Overestimating our own integrity

Ann and I have been having a bit of a laugh at my expense these last few days.

I slipped in to the hospital for a cervical fusion at a couple of levels last Friday. Being Superman in my own mind, I was sure that within a few days I’d be chomping at the bit to be swinging my arms while I walked briskly to hurriedly heal in my recovery.superman

I’d give it until Monday until I needed to be up to speed again (I would imagine that in my case up to speed would be a relative term?).

Anything else simply would not work for me; just too inconvenient.

Hence, Ann’s laughter.

I was having a bit of a pity party last night while Ann cleaned the bathrooms (clearly my responsibility) after she had a long day at work.

To me it seemed unbearable to go the few weeks of crushed machismo to have Ann do some of the things that I had promised her I would always handle. It made me look like a big wuss (kind of ironic how I felt that was the cause of my wussiness and not the constant moaning…)

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A life that hurts vs. one that just sucks

This is part 4 of a 4-part series on Simplifying the Semantics of Suicide

For part 1, click here

“The solution to all of life’s problems can be found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

I absolutely know this to be true.

There is pain in life. It hurts. Sometimes it hurts a lot. Sometimes it feels like it is more than we can overcome. Sometimes it all becomes too much.

Sometimes we simply ask to get off the ride.

But, if we have made it to this point, it means that we are still buckled in and heading up the next incline on the roller coaster.

We’ve committed to stay on the ride.

roller coaster2

So, what now?

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Empathizing vs. enabling

This is part 3 of a 4-part series on Simplifying the Semantics of Suicide

For part 1, click here

I keep reminding Ann that I am not the lemon she married 25 years ago, but have blossomed into something pretty wonderful. She may agree that the lemon is gone, but I’m not sure she would go so far as to say I’m something wonderful.

Oh well, one step at a time I suppose.

One example of me being a lemon (or just a downright horse’s backside) happened not long after we were married. As I was blowing out the door to class one morning I said something along the lines of “be sure you get that car washed and cleaned out by the time I get home.” (Yes I know, I still cringe at whatever stupid pill I had swallowed that morning.)car2

Anyway, when I got home that night the car was sitting in the driveway, in exactly the same condition it was when I left that morning.

I was dumbfounded.

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Being lonely vs. being alone

This is part 2 of a 4-part series on Simplifying the Semantics of Suicide

For part 1, click here

A friend posted a link to the story of Madison Holleran. It is an article about a young woman who committed suicide. I recommend the time to read it.

In digesting Madison’s story, you will see that she was smart, athletic, popular, in demand at several universities, and surrounded by family and friends who all cared deeply about her.

Madison was loved by so many.

But as near as I can tell, she did not feel she was loved by the one.

Let me explain:

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Simplifying the Semantics of Suicide

This is part 1 of a 4-part series on Simplifying the Semantics of Suicide.

A good friend commented about our posting regarding those the mentally ill have left behind a few days ago. She was genuinely concerned about daily interactions with people struggling, not only with mental illness, but with addictions and even issues that one may consider to be self-imposed.

Regardless of all the differences of the why we find ourselves stuck, the similarities of the how to get through deserve more focus.

Over time society has redefined and, perhaps, made judgments on those mired in suicide’s depths without truly understanding all the intricate components.

Ann and I have talked at length, and we have shared with our children, how our story may be different from that of so many others.

happy groupWhy are we so happy in the midst of things that have devastated others? How have we made it work for us while others aren’t so fortunate? What created the safe haven where we can communicate so openly and honestly and vulnerably about our pain, and at the same time genuinely laughing about it?

Semantics are what people connote something to be, rather than what it really may be. We need to narrow that gap between what we think we know, and what we probably should know.

I readily acknowledge that I will stumble over this as I try to put words to the indescribable.

But I think it is worth trying anyway.

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