I was a pretty sheltered child. My earliest memories are running hard to explore the 10 acres our home sat in the middle of, complete with barn, wood shed, 100-tree orchard, hay fields, cattle, horses, and of course an amazing tree house.
I honestly can’t remember a time that I felt bored. Of course, you know we bipolar people – we have AMAZING imaginations.
I was loved. I was safe. I was free.
I never understood then just how much my mother gave up so that I could have that life; that I could just BE me. It is certainly bittersweet that my comprehension has now become clearer.
There are a few vague memories of overhearing frantic phone calls in the night, my sisters keeping me out of the way, the family doctor rushing through the back door and up to the master bedroom on the second floor.
I remember the doctor standing at the medicine cupboard in the kitchen, which consisted of a double stacked 4-foot shelf, and scooping bottle after bottle into a garbage sack.
All that registered to this little naïve youngster was that my Mom had been tired for a few days and we weren’t supposed to bother her, and also that the doctor must not understand the rule that we NEVER touch anything on that shelf.
Continue reading Being a suicide survivor
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.
So, what now?
Continue reading A life that hurts vs. one that just sucks
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.)
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.
Continue reading Empathizing vs. enabling
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:
Continue reading Being lonely vs. being alone
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.
Why 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.
Continue reading Simplifying the Semantics of Suicide