grief


I’ll never forget April 20th, 1999.

Source: Thoughts on Vegas, and Why Men Keep Doing This – Be Yourself

This is a real good read on what is going on with men in our society. I highly recommend The Mankind Project to help our men.

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My life has been super crazy the past few weeks. I have a lot to share and blog about but right now my focus is my birthday. I turn 50 on Saturday. I don’t know why we focus so much on decades but we do. I have been thinking a lot about the last ten years. Ten years ago was one of the most difficult of my life. We had the year of the deaths and it was when my marriage really started falling apart. I got depressed again and really had no motivation to live. I changed jobs thinking it would help my marriage. It didn’t. I started drinking very heavily and was not sure if I wanted to go forward. My children did throw me a great birthday party for my fortieth. It is a great memory. They threw me a massive surprise party. I had friends and family from all over the country surprise me here at my house. We had a band, food, and overall a great time. That was my last good birthday as a married woman. My ex-husband was never much about celebrating birthdays so there were only a few even decent ones while I was married.

I now look back at the past ten years and remember all the heartbreak I had when my marriage dissolved and several more people dying that I cared about. It has been rough in many ways but, in others, it has been great. I now look back at my divorce as one of the best things that ever happened to me. It took me a long time to realize that but I sure have. Since the divorce, I have grown so much. I am now stronger and healthier and happier than I have been in probably fifteen years. I feel better than in years. I look great. I am stronger and in much better shape than I was ten years ago. I no longer feel like I need someone to take care of me. I find my own solutions to my problems. I have a job that a love, a complete new set of friends, and my kids love me. I am lifting weights again. I no longer have breathing issues or chronic pain. I am sleeping better. I have gotten used to being solo most of the time and it doesn’t bother me. I honestly feel that IF I end up with someone, they will be so lucky to have me. I am actually better emotionally than I ever have been in my life. It took fifty years to get to where I really and truly love myself and am confident and happy.

A couple of weeks ago, I was very sad that my birthday was coming up and I was going to spend it alone but now I am not. I had one girlfriend take the bull by the horns and now several of us are meeting at the local steakhouse. I will get 50% off my meal and then we will hit the town. My ex-bf/ bff is coming as well as several others. I am actually excited for my day again. I won’t be alone to ring in my next decade. I will be with people that love ME for me and accept me for ME. FIFTY is going to be a great year and I am like a fine wine, I am going to keep getting better with age.

I never thought that watching someone else’s break-up would devastate me so personally but I was wrong. My best friend (ex-bf) and his new girlfriend broke up about ten days ago. I cried for two days. I am just absolutely heart- broken for him. He loves her so much. They were going to go back east to meet his family and she was in the process of moving in with him when she broke it off. He was stunned and I am struggling.

After a couple of days, I realized two things. I was heart-broken for him. I thought he had finally found what he was looking for.  He was so damn happy and I so wanted that for him. The second thing I realized was they gave me  hope. To have her walk away so suddenly when things were so good, makes me have less faith that I might find someone. I truly believe a lot of what happened to them was cold feet for her but he is so angry and hurt that he says he doesn’t want to try if she decided she wants to.

I do not understand. We are all in our fifties. She admits she loves him. He loves her. Why the hell are they both so damn stubborn and not willing to work through the issue. I am done crying over them and will be there for him so he won’t withdraw from the world. I sure wish they could work things out. I loved seeing him so happy. Now, I get to worry about him.

http://thoughtcatalog.com/holly-riordan/2016/06/my-world-would-be-so-different-if-you-were-still-alive/

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.

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