My Dance with Suicide

Suicide has been in the news so much more lately. It seems that I run into people quite often now, that a suicide has touched their life. I do not know if this is because it is more prevalent or if the stigma related to it has just gone away. Either way, I feel guided to share my own personal experience with suicide. This is a story I seldom share with anyone but I have decided to now, hoping that it will help someone in some way.

First off, I have never been diagnosed as depressed or with any psychiatric illness. I have also never taken medications for mood or psychiatric issues, not that there is anything wrong if someone does have psychiatric issues or needs psychiatric medications. These are true conditions and illnesses that many people struggle with daily. These medications are life changing for many and there should be no stigma associated with these diagnoses or medications. I just say this to simply let you know that this was not a part of my story. I also was not using drugs or drinking. None of the usual suspects contribute to my journey down this dark road.

This took place when I was a teenager. I was angry. I felt alone, although I was not. I felt unloved, although many people loved me. I cannot say if it was because of the hormonal surges that all teenagers go through or perhaps just related to the fact that I focused on all the bad (in my life) and ignored the good. I wrapped the drama of everything around me like a protective cloak. What we think about we bring about, so this quickly became a downward spiral for me.

All of this darkness, anger, and very low vibration continued until I finally came to the point that I wanted to take my life. I was in high school and I wrote a note to my best friend. Just thanking her for being a wonderful friend. I left school early and went home. My parents were both at work. At home, alone, I gathered the supplies to execute my plan. I had decided to take a bottle of aspirin and cut my wrists. I didn’t want to risk that I might not be successful in executing my plan. I wrote my note. I do not remember what was going through my head while I was writing the note, but I do still have it tucked away.

As I was getting ready, the phone rang and I answered it. I can’t say why I answered the phone, but I did. The school counselor had been alerted by my best friend, who had figured out what I was going to do from the note I had left her. I spoke to my mother and the counselor came out to the house to speak with me. I lied and told everyone that it was never my plan to commit suicide. Privately I was very glad that my plan had been foiled and I suddenly looked forward to the next day. Perhaps I just needed the confirmation that people did indeed care. Perhaps I needed the chance to see there was more to life than the darkness that had enveloped me. Whatever the reason, I have never had thoughts of ending my life since. My friendship totally fell apart and this dance with suicide caused the loss of my best friend.

Fast forward to now. I live a blessed life. I am a happy and positive person. It is hard to look back and even realize that I was that same angsty, suicidal teenager. I have since found my high school best friend and apologized to her for my lie. I truly felt horrible for this lie. Perhaps this is why I believe that lies are among the worst thing you can do and why I do not tell lies. I told this dear woman that she did, in fact, save my life and I was very grateful for her intervention. I love life. At that time I could not have anticipated the twists and turns my life was going to take, nor could I have begun to guess how magical and full of blessings my life would be.

I wish back then I could have known that the darkness that so easily settles in your soul can be shed by changing your focus. It does not happen over night but by counting blessing and looking for the silver lining it can begin to shift. I wish I had known that I had the power to take control of my life. I wish I would have realized that I was not alone. I wish I had know that it was safe to talk to adults about how I was feeling. I wish I would have realized that the hormones that were raging through my body could have been contributing to how I was feeling. I wish I would have known that what I was experiencing many others also experience. That I was normal. I wish I could have realized how many people really care even if they way they showed it was kind of messed up.

If you are in a dark or low place. Please get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. You do not know what blessings are waiting for you in the future. There are more lives that are touched by yours than you can even imagine. If your life has been touched by someone’s suicide, I am so sorry for your loss and the pain you have been impacted by. I send kind and loving intentions to all of you.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you see all the blessings in your life, as if by magic.

*Photo was taken at Blue Springs, FL

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Duality – now you see it now you don’t

Opposites attract we have heard. This is certainly true with the ends of a magnetic while those that are the same push apart. Have you ever spent much time thinking about duality?

Marty and I went dog sledding on Thursday and then flew to Florida for a long weekend. From 7 to 87. Talk about duality! One day I am sledding through the snow and the next walking on the beach. Both are nature, both have a form of water, but the similarities end there. The forest was full of trees the sun was out but the air remained cold. The beach did not have trees, although we walked past some palm trees to get there, sand instead of sun sparkles unfolded the sun.

Realities are all around us. They are in all aspects of life. Hungry – full, male – female, happy – sad, dark – light. Dualities are necessary for us to appreciate the opposite. Because we experience sorrow we can truest appreciate joy. If we always had joy in our life it would be like the air we breath, we would take it for granted.

Whatever we always have we take for granted and it’s specialness wears off. For example – when I went to India we wanted to see a yak – well it wasn’t long when we were seeing yaks on the street and we stopped pointing them out to each other. They were everywhere. Then we wanted to see a monkey. We traveled to an area where the monkeys where plentiful and we would see them in groups in the trees and on top of the buildings. Again, we got used to seeing them. Our brains have a wonderful adaptive nature. We grow accustomed to the world around us. If those things we really enjoy became a constant they would stop being special, like the yak and the monkeys. We need to occasionally have a lack of yaks and monkeys to fully see them through those childlike lenses of awe. This is the purpose of duality. This is the reason why sometimes we must suffer and go without, so that we have an appreciation of the wonders in our life.

What dualities have you noticed in your life? Love and hate? Have and have not? Fact and fiction? I recent competed in a “tall tails” contest in my Toastmasters club. Fabrication does not come natural to me but it was fun to take a hand at it and now I have that to contrast with the factual speeches I give. It was very free to tell a tall tail even though my inner self wanted to keep correcting the information.

Notice the dualities my friends. Wishing you a life of abundance and joy and just enough duality to appreciate it.