Choosing LIFE…Because You Matter!

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!

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16 Comments on “Choosing LIFE…Because You Matter!”

  1. The Hook says:

    Sounds like this blog has been nothing but good for you. I’m glad to hear you’re having a rebirth of sorts, just in time for summer! My best to you and yours.

    • Thank you, Babe!
      And you’re right, this blog has been very good for me. I mean, how else would I have gotten ‘hooked’ on you! Sorry…your blog name is just so easy to have pun-fun with. 😉

  2. Taochild says:

    Thanks! This is just the post I needed to read at this very moment! I too started my blog for roughly the same reason. A place to not only actually collect all the randomness the has spouted out of me over the years, but to force myself to actually continue the randomness. And maybe even allow others to see what I had to say if they were so inclined.

    While I by no means have a huge following, I found the power for healing here surpasses anything I could have imagined. We are all more alike then we truly realize. The wonderful power of blogging communities is how the eliminates the concept of distance. It is easy to feel like we are a small island of pain in a vast ocean; that our screams go unheard as they are carried away by the wind. But now we can realize that there are many other islands in this vast ocean, and the wind carries our screams to them, as we hear theirs. The world is not such a small lonely place after all.

    Seems a lot of folk have been backing off in the blogging arena in the last couple of weeks. At least in the circles I wander. Me too. So this post is a much needed reminder for me as well. I am once again very happy that you tripped over my blog and found it worth a look!!

    • Right back atcha’ Babe! I related to you immediately because of the isolation thing. It friggen sucks.
      I’ll tell ya, I’ve been battling depression for as far back as I can remember. I used to hide it. Was even in denial for a while. Then realized it runs in my family, it is what it is, some people are chemically sound, I’m not, and I just work with what I’ve got. I’m aware it could be a lot worse, so I just thank my lucky stars that I’m as fortunate as I am. I also tried the therapy route. TOO MUCH! I only found one woman that I could relate to. Honestly, blogging has been better therapy for me than any of the dozens of therapists I’ve seen. It’s hard to share your life with a therapist an hour at a time and wait to see results as they get to know you, but on here you can talk forever about anything if you want. And the wonderful thing is, everyone understands because most of us are in the same boat…or at least the same fleet. Ha..ha..
      I think all of us do make a difference. Perhaps some more than others at different times, but together we can completely fill a void if we just offer our assistance. The thing that concerns me is those that are embarrassed or afraid to just ask for a friend to talk to. I’ve been really bad about that myself in the past, and it almost killed me. Literally. I guess that’s why I’m willing to make an ass out of myself by putting myself out there if anyone needs a friend. I don’t care how it looks. My best friend of thirty years took her own life almost three years ago. I was powerless to stop it, because for the first time in our friendship she didn’t come to me to save her. Sadly, she thought my life was finally going good and she didn’t want to bog me down with her problems. I lost someone that was more precious to me than my own life. That single event will change a person forever, and stole all the embarrassment and pride right out of me. If I can be there for one damn person, then it’s more than worth looking like a blubbering idiot over. I admit it. I’m under-belly soft. Took me a long time to do that.
      I know for me I’ve been taking little weekend sabbatical’s from blogging because summer is here and I’m trying to find a way to have somewhat of a life while being stuck in this house. I don’t have a laptop or I’d be carrying it out into the yard with me. I assume that there are a lot of people that are going to be backing off for a bit, because the weather is warm and they want to have some fun. The nice thing is, these are our blogs, we can always come back to them when we want or need to, and all comments go through emails and that’s what we check regularly. I set up a personal one just in case anyone wants to chat outside of my blog. Amazingly, people are using it. I guess there are a lot of things people want to talk about that they don’t want to share with everyone. I don’t blame them. There’s a lot of things I only share with my close friend, too.
      Well, you hang in there. I know I am. One of these days the waters won’t be quite so choppy, and I intend to body surf the waves! 😉

  3. Renee Mason says:

    WOW, was that timely! Despite the fact that I write a ‘humor’ blog (95% of the time), I’ve been going through a special hell with my 17-year-old son and his stepdad. My husband reads every word of my blogs, so I can’t let on in any of them that I’m in my own private piece of hell right now. I’ve noticed that my posts are becoming a bit more sporadic lately, because I’m just not capable of seeing the humor in things like I usually do. I have actually given the briefest of thoughts to ‘just checking out’ once and for all, and then your post popped up on my email. At age 58, I’ve been through enough to know that horrible situations usually DO right themselves eventually, but when you are smack dab in the middle of them, that thought alone is often not enough to sustain you.

    It truly is amazing the amount of blogger support that’s available out there, isn’t it? Keep on writing; there’s a raw honesty and power in your words, Lou.

    • Thank you, Renee!
      You know, I do the same thing a lot though. I used to joke and say I was a master at disguise, a chameleon of the people, because I was classic at showing people what I thought they wanted to see to appease them. Humor–albeit dry–was a way that I could get through every situation, especially the awkward ones. Unfortunately, when you pretend everything is okay, and no one knows anything is wrong, no one offers a hand-up that you desperately need. I’m getting a lot better about that. The funny thing is, I’ve spent my whole life being a hard-ass and afraid to show people I had a softer, more vulnerable side for fear they would walk on me. Well, they did anyway when I let them close enough! I must be getting better, because I’ve just turned into a huge, emotional cry-baby on my blog, and all of you have exposed a part of me that I thought was dead. I think it’s because I see a little of myself in every one of you, and I know how painful being me is at times. Loneliness, not feeling I have a voice, has been the biggest thing. I don’t and won’t have someone dictate my voice for me anymore. If your husband reads your blogs daily, I would write a message that’s CLEAR enough for him to get, and to hell with whether he finds it appropriate or not. My husband cringes at my blogs. Ha..ha.. I figure it’s a good thing. Maybe eventually he’ll get the hint…or more important, I’ll talk myself right out of this shitty life I’ve been living. We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted anyway! 😉

  4. jennajadee says:

    Thanks for the post as tears filled my eyes. You are such an inspiration that all of us eventually go through hard times, one time or another. There is light on the other end, just have to plant your feet and get ready for the ride! ~hugs~ Thanks again.. and it is so nice about your son. I am glad he is becoming the man he needs to be and standing up for what he believes in. I know you must be so proud to see him turn around, Congratulations on that!! Such terrific news!

    • I think it’s terrific news too! Of course, I would be lying if I said I believed all is said and done and the future’s so bright we gotta wear shades. Addiction is powerful, and right now he’s on the inside so it’s easier for him to refrain. I just pray that whatever he’s doing, learning, will stick with him when he gets out. I believe in my son. I know his heart, his mind, who he was before the drugs, and the man that lies deep within him. He is a good man, he just needs a better life to compliment the goodness that is already there.
      Yes, we are all going through hard times right now it seems, but if the road wasn’t a bit bumpy life wouldn’t be exciting enough to entertain or teach us anything, would it? You, my lovely, have a wonderful life ahead of you…you just need to reach for it. Don’t wait till your older. It gets that much harder to grasp when you do. Listen to this old broad. She knows.

  5. First one of the important bits. SO GLAD you got to see your boy. And he looks better, and can see a future.

    Second, oh yes, there are lots of you/us out here.

    Third: I do some voluntary work with people considering suicide and you are so right – it is often the tiny little things that pull people back from the brink. And mostly suicide isn’t about ending life it is not seeing any other way to make the pain stop.

    Fourth: Huge hugs. You are right, you are braver and more capable than you give yourself credit for.

    • Yes, I am so happy, and more importantly relieved to see that my son is doing so well. As I said before, it’s been eight months since I last saw him, and the time has done him good. I won’t say that all will be well forever–I stopped trying to read the future a long time ago–but for right now I’m more hopeful than I’ve been in a long time.
      That is wonderful that you volunteer with people that are contemplating taking their own life. All any of them/us need is just to know someone cares and they/we are not alone in most circumstances. I, myself, would love to get into advocate work someday and work with abused women and children. That is where my sensitive spot is. That’s something I know a lot about. Who knows, perhaps someday.
      Thanks for the pat on the back. You always know just what to say. What can I say other than I’m blessed with the absolute best, sister-bloggers!

  6. You are terrific! I’m so happy for your son.
    We are all in this cyber world together giving strength, inspiration, and encouragement, one blog at a time.
    We all have rain in the forecast, but the rainbow makes it worth it. >hugs to you<

  7. mairedubhtx says:

    Your post spoke to me and I thank you, as my new friend. You’ve made a lot of sense concerning the topic of suicide. I struggle every day but I know I can come out on top. Thank you so much for posting this.

    • You are more than welcome my new blogger, friend. Us bad-ass girls have to stick together in this, lest the shitty people in the world set out to conquer and destroy us. Giving up is never an option! Never forget that! Yes you are going to come out on top. I see a warrior in you. 😉

  8. my0wneyes says:

    🙂 You touched me this day. Thanks for sharing

    • I’m glad. I want all of you to know just how wonderful you are and what a difference you really make in my life and each others. I don’t want to see a single one of you think anything less than that you are absolutely the shit! And if no one tells you enough, then dammit…email me and I will!!