As some of you might’ve noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from my blog. This is the second weekend in a row now that I have pushed myself away from the desk, said I’m full thank you, and dessert is not necessary and went on a fast from writing. I’m finding that this is becoming necessary for me to stay emotionally healthy. And it’s all about doing whatever one needs to do to stay on top of their game, right? That’s what my blog is about anyway. The sole purpose of it was to give myself a voice and hopefully get my damn A-game back.
I was a different person when I started this blog six months ago. Or should I say pushed myself to start this blog. Till then I would sit here in my home by myself most days, often I would cry, sometimes I would scream at the top of my lungs “Why Lord?”; and then there were those moments I said nothing at all, couldn’t pull myself out of bed for days, and tried to will myself to die. I felt life had dealt me a shitty hand. Living here in this house, doing without, struggling to make due with what we had was taking its toll on me. All the people I loved had passed away or left me. The life I’d had full of work, family, and friends was now gone, and I spent 90% of my time alone. The other 10% were with a husband that I felt didn’t understand me, and found me to be emotionally exhausting. I was at the end of my rope. I really wasn’t sure if it would matter or not if I were here. And before you think that it was lack of courage that stopped me from ending my life, let me tell you it wasn’t. I had a loaded 9mm in the drawer of my husband’s nightstand on his side of the bed, and several bottles of prescription drugs (antidepressants, muscle relaxers, pain killers, etc.) in the drawer on mine. A quick, painless death was that close. One shot and it’s over, or go to sleep and never wake up. That’s the easy part. There’s no courage necessary to take your own life. The real courage comes from living it in spite of feeling like you cant or don’t want to.
Fortunately, I’m smarter than I look or often even give myself credit for, and it occurred to me during one of those bleak moments, that if I hadn’t done it yet, there must be something I still found a reason to live for. I thought about the hardship I’ve endured since living here in this house that was still ongoing, the problems with my health I was now experiencing, the fact my son was a drug addict and on his way to prison, another son was having difficulty adjusting to living with me again because he didn’t want to be in the country, a daughter who never came out to visit me and grandchildren I hadn’t seen in well over a year; fair-weather friends who were no longer around, my best friend who had taken her own life, and the only real friend I had who lived so far away I never saw her. I thought about being cooped up here and unable to leave because I had no license to drive. I wondered what in the world it was that was keeping me alive. Then I suddenly realized if it was none of those things, then it was just ME. Something perhaps small, but large enough to make a difference, was echoing from deep inside me whispering “You’re not finished yet”. I made myself a promise then that I was going to give that little voice a forum in which to speak and see just what it had to say.
This blog was never intended to be really anything more than a place to bitch, cry, and create an online journal of my emotional ups and downs. I opened it to the public in hopes that perhaps someone might relate to my pain, thereby no longer feeling so alone. Then something magical that I never expected began to happen… I started to heal. I went on other blogs in an effort to find out how people were setting up their page–as I was a novice and knew squat about it–and started reading their posts. Some really touched me and I found myself responding in the only way I knew how, through my words. That in turn led them to me, and I found that my posts created a reaction in them also. I soon realized that there was a whole community of people out there that not only understood me, but knew exactly what I was going through. I was no longer alone! How could I be when I was surrounded by so many people that stopped by to share a laugh or cry with me daily? They not only ‘got’ me, but liked me!
I read a post last night that disturbed me; enough that I didn’t know how to respond to it. Why? Because the author is hurting, lonely, angry, feeling every emotion I’ve had my entire life and I’m unable to stop it. As a codependent I’m programmed to try and love or fix someone elses troubles away. Sometimes in doing so I’ve allowed myself to be terribly hurt. The worst thing for someone like me is feeling that I’m useless and merely have to be a bystander and watch someone else suffer, do without, and possibly go under. If it’s at all in my power I would throw myself in and let them use me as a life-preserver knowing I risk my own safety. This is not my choice, but rather the sickness I battle with. But if it were not for this sickness in myself, or others that have it that have rescued me at times, no one would have anyone would they? I take the question “Who are you?” seriously. I will gladly, willingly, lop myself right alongside those that promote life. Who am I? No one special, really. But I qualify as someone who understands, because I know. “Who am I?” well… I’m you!
If you were to ask me if I thought anyone had the ‘right’ to take their own life I would answer an emphatic NO! And it has nothing to do with the right that someone has to make choices for their own life. It’s more because I think that a person who is contemplating suicide at that moment is not capable of discerning what is right for them. They are tired, overwhelmed by feelings of sadness and despair, they feel alone, and more often than not their chemical balance is out of whack. We all have ‘triggers’ that set us off and make things worse. We can usually cite what they are. I know mine are things as simple as songs that remind me of happier times in my life, warm weather when I know other people are out enjoying themselves, holidays when I know women are surrounded by their children and grandchildren, hearing that a friend/relative has gotten a promotion in their job, took a vacation, redid their home, bought a new car…all these things that I don’t have. There are too many to list and all can quickly send me into a downward spiral. The ones that are difficult to find are the reasons to stick around. Those feel-good moments that reinforce you matter, there is hope, tomorrow can be better. I struggle with finding these daily, and when I start to falter I blog my way through the feelings. I’m not trying to make light of it. It’s not simple. But it and medication is keeping me here. And this is important, because I’m learning in spite of what some may believe about me, or the terrible things I’ve said to and about myself, I’m pretty terrific. There’s not a fucking thing wrong with me other than I’ve believed a lot of negative bullshit about myself!
Do you know why I believe that only God (or I suppose what you would consider your higher power) has the right to decide when it’s our time to go? It’s because I believe only He can see what the future holds for us, and that each of us has a purpose and is placed on this earth for a reason. He knows when we’ve worn out our usefulness. My life as I live it touches others, whether I want it to or not, whether I realize it does or not. Each action or word I speak has a negative or positive impact on another. Likewise, the children I’ve brought into the world that are interacting with others are also touching lives. I know my daughter especially with her empathetic nature has touched many lives because she cares, has offered a hand-up and hand-out, and takes the time to listen when a friend needs her. What if she weren’t here because I hadn’t been here to have her? This was a possibility. At 17, before any of my children were ever conceived, I tried to take my life. In the emergency room as they were pumping my stomach was the first time I ever saw my strong, stoic father shed tears. I spent time in a mental facility (and that wouldn’t be the only stay I would have there), and years since battling depression. The point is though, if I had been successful I wouldn’t have my three beautiful children, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to spend the next nearly thirty years sharing tears and laughter with the most amazing friend anyone could hope to have, finding another amazing friend and helping her to ‘find’ herself and get out of a shitty, 25 year marriage, and I never would’ve met any of you…and some of you have proven to be the very ‘skip’ in my step most days. These things that have occurred because I was unsuccessful at taking my life thirty-one years ago were meant to happen, because I was meant to live.
I know this is awful deep for a Monday morning. I’m sorry. But as a human being with a heart and conscience, I feel it my responsibility, I feel it everyone’s responsibility, to step up to the plate when I/they see a need and try to meet it. I know my resources are very limited and the only thing I have to offer anyone is friendship; a cyber-shoulder to cry on, someone to vent at, or share happy and painful stories with. I know that’s not much and I wish I could do more. I just know that everyone I have in my blog life is amazing. You all contribute so much to my emotional well-being whether you realize it or not, and I don’t want any of you to think of yourself as anything less than worthwhile. YOU, all of you, make a difference in my life! And if you can make a difference in just one life YOU ARE IMPORTANT! AND IF YOU ARE IMPORTANT, YOU WOULD BE MISSED!!
I love you all. I really do. My hope is that today you can find a reason to love yourself.
PS. I went and saw my boy yesterday. I’m happy to report that he’s no longer the thin, frail looking, drug-addicted young man I last saw, but has now gotten the light back in his beautiful, blue eyes, his skin is clear and full of color, he’s 198 pounds of flesh, blood, and muscle; he’s adjusted to prison life, has been fortunate enough they are already letting him work on the outside (supervised, or course), already finished his GED, and is considering college when he gets out. He’s happy, laughed and joked the two hours I was there, and I felt like the luckiest mom in the world because he had been spared. He has been spared because his life too still has purpose!