Last May a distant cousin wasn’t able to cross back over that blurred line between what is real and what is not and became lost in suicide.
Since we shared the almost inexplicable symptoms of bipolar depression, I was able to partially insert myself into his shoes and understand just how hard the daily battle is.
Since I am a husband and father and son, I was able to partially insert myself into his family’s shoes and understand a small portion of just how much pain a tragedy such as this brings.
In response, I tried to speak for this bright and energetic and accomplished man I called Sam. I felt that Sam’s family deserved to understand a bit of what was going through his mind, and that Sam deserved to be seen not as a victim, but as one who had fought valiantly for as long as he could.
So I wrote a letter from Sam to all who may have known him, and were hurting.
That being said, I think it may be a good time to try to help those who feel like they are on opposing sides of some difficult issues. It’s important to understand that the supposed battle lines can in fact be brought into a loop which encircles everyone to be united in helping each other.
Continue reading Letters to those who may feel lost
To clarify, I’m not stating that I, Greg, have pain that is greater than yours.
But as I read a few things posted recently regarding actively living a homosexual lifestyle and apostasy, and crying out for others to show compassion, I wonder if there are those who feel that their pain is far greater than that of their neighbor.
Perhaps I can offer a more encompassing perspective, though certainly not unique, as one with mental illness and same-sex attraction.
It would be hard for anyone to argue with me when I say that I feel I am qualified to voice an opinion about same-sex attraction, as well as choosing between suicide and homicidal tendencies and making it to the end of the day with everyone alive and intact, and at the same time actively choosing each day NOT to act upon that which feels natural within – be it sexual or mental.
In many ways, my coping mechanisms for each are the same.
Continue reading Why do you feel that your pain is greater than mine?
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