You are welcome to contact Julie or I anytime. Todd Brooks, Carson's Dad.

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