I know my last couple of posts have been downers but it has been a difficult few weeks here in our area. In the past two weeks, we have had three suicides in our county in the past two weeks. The youngest was 14, one was 22 and graduated with my second kiddo, and the other was a young mother. We have had nine in our county this year already and several more in our area. A friend of mine had a coworkers son in the neighboring county kill himself on Facebook the other night. It is becoming rather frightening for all of us.

For me, my middle kiddo having a classmate kill herself was very difficult for me to handle. She has been suicidal in the past and definitely been depressed off and on for a few years. When I heard about her classmate, I had no idea how close they were. I knew she had to know her. They had to know each other as our town is small and we are all connected and the kids all know each each other in school. I was so worried about her all day. I was so relieved to know that they weren’t close at all but still have had concerns about her since. She appears to be okay but studies do show that suicide is contagious.

I spent all day wondering who was next. Why it is contagious. Why do people get permission to go ahead and go through with it when other people do? I have always wondered that. I have never understood that but it is true. I have read a lot on theories of why this past week but I think I have one idea why. One of the reasons I never acted on my plans was I was afraid of failing and having to live with the consequences of that. I didn’t want to live with people upset with me for attempting to die. I think one of the reasons that it is contagious is we see people  succeed and think maybe we can, too. Is that one of the reasons that there are more attempts after a suicide in an area? It is a theory of mine. There is a town summit on Thursday addressing our crisis and where to get help, what to watch for, etc. I imagine that it will be highly attended as this is affecting our small community so hard. I hope that we can stop this from continuing in our area.

Don’t worry, I am not depressed or contemplating at all at this time. I am just saddened by all the recent deaths. I am grateful that I haven’t been close to any of the people that have died but I have friends that have been. Survivors have such a hard time.

Depression….. aah that horrible subject that is taboo. I have to talk about it periodically. I refuse to be silent anymore.

Depression entered my life when I was fourteen. By all accounts, I should have been happy. For the most part, I had a great life but I was lonely. A lonely that made no sense. I was sad. A sadness that made no sense. I no longer wanted to live and that made no sense. I felt guilty for feeling the way I did, which made it even worse. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. I felt shame for having my feelings. I knew that telling my mom would just make her upset and she would tell me to pull myself up and get over it. She wouldn’t be being insensitive but she didn’t understand depression. She truly has no concept of it. I read a book called Lisa, Bright and Dark. The girl was going crazy and then I wondered if that was what was happening to me. I must have read that book a dozen times. I related to her.  Why was I so sad for no reason? I would pray to my god every night to not let me wake up. This went on for years. I got involved with smoking, drinking, drugs, even sex to try and make me feel better. Every day I thought about dying and how I didn’t want to live anymore. I thought about ways to kill myself. I had a knife to my wrist more times than I can count.  No one would listen I was supposed to be happy so I faked it the best I could. Eventually, I went to visit my dad and he took me to a therapist. That man was the first to save my life. I didn’t see him long but enough to give me tools to keep going. I continued my destructive behavior for a long time but no longer was praying or wishing to die daily.

Flash forward a few years. I was doing much better until a boyfriend and I broke up. We were going to get married. I was the one that decided to break it off but it was so painful. I just knew that no one would ever love me. I was unlovable and always had been (in my mind). I remember being in my apartment in school and just sobbing that I wanted to die and crying out for my former therapist. Somehow, my roommates and I tracked him down and I called  him across the country. Funny how I had seen him in the Philippines and this was preinternet but I found him here in the states. He and I are still in contact to this day. I was is patient in 1984.

After that incident, I managed to plug along with very little depression and few if any suicidal thoughts for years until 2008. Things collapsed for me then. In 2007, we had a string of deaths in our lives:  One of my favorite football players was killed Jan 1st., Dr Bustamante, Kieth, Carly, Ray, Sam, Mrs Faust, My grandfather, Kit, my cousin, and even my dog.  I actually think there were a couple more but I cannot think of who it was. It was emotional turmoil. I was struggling so hard to manage and survive all the pain and heartbreak around me. The first week of January 2008, my husband told me that he no longer wanted to be married to me. That was it. After a year of crying for deaths, I felt like my life was over. I told him he could have the kids because I knew I would die. It wasn’t very long after that I was making a plan. I was drinking almost a bottle of wine every night. I was researching all my meds to see what combination would definitely kill me. I did NOT want to fail this too. I had failed everything in my life, or so I thought. My husband would yell at me daily to pull it together. That just made me worse. My eldest kid had no idea what to do. My husband would yell at me to go get help when I told him that I wanted to die but he never took me for help. I have no idea how many times I TOLD HIM THAT I WAS GOING TO KILL MYSELF. He never took my pills away, never spoke to our doctor, never asked anyone for help. Maybe he was hoping I would do it. I don’t know.

My turning point was being in the car with my youngest. Someone was passing someone else in front of me. I had to put on the brakes to avoid them. My first thought was to hit the gas and unbuckle. That would have been so easy. I had thought about driving off a mountain so many times. I didn’t want to fail my suicide. The only reason my brakes were used is my son was sitting next to me. That was my wake up call. I went to my doctor and was put on antidepressants and started working with the tools I had learned all those years ago. The ex got  angry that I “only went on meds” because he didn’t understand that I already had the tools. I gradually got better and when he eventually filed for divorce, I swore to him that I would not let him kill me.

Last year, I got my semi-colon tattoo for suicide awareness and prevention. My story is not over yet and I am determined to never let that demon take over in my life again. I will speak LOUDLY and PROUDLY of my success. I will be here for anyone that needs to talk. If I can save one life, it is worth the tears I cry every time I recall that pain and loneliness. I no longer am ashamed of having depression. It is not my fault. It is not a weakness. It should no longer be a stigma.

Today has been such a difficult day. My friend R told me that he was on the way to a trauma cleanup for work this morning. I asked if it was a suicide. We don’t have a lot of violent crime around here and have had several suicides this year already. I just had a gut feeling that was the situation this morning. It made me sad when he said yes. We were discussing how it is for him emotionally to clean up these sites and then I saw the article in the paper. Twenty two year old girl that graduated with my daughter shot herself last night. We have lost so many young people on our small community over the past ten years. I know there is a numbness there for many of us. This was the first suicide of one of our young ones though. We have lost a couple to cancer and horrible accidents but not by their own hands.

At first, my reaction was about our losing another young person but within minutes the suicide aspect hit me. My kiddo that graduated with her has struggled with depression for years. I actually live in an area where everyone has a gun. I wanted to get one when my ex moved out. We have bears and mountain lions around here. I live in the country and am not getting younger. I could be vulnerable. She came to me one day and told me  to not get a gun because she couldn’t trust herself with a gun in the house. Currently, she is doing well and is on her meds but she tends to quit taking them and I can tell within days. I also have struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts off and on since I was fourteen. 2008 was the most recent for me and I was working on the plan. I never had the courage to go through with it. I am glad now. I am doing well now. I take my medication faithfully and am determined to not go down that path again.

I kept thinking about this poor girl and how lonely she must have felt. I kept thinking about how brave, yes brave, it was for her to pull that trigger. I kept thinking about how she felt before she did it. I kept thinking that it was so sad that she never reached out to anyone or if she did, that they didn’t hear her. I kept thinking about the mess she left behind- all the broken hearts, her friends and family. They will have to live the rest of their lives wondering if they could have stopped her.

I spent most of the day wondering how my kiddo was. I was wondering if she knew what happened to her classmate. How well she knew her. They had so many mutual friends. I couldn’t reach her. I was hoping that she wasn’t here at home an emotional mess or worse.

I thought about my friend whose daughter was also in this class. Her daughter died their freshman year. My friend is a teacher in the school. I wondered how she was going to take this and of course, her Facebook post broke my heart tonight. So many people I love are hurting tonight. Our small town has lost another young life. A vibrant life with so much ahead of her and this time it was her choice. That poor poor girl. I wish she had reached out for help.

I looked at my semi-colon tattoo so many times today. I am determined to not get to that point again. When I got home, my kiddo and I held each other so tightly. I begged her to promise to not to ever to this and to continue to be honest with me about this aspect of her life. I am not sure I could survive her doing this.

and I felt great!! If you have read my old posts, you would  know what a mess I was. I was suffering from chronic pain for years. I thought that I was going to be in pain every day for the rest of my life. Getting older  scared the hell out of me. I was depressed and suicidal. I was actually working on a plan. I had started getting better when the ex-husband filed for divorce. At that point, I remember standing in my bedroom  door and telling him that he was not going to send me there again. I had come too far at that time and did NOT want to go backwards. It has been a long and difficult journey but I am healthier both physically and mentally than I have been in probably fifteen years.

The person I ran into was my former therapist from when I was going through the divorce. I haven’t seen her in a few years. Last time I saw her, I was having anxiety attacks for the  first time in my life. I  was such a mess. The divorce wasn’t over yet but I only got eight free sessions and couldn’t afford to go back. The next year, I chose not to. We talked for a bit and I filled her in on the past four years. She told me she couldn’t believe how good I looked. She actually stated that I look ten years younger. We finished our conversation with a hug and the tears started flowing.

As I walked away, I realized how good that felt. She was the person that I had shared everything with and I was able to honestly tell her how happy I currently am. I had nothing negative to tell her except the normal money and worry about your kids stress. It is so nice to have that be the only thing that I worry about.

I thought things were getting better in my marriage. We had had a great holiday season. I thought things were turning around. It had been sketchy for a while but I never wanted to give up hope. I believed in love. I believed in marriage. Most of all, I believe in promises.

I was in a great mood and the husband came home and directed me into the bedroom. I thought he was going to do something romantic, instead, he told me that I was going to be served in the next couple of days as he had filed for divorce that day. Not only had he blindsided me with this. He had hired an attorney with the most vicious reputation in town. He claimed he didn’t know her reputation but I didn’t buy it. I know he had to have asked someone who to hire. I felt so betrayed on so many levels. The holiday was a lie. He hired Deb. He had been talking to her for almost 18 months so almost two years was a lie.

There were so many things that were done in that time frame that I wouldn’t have gone along with had I known that he was leaving me. We traded in MY car for him to get his BRAND NEW dream truck and I was given a car that was not what I wanted. We got rid of our pool table. Those are a couple of the things I just cannot seem to get past. The car he left me with was such a lemon. I ended up having to replace the engine less than a year after the divorce and then last year had another 2000 to put into it. Those expenses have hurt me terribly and sent me into debt. I cannot help but resent the fact that he has that stupid truck and I had that car. It was totaled last summer so it is gone. At least, I do not have to get in it and think about it daily but I do miss that pool table often.

I did love him at one time and believed in love, marriage, and mainly promises. I do not break promises. I still get angry that he wouldn’t fight for our marriage. I resent that he used my atheism against me yet he was the one breaking his religion by getting a divorce. I had nothing but my word and my love for him keeping me fighting for our marriage for the final eight years that we struggled.

I did cry for months, every day. I worked at the local hospital that he had worked at for sixteen years. We live in a small town so people know each other, especially the medical community. Since we were both in medicine, we knew so many of the same people professionally. It was so difficult to go to work and have people daily ask how he was, tell me to tell him hi, etc. I would always break down in tears. This lasted for easily two months. I went through the stages of grief, including anger. It would have been much easier if he had moved out but I couldn’t afford an attorney and he stayed until the divorce was final almost nine months later. He did so much damage to me and the kids in that time frame. I imagine that I will share much of that as time goes on.

By the time we got divorced, my self esteem was in the gutter, I never thought that I would have sex again. I didn’t think I was even pretty, much less beautiful. I didn’t think anyone would ever love me again or I could love again. When we met, I was active duty Army and had great self confidence. It is amazing what verbal abuse and living with a narcissist for 23 years will do to you. I had been suicidal in 2008 and probably part of 2009 but I was at least healthy enough mentally that I didn’t go down that path again. In fact, I remember one night telling him that he was NOT  going to kill me. I would live through the divorce and I would be okay. I was determined to not get suicidal again and I have not. I have had moments, very brief, where I have felt like I might go down that road again but I have endured and survived.

I was blogging prior to his filing about my depression and he took it all as an attack  and reflecting poorly on him so that blog is gone. I hope to be able to release these things again as they are healing for me and I did have several people tell me how it helped them. I have survived and am stronger and healthier than I have been in ten years. There is life after divorce. It is not always easy. Financially, I struggle (a lot due to that lemon car he gave me) but I am happier. I am allowed to be me without being criticized. I can go do things without feeling guilty leaving my partner sitting on the sofa watching television and getting fat. I do miss having a partner but, honestly, he wasn’t a partner for many years prior to him blindsiding me. He had been planning for years. I am sure he was stashing money. I would not be surprised if he had had a girlfriend at the time. Those things do not matter anymore. I am happy now. I am not sure he is. I am not happy that we cannot speak anymore and I cannot let go of anger towards him yet. Most of it is from things he did that affected the kids negatively. I know my anger affected my relationship with ex-bf. I have got to learn to let so much more go before I can be serious with someone. If he can quit hurting the kids, that would be much easier.

I hate today and days like today. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I haven’t seen the sun in three days. Maybe it is just a down day. I don’t know. What I do know is that I woke up at 4 am from a dream that ex-bf was in. We were not together. He was with his current gf but we were hanging out and having a great time, like we always do. Considering that I hardly see him anymore, this made me miss him and our friendship. I also had awoken with a massive migraine and just wanted to sleep. I think I did sleep a little longer but by 630ish was out of bed suffering with this damn headache and feeling lonely.

I had wanted to go skiing today but had decided that instead I would get some things done around the house and ski next weekend when the tourist influx will be a little smaller and maybe ski both days. My house is an absolute disaster right now and I really wanted to get some things done but with my mood and how I felt this morning, I have barely gotten anything done. The one thing that was real important to me turned out to be a mess. My ex-husband was a wood worker and the bed frame I have been using he built. I have wanted to get rid of it for ages. I have had fantasies about burning it. Well R gave me a new bed frame with headboard and foot-board. Since I have a Tempurpedic mattress and the bed I currently have is solid wood, I wanted to exchange this when my son was home to help. The shit is HEAVY. So, we take apart the bed I have been using. Move it out and cannot get the new frame together. It appears something is missing. Tried calling R but he couldn’t figure it out either. After a while, the kids and I decided to give up and move the old bed back in so I wouldn’t be on the floor and I just started sobbing. Poor kids. I didn’t realize how much I did not want that bed until it wasn’t there any more. My poor middle kiddo goes to her room and tears apart her bed so I can use it and she will sleep on the floor on her mattress until we figure out the other one. My son just comes over and holds me.

I hate when I get that way. I am glad I don’t very often anymore but occasionally everything just seems to come to a head all at once. R has said he will come over and help me with the bed later and double check to see if there were more pieces that he missed previously. Hopefully, I am in a better mood tomorrow but unfortunately, sunny Colorado, at least my part, is not supposed to see the sun much if at all this week. I do know that affects me terribly. I need my sun every few days. At least when I am back at work tomorrow, I will be exercising and that helps, too. I guess for tonight, I will try and get some things done around here and put on some music. Maybe that will perk me up a bit. Depression is such a terrible thing to deal with and I have fought with it since I was young. My meds do help but there are still down times occasionally.

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