Everyday I wake I pretend to be ok, I plod on I have too I’ve no choice I’ve a son who needs me, but everyday I wake with the stark reminder my brother’s gone, I go to phone his phone see how is scroll for his number but when get too am held back from phoning, when I’m on Facebook I go check his see what funny pics hes posted but last years worth of posts on his wall are ones I’ve tagged him in hoping in heaven he somehow see’s. I’m laid here now tears slowly streaming down as I thing about him wishing he was still hear, I wish he could say he was ok wipe my tears tell me to get some sleep, it’s late and ask me why I keep waking up at daft o clock in the morning an just lay staring into space. I wish I could scream at him yell at him call him selfish god knows what but I can’t because what he did the day died was a stupid an desperate attempt at get someone to listen to him, help him. I refuse believe he was giving up on life on Mum, on me , on jay n nat n robynn an our kids because kids especially were his world just as he was our’s. I know his Mental Health drove him crazy it did us too we were at a loss time an time again not only Tim reach out for help we did too, We’ve had no support, nowhere to turn too we’re now banging our heads against why an getting people address an learn from failings in his care just as much as Tim banged his head against brick walls trying to get help, I often wonder why no one supporting Tim picked up on the signs he was not ok did not notice him slowly disappearing from the picture, disconnecting with his volunteering, cutting himself off, I often wonder why placed somewhere he didn’t know felt lost an outsider out of his comfort zone not knowing anyone an stuck not getting help from somewhere supposed be supported, Everyday I taunt myself ideas, thoughts reading through paperwork we get passed trying put the jigsaw together but all I get is more questions never getting close to the bottom off never getting the answers to what went wrong not been able fix lessons be learned from. Everyday know feels like a constant pressure a heavy weight trapped in a cycle a haze a whirlwhind trying to clutch to something that will help get the answers and piece together the solutions but everyday feel dragged further an further apart. Every is now a struggle a constant dark fog of grey mist but can spark to red mist when see something or hear something and become hypersensitised too, Every day draws on longer an longer , lonelier an lonelier it’s isolating , it’s frustrating it’s become the loneliest place ever now has the world an it’s hard to paint false smiles, it’s hard show interest in the mundane on one hand want friends an people to care on other you don’t because they can’t fill same space they’re really not person you want see an you want them be good enough but sadly aren’t they can’t fill the gap, can’t step into shoes, interact same way can’t be just like Tim. When out an about my mind will play tricks I’ll see people who look like him chase voices of people hear who sound like him and when realise not is then a slap to face harsh reality hits not him I should remember but I don’t because try pretend switch off from, yearn escape the realities off but can’t I have persevere, try pretend I’ve cracked self maintain the mental health but only just doing dangling by a thread. I wish could wipe the cobwebs off me away, wish could erase the past put Tim back in we’re should be but can’t I’ve just to try face. Accept an one day grieve I don’t want have battle everyday for answers why failings I want put measures in place to prevent deaths like Tims an I’ve to do so logically piece the jigsaw to be able then mourn in peace in a graceful way not angry with tormented by an we’re feel no pain. I don’t want to talk about or thing about but nature of his death but. sadly because can’t grieve an trapped by fights for answers for am stuck in a tidal wave of thoughts about preventable suicide, patient safety, breakdowns, communication , systemic failings I want to pop the thought bubbles, push them away, take a break from just for one day wish could go back to before Tim changed before he passed so can try get normalcy in my life back regain control am make everything ok again.
Depression is horrible it’s a debilitating disease that squeases the life out of you keeps you trapped in the darkest places of your mind, takes the spirit an life out of everyday moments, in extreme cases murders those you love forces an pushes them into doing something stupid wreckless as they fight try find away out, Depression is like a prison sentence when things not too bad you get time out from like good behaviour but then smack something happens your hurled back into that darkened cell in the back of your head trapped , surrounded engulfed by misery, pain, desperation, inability cope, intense anger as you struggle and fight through. Depression isn’t just an invisible one but it’s a lonely one too people can’t see depression nor do people want or try see. People don’t spot when friends or family disappear become distant and you drop of the radar don’t stop by and ask are you ok, People don’t see past the charade the pretence that everything’s ok , people don’t see the bags under your eyes , don’t see the pain an fatique of the weight of the world crushing down on you theirs no hand of support their to help you up, no one their to lighten the load, Depression is a tormentor abuser it plays with your mind construes your thoughts makes you paranoid throws you into a spin cycle of thoughts that take over an drain you and drench’s you. Depression people don’t see nor understand people don’t get depressed your expected snap out of, move on so you pretend , you act you paint a fake picture alls ok still whilst slowly fading away into the distance life stopping for you but continually moves forwards for others you stumble n trip and sink trying keep up and I understand now why some give up because it’s tough it can get too much to keep on battling, keep on fighting, keep on trying for me I have no choice try battle an fight through because depression to is a curse it dosent disappear when you go you wherever maybe, maybe free but those you leave behind they struggle see, understand carry the weight off and depression sneakily sneaks in whilst their vulnerable and off guard it’s how it’s snuck in for me this time round pain and grief and anger at losing a loved one to a preventable suicide shrouded and engulfed me and has me trapped and I wouldn’t want pass that curse on so I’ll battle an fight with it I’ve beat it once I’ll try beat it once more the child snoozing next to me oblivious am awake at daft o’clock in the morning needs me to he’s to young to understand and see but to a point knows his Mummy’s been sad and when she’s upset thinks is his fault an asks Mummy are you my friend, the guilt of having depression then engulfs you don’t want your child seeing or sensing or feeling that so when they can’t see you try process an unravel the pain your feeling and untangle the mess inside your head be good have a pause button take a rest an break from but it’s depression it dosent make life easy. I can choose to live in hope though and hope I find away fight through and that I break through the prison of can get a hold off an my life back on track, can try find solutions, plans break through the core that’s keeping me trapped only you that is trapped by depression can break free from because people don’t see those chains wrapped round you an can’t pass you the key to release you from to all those that are battling with though we see and hopefully by speaking about people will start to see an start to help remove the chains that have kept us held and dragged back but until then know you are not alone we all at some point or time wrestle with an battle with an so you are not alone in your fight with x x x x x
My Big Brother, My best friend, One of my Angel’s if Heaven, Darkness has shrouded me since the day you died the pain I’ve felt uncomprehendable an unimaginable a pain I wouldn’t want wish on anyone, the pain an suffering you too faced in the last 2 1/2 years of live wouldn’t wish on anyone either. When you were alive you had a wish I didn’t grant a wish your nephew my son Myles met our dad and for him have a chance meet him an be a Grandad to his only Grandson. To you dad was your hero, your best friend you saw past the alcoholism you loved the times you had with him down at the Brown hare you never got over dad finally having to go into a care home for his own safety it was like part of you died that day the day you felt you’ld lost your best friend an I know hate feeling that same pain, I didn’t have the same relationship with Dad as you did I did try when he first went in to the care home have one but then in 2009 my own Mental Health deteriorated to point I spent Christmas that year sectioned and detained in hospital it took me a few years recover from in 2012 I went through a major relationship breakdown lost the home I’d thought have my ever after in an had create a new identity for myself as part of that process an as part of that process I didn’t want have Dad in my life I blamed him for not been in my life when I needed and wasn’t their protect me from been abused wasn’t their shelter me from pain of losing Marybeth and I hated knowing at time I was going through that he was in Pub opposite and so in my mind if I deleted him from my life I had a chance move on from my past. When Myles was first born I did think about letting him see him but the bitterness an anger I felt about him not been their made me have attitude he didn’t have that right be in my life or Myles, I know that you respected that decision but you were also hurt by as you so much wanted dad see him and I’m sorry I never listened, never told you how I felt maybe you’ld have understood an we’d have worked together and compromised and we’d have took Myles together. The day of your funeral was the first time in years I’d come back into contact with each other he looked lost, he didn’t look like our dad but still he automatically was Dad all way through the service he sat next to me and held my had, did cuddle me as I was upset and walked up to your coffin with me and held my hand as I told you it wasn’t goodbye but see you when times right an for you go be one of heaven’s angels an be with my Marybeth. After your funeral I did give dad some photos of you with Myles and I did think about going and see him and take Myles but I wasn’t ready also Grandad was very poorly and he too sadly passed then Myles other Great Grandad Robinson too sadly had a stroke an he too sadly passed an emotionally I did not feel strong. So it took 18 months after you passed away and this last week of not sleeping an waking upset an trying ignore an pretend all ok and to go across mums and in Tesco see an old man alone and me with a stock pile of presents for Boo too think about people who maybe alone, I went across Nanna’s she too stood in the Hallway looking lost as we chatted and she was worrying about getting her nibbles in her eyes though was fear first Christmas alone without Grandad and across at mums I got upset for her but brushed off went home, on Christmas Eve Facebook triggered me to point turned of all notifications Christmas was about family time an so be it, Anne Myles great grandads partner Anne phoned who earlier on in year whold lost Alan phoned see how we were recognised this time of year would be hard for me as as was for her and at end of call it hit me I cracked, I melt all bitterness to dad I felt disappeared and I looked at Myles it was finally time he met his Grandad Hughie our Dad and on Christmas Eve Dad finally met Myles I think he was just an shocked an surprised as I was as It wasn’t how I envisaged spend Christmas Eve but am glad I did am glad finally my four year old finally got to meet and get a cuddle and see his Grandad all of us in room didn’t speak your name but did feel your absence missing and that’s my only regret about finally granting your wish you weren’t their share with us as you should have been I kinda think from heaven you’ve probably though in heaven come down from heaven an whispered in my ear what about Dad Katie it’s time and am glad you did because in New year we now have New hope Dad an I and Myles can have a New Relationship an too Jason an Dad can maybe look at have too just a shame you not here share in too but I hope though your with us in Spirit an through pain losing you that their can be some healing now your wish has been granted an I’ve entered the spirit of Christmas reconciling the pain of yesterday but am truly sorry though left to late for you to see I know we’ve a long way go me an Dad but we’ve finally now made a start I hope you Too our now finally at peace an forever I will miss you my brother, my best friend x
Today I woke at 5.30am in tears hit with the realisation you are gone. I no longer feel your presence, no longer can pretend your busy and I’m busy an we’ve just missed see each other at Mum’s. Life is passing me by I’ve lost interest in friends, play dates and ideal gossip because things like that no longer matter they’re trivial nothing can comprehend to the pain and loneliness I feel not having you in my life anymore, I FIGHT FOR ANSWERS for you because your live mattered, you were cared for you were loved, I know it can’t bring you back and I so desperately wished it could even if for one day we made things better for someone else you tell me and mum you were proud an we did it we made your life matter you were stood up an accounted for, you tell us your free, your happy now , you tell us grandad an Marybeth’s happy Too an that your with them no longer alone an when time comes you’ll one day see us again, you’ll hold us say we’ll be ok an wipe our tears away and I so wish that could be true even if for one day.
It was Myles birthday on Friday what I wouldn’t have given to see you, open a card for him from you I remember you were the first person to visit him tried getting on the maternity unit at 7am but wasn’t opening hours was told come back at 12 lunch time an you wandered round Leeds till that time, I remember how proud you were holding him in your arms the love you had for him radiated out you too we’re proud off me and told me his sister in heaven would be proud an you never gave up hope I’d have a little one even though I did, I wished you’ld knocked on the door on Friday see how tall Myles is growing not much of a baby now but more my lil henchman an right hand man his personality an mccomb side now starting to come out he’s loud, he’s cheeky an he’s boystrous you’ld be just as proud off him now as moment first held him he’s going to miss having you in his world as you’ld have made one amazing god father an uncle.
This morning it hit me I won’t see you at Christmas nor anytime soon an in that moment I felt lost, lonely didn’t want feel that realisation you had gone each day it gets harder and harder acknowledging you are gone an my heart breaks that little bit more what wouldn’t give to see you even just for one day.
December hasn’t brought winter cheer an Christmas cheer, Decembers brought sadness an tears an realisation the world is now a depressing place without you in it an that life became that little bit darker the day you died an realisation today it had changed was day I realised really wished you were back here today an can no longer pretend an have try accept your gone
I love you Timothy the greatest big brother an best friend I ever had one day again I’ll see you but for now it’s time wipe away the December tears an force myself try move on x x x x
We’re now in December the time of year people get in too the spirit of been festive an giving an Christmas cheer, children get excited about what they wish for on their lists comes true because Santa sees an grants their wishes. People are getting out the advent calendars, planning to watch all the xmas movies in the build up too, theirs elves on shelves, tress been put up lights an all the trimmings, trips to xmas markets, festive light switch ons, and for kids santa too.
As a parent you have to do theses things for your child, I’ve to currently do them for mine but when you’ve had an emotional and rough year an a half suffered bereavement after bereavement, been hit with major changes an disruptions to your home life an only just try navigate get back on track is hard to feel festive get in to that Christmas spirit because we’re was the magic when you needed it, At Christmas we talk about the gifts of Joy, Hope an Peace these are gifts you need all year round, everyday especially to get through what live throws at you.
For most this time of year will be filled with fun an cheer but spare a thought for those it’s probably not, in 2009 I had what was one of the xmas I’d say was a bad one I spent it detained under the Mental Health Act Under Section 3, I didn’t open presents under the tree but on a hospital bed, I didn’t have the full xmas dinner with my family but strangers instead their was no tree, no lights no decorations no festive cheer their was no Christmas magic that year so at xmas I do reflect on that thing of all who maybe going through that.
In 2013 I’d say I had what was my best Christmas I’d just had my son my very own Christmas miracle after losing a child born stillborn in March 2002 I thought I’d never have a child of my own an as time went on I gave up op on having one and so even though I’ve now got Myles I do to spare a thought for parents facing harsh reality of knowing the pain what it’s like to lose a child especially getting through that 1st xmas every xmas I still imagine how it’d be if had Marybeth an do more so now I’ve Myles to celebrate with, I also spare a thought for those who desperstley wanted a child an pain not having one and seeing friends an families having families of their own even though your happy you still feel like you’ve had your heart tugged out.
Last xmas I was not excited for nor looking forward too because it was to be the first xmas without my brother Tim, I remember using my son , my niece n nephews as my driving force to get through because they’re just kids they don’t need face the harsh realities of live, I knew also for my mum had try an do something to ease her through xmas as knew would be difficult her go through and knew xmas would heighten pain she felt.
So I brought the magic of Christmas to my house I threw my son an his twin cousins a Christmas themed birthday party, invited Santa Claus round the children’s excitement an faces an look of joy injected that little bit of hope an magic get through, I still got Tim a card an present as Wasn’t ready to not too even took part in arranging a toy collection for George’s Crypt for Children who face some of the most bleakest things in life an did in memory of Tim kinda wished did again this year but sadly life got in way an other stuff get through so maybe next year I’ll do.
Again this year I will try steer my family through highs an lows of the festive period and be hopeful in new year we’ll get the answers we’re looking for surrounding my brother’s death , I’ll hold both Myles nanna, great nanna and his grandma in my heart an pray they find a way get through this time of year as they go through their first xmases without John and without Alan in the winter night sky and when the stars twinkle I’ll whisper to Myles that’s his sister, uncle an great grandads watching over coming down to say Merry Xmas an that in spirit we’re still here just not near but have not completely gone and will always be with him in spirit an heart,
As I’ve wrote this blog I’ve wondered why write I suppose it’s my way of saying that I will fake my way through xmas for Myles starting by next week taking him to the magical world of Thomas land for his early bday treat , I’ll put up a tree lights an decorations when we get back, I’ll try do something nice with mum whilst we’re down at Westminster helping NHS England around their Learning From Deaths work as we remain hopeful an optomistic can make a difference for families in the future who may face similar experiences to ours but they be supported with compassion an empathy unlike us. When come back do the mad xmas shop, present buying an wrapping for my loved ones get excited at thought watching them feel gift of joy when they get the gifts they’ve wished for an I’ve realised in one way I’m acknowledging Christmas can be a difficult kind of year but also as I’ve reflected on I’m slowly injecing into me ways I’ll find Christmas gift of hope too have the joy an spirit too want to celebrate be festive an try to find the missing magic an hope too others who’s missing that too I pray that you may find ways to find x x x
On the 26th August 2016 my life as I knew it stopped, yet the world still continued to move and time did not stop, On the morning of the 26th I woke with a 101 things needed an wanted to do planned phone my sister see if she needed me go back across an see her and help sort out her housing issues, I have a big mouth an person in my family known shout and get people heard, catch up around the house , try do something fun with my son, knew I had to phone my brother Timothy check up on if he was ok as had a missed call the day before upset and pleading for help that voicemail will now forever haunt me. Even though I knew I wanted phone my brother for some reason I kept dawdling putting off when woke was telling myself will do but first Katie need sort Myles. Whilst Myles managed was having his breakfast I thought I’d take 5 have my coffee then phone Tim my mobile rang it was my Nanna’s number that came up for a moment before answering in my heart I prayed my grandad was ok as part of me thought she was phoning about him. Nothing could prepare me for me for what she said I won’t fully divulge the full details but enough just to say my brother had taken his own life, I’m not sure if was because didn’t hear her say first time or because zoned out to what she was saying or stupidly didn’t know how respond to but I had to ask her repeat what she said the first time and it was then in that moment that instant I knew my brother an best friend had gone an From that moment on life changed for a long time for me life has stopped even though is moving around past me but me for me the world stopped that day as I’ve not wanted move on nor ready to I struggle accept Tim’s gone not ready face that harsh reality an reality of why I convince myself he’s busy he’s happy but he’s ok I suppose they’re the things I like believe he has found in Heaven. I don’t view my friendships, my relationships in the same way as I used to I don’t seem bothered for idle gossip, coffee an play date catch ups and selfishly no interest in other people’s life’s as am purely focused now on protecting my own little family unit an that of my immediate family my mum, my brother, my sisters an our children I feel I owe it them play big bro and big sis and I owe it Tim to keep his memory alive. We don’t call the actions Tim took as Suicide as we see it his death could have been prevented the 21/2 years leading up to that date showed my brother’s fight for Recovery to be him again he reached out so many times asking for help us as a family did too spent many a night with him in a and e as did the local police force taking him down to be assessed but time and time again even when free from still ignored his Mental Health needs and blamed the drugs or the things he was obsessing over and paranoid about were social matters and couldn’t help yes you could because they’d took over his Mental Functioning he became tormented by a doll that he first thought was his protector but then it took hold an control it spoke to him, bullied him and controlled him to point morphed into that persona but apparently that too got overlooked he engaged with volunteering wanted go back to work, wanted a place call home, wanted feel human again most importantly he wanted be Tim again an he did fight so hard to have that but sadly he became to dependant on one key worker and probably dependant on Crypt an lighthouse his safe space became sanctuary and his bubble. Services sadly enabled that too happen they didn’t take him on their recovery bus help him with his Self Care, identify an address his triggers what to do when crisis hit an were to go when needed help but yet at crisis told him he had to ask for I used to thing they were either a) blindly ignorant orb) extremely stupid as he’s here can’t you see him he’s asking I can see, I can hear why not you. Right up until the day he died he was screaming for help I’ll never understand why when he was taken to a and e why never admitted, never understand neither why his gp only offered him coffee an biscuits you saw he was broken why didn’t you get him help. Where he was living they advertised provided crisis an respite support and will never understand why they didn’t offer him an nor will I accept that they’re not partly accountable as how can you just be private landlords if we’re he was living was under assessment an classed as a transitional home a place supporting people with needs like Tims is probably why I don’t accept is Suicide as because I know more could have been done an I know Tim I know the act he carried out he did was because most drastic the one that would get them really see he was screaming out for help also I suppose I don’t call suicide because I’m not ready accept he didn’t want to be hear no more, not ready accept he wanted to leave us and nor ready accept it was his Time. They’res loads been spoken of at the moment about suicide an zero alliance a zero attitude to suicide I kind of feel that doesn’t relate to my brother as he and the family knew the signs even told people providing Tims care what look out for an when he was in extreme distress he wasn’t a danger to others but himself, Tim also had suspected LD was a recovering addict around 12 months free of substance misuse he was also someone who ended up past from pillar to post and a vulnerable adult and was known to services an should have been supported I feel that the zero alliance is looking at suicide prevention from people that are not known so what do you do for people that are known an how do you help them an how do you help families like mine come to terms an face the harsh reality they’ve lost a loved one to suicide so for the time being ill fight for answers for him, try make Services work better to support people like him, I’ll keep his memory alive an I’ll keep campaigning more should have been done an I’ll continue shout his death was not suicide but a preventable one an ill do that for him in the hope others do not become lost and that through him others maybe found an that people like him they’re lives are made to matter an not tossed to one side an so that people like him have the oppurtunities to be a part of society, be human again but most importantly be a person as Tim he just wanted be Tim again x
Theirs been lots in the media debating the pro’s an cons of taking Medication for Depression, BBC Panorama highlighted the dangerous of an how individuals became mass murderer’s an that’s in extremities.
I suffer from a Dysthmic Disorder in layman terms a neurotic mood disorder, Depression,Anxiety, Obsessive and Compulsive Behaviours, I have complex PTSD hear voices and Dissociate.
I don’t take medication for my conditions I used to they were harmful for my physical health I ballooned to just under 19 stone was a walking zombie did not interact, engage the world passed in a blur and still I was seen as disengaging by services it wasn’t that I was disengaging but the needs completely shut of all my receptors so I couldn’t engage.
The conditions I have are the result of Childhood Abuse, Losing a Child Born Still Born and the result of been a revolving door patient on an off throughout my teens to my early thirties. The medications I were on varied from Anti-Deppresant’s, Mood Stabilizer’s, Anti-Psychotics, Relaxant’s and Sleeping Pills. The medications just sedated my so called behaviours to me their now just my traits be it survival, be it instinct, be it my defensive mechanisms. Dissociation at times though can be a pain when things in my locked box want to surface as that hits when am at my most vulnerable an most risk and I’ve just to ride it out.
It’s been hard not been on medication and not easy but I try face each day as I can medication will only plaster over the scars of my past, therapy can help me address but the unstable emotions and how I handle things they’re what I’ve to learn to address, I recently nearly ended up back on medication I struggled with coping with my brother’s passing thought long an hard and in my heart knew wrong as it may take the pain away numb it but eventually have to face it and so may as well fight may way through it now but also the anger side of my cptsd has come in handy as I’m using that part of my grieve to fight for him wished did more when he was alive, also if agreed go back on the slow cocktail of men’s would build up again I’d be talked into needing more for different things and different behaviours an probably extra Dx and my son he needs me, he needs me to be strong for him be brave for him most importantly be alert and functioning and be all he needs so as hard as the days are I throw myself into It theirs days I feel mentally drained, exhausted, on edge, thoughts scrambling but for my son I attack each day, I also do for my family, I do for my brother too as he so wanted overcome his past.
Medication can help mask things and give me a rest from but in the end they’ll stop me from seeing the beauty in the world even though theirs too sadness in it, the voice i thought so hard to re-find would too agin be lost and one thing I’ll always tell my son fight for what you want well if I’m not living it he can’t practice it.
Don’t get me wrong it’s not easy theirs days when I can just drag myself up ready, Myles though he’s always immaculate, theirs days I’ve snapped my anger lids burst an that’s not been good for person who got brunt off, theirs days I have just crumbled just broke look liked a car wreck and all around gets to much and times to preserve myself I’ve to shut out the world keep my bubble to myself .
I’m not telling people to stop taking mess nor if they help you to stop believing that they don’t an to stop.
I’m asking that as I respect medications for you please respect though it’s not for me an in fact has been life altering an harmful an I don’t want that for me, I also need you to respect that just because I say no also does not mean I don’t have my conditions an my experiences an opinions like well you can’t be that bad if you don’t take because I can be.
The brave face people see is just a mask as if accepted people a) don’t get or understand me so I give up trying explain, b) if I don’t try I give up an where does that leave my son an family and c) if I go on meds the world will be shut out again.
If their was better monitoring of my help, safeguards an provisions that stopped me going on more an more mess then maybe, but I know for me I have to address my pain be it therapy, be it pretending life’s ok or be it writing my blog like now, I’m exploring having faith in my life that’s been a challenge an battle of perseverance, I throw myself into soft play just as much as Myles an that s my anger energy, we do crafts, go for walks we play the child in me likes that as that’s reminded sometimes life is good, being an activist for awhile was hard but then I missed it so am slowly going to re-dip my toes in the water and look to do again as my heart an a part within me missed that an so listening to myself keeps me going.
I suppose because I didn’t feel listened too an knowing my brother wasn’t listened to is why I’ll always shy away from medication in time that may change I’ve to meet that one person who will listen and give me the perfect care package so till then I’ve just got to listen to myself.
Whilst I do that though please don’t shame me an belittle my depression, my pain just as I don’t pill-shame you an vocalise the drugs are bad. It is these debates that create divides in the mh community an we need to be supporting each other and each getting the support that works it’s time focus on getting it right for everyone as at present services aren’t working and we need to work together to get that so let’s #endthepillsdebate.