Thursday, February 2, 2012

Reaching out...

     Thursdays are usually my Travel days to blog about, but today I need to "get real" and write about something that has touched my life recently in more than one way.  It is an uncomfortable subject about a selfish action actually... but not mine... and it is a topic that most people want to avoid because they just don't understand it.  They don't understand why it happens, when it happens, or the people it happens to.  They don't understand how they could have missed the signs, why the person didn't reach out, call, talk, scream  at the top of their lungs if necessary.

     Early this morning, we found out about that someone close to my husband, someone who was a "brother from another mother," someone he cared about and shared memories with had died in a manner that appears to have been by his own hand.  I say "appears" because the circumstances were such that it could have been murder, but either way, this man's five year old son found him.  That little boy is always going to have that memory now and wonder the same question he asked when he found him... "Daddy, why won't you talk to me?"

     "Why didn't you talk to me?"

     It is a question we all ask when we hear of a similar situation.  It is something that a sister-in-law dealt with when her mother died, and something another co-worker suspects in the death of her mother.  Over the 2011 Christmas and New Year holidays, it was something that that a fellow blogger wrote about after losing a friend, who was also a mother, to suicide. 

     There, I said it.  Suicide.

     I don't want it to be something that is hushed up, swept under the rug, denied, or prettied up to make it something that its not.  That is part of the problem.  And it is a big problem.  Especially here at Ft. Hood where they have weekly suicide awareness training.  Not just one day a week, but three times in one day every single week because that is how much of a problem it is, and how serious the Army is about changing those statistics.

     I understand those feelings.  I've had them.  Been there.  But I made the choice not to buy the t-shirt for that one.

     Life is hard.  Some people's lives are harder than others.  But there are ways to get help.  Not just get help with those thoughts and feelings, but with the other things that make our lives hard and make us feel that there are no other options.  We are never alone in our pain.  Never.  Whatever shoes you are walking in right now, I can guarantee that someone else walked in those shoes too.  Walked that same path, made the same mistakes, felt the same despair.  And believe it or not... they survived it.  Survived that pain, that mistake, that despair, those thoughts and feelings.  Because things ALWAYS get better.  They do.  Honest.  There is always that rainbow after the rain.  The sunshine after the darkness.  Things DO change.  Every single day you wake up is a chance to make a different choice, a better decision... and put on a new pair of shoes.

     Taking your own life is a permanent solution to a temporary situation.  It is also a selfish solution because even if you leave a note behind trying to explain why you did it... no one will ever understand it.  And they will always ask...

      "Why didn't you talk to me?"

      So I'm asking you to talk to me.  If you read this and it hits close to home with you, or close to someone in your life's home... talk to me.  I don't have all the answers.  I'm not perfect.  I make mistakes.  But I wake up every morning and put on a new pair of shoes, and if you need some help finding a new pair too... talk to me.  Talk to someone.  Because you are never, ever, ever alone.  I promise.


  1. Oh my, I am full of tears inside for all who knew the brother by another mother. I thank you for having the strength to spell out the word Suicide. I wanted to say it, Hell I wanted to scream it in my blog that day and yet I was a bit fearful that I would cause them to click away from the email and I so wanted them to know Life does get better and to talk to someone...I wasn't sure if I was just way too senitive having been there myself. I would love to find those magical words that could give those that are feeling such helplesness to know we can survive it and that we come out much stronger people. It has been my experiance that the ones that have been there are truly the only ones that understand it... When I have talked to people and friends that have never been that depressed...they have that deer in the headlight look like "what" " no I don't understand". then I think Thank God they don't I wouldn't want everyone I know to have been there and almost done that. As my pledge to you again if you need to vent I am here for you too. Thank you doens't sound like the right thing to say but I am greatful and thankful you shared this with me... If it is ok, I would like to put a link to this article on my page to reinstate it again.

  2. I'm talking to you and will each day, ten times a day if needed, to hear your voice. Telling you my heart is beating for you each day. Something I have not said to anyone, which happened over ten years ago, I was face to face with my soul mate who left this world to go to his heavenly home, by illness not suicide. Close enough to it tho. My words to him, said over and over were " Don't do this to ME, don't do this to ME". Guilt, that is what I live with still today, could I have done more to help him get better so that we would still be with each other here on this earth. That is a place I'm learning to not go, and because of your blog I will get beyond it, along with your love too. LYL

    1. My heart beats for you too, Mom. And will. But you need to let go of the guilt because he really didn't do it "to" you, he made his choices for himself and you loved him in spite of it. You know the saying that you can drag a horse to water but you can't make him drink. You did more just by loving him than anyone else could have done for him. I wish he had loved himself enough to make the choice to get help, but it was his choice and should never be your burden. ILY2

  3. That is so sad, when they can´t see another path. In cases of selfloathing, most of the reasoning behind it is not only I´ll be better off (as I can´t take this any more) but also the whole world will be better off without me (because I´m so bad). Many times these feelings are kept under wraps because of shame and that makes the person unable to talk to others.
    You are making a tremendously generous offer by opening a safe space for people to talk. Bless.

  4. Cindi,
    You have such a beautiful spirit. Your offer is so generous.
    I am in the "business" of healing hearts...I wish that pain didn't exist, but it does. And I wish that pain was bearable for everyone, but it's not.
    Thank you for being and for sharing as you do:)

  5. Thanks for commenting on my blog today. As you read, I'm in that place at the moment. It is a living hell. No amount of "things will get better" helps or even makes sense. Some things - like my spine and my pain will *not* get better. Thats been explained by the pain specialist already. Limitations to my physical abilities and the kind of life I can have are such that I question quality of life vs mere existence. Add being refused decent medical care, a mental health system in crisis and bipolar out of control there is not much point to getting up the next day.

    Selfish? I understand that reaction. I've had two brothers commit suicide and I know the wreckage it leaves behind. But if one can understand the reasons behind euthanasia, then understanding suicide with the same compassion shouldn't be too hard.

    1. Sharon, I do understand the reasons behind euthanasia and am not against it. I watched my father slowly suffocate over six months until he was finally freed. If he had been able to have the option to end it sooner, I'm sure he would have and I wouldn't have tried to talk him out of it. I've also had pets that I have had to put down because of their pain. I understand pain. I understand, really I do. I'm in constant pain from my fibromyalgia which is one of those invisible things no one really understands and people just want to shake their heads and say that it is all in my head. It's not. The lack of sleep at times because no matter how I lay I cramp up... and not just a charley horse type of cramp but a deep in my bones pain I can't explain. And my pain won't get better either, only worse. The doctor said the arthritis in my spine looked like that of a 65 year old... not the 45 year old I was at the time.

      The "selfishness" was for those people who give up from a broken heart, or a lost job. I understand that pain also, but those things will get better. I saw a plaque that says 'No boy is worth crying over, and the one who is won't make you.' I wish that could be tattoo'd on the arm of every teen girl (or boy) who thinks they can't live without that special someone.

      There are selfish suicides and then there are compassionate releases. And there is a difference that we as a society need to recognize.