Tag Archives: suicide

Today is October 17, 2015. I am alive and well.

I have a friend who is suicidal. Last time I attempted suicide was in 1998. It’s been years since I’ve even thought about it. The dragon use to catch me in his flame; ten to fifteen times in my lifetime. Sometimes, I’d be so burnt, I’d have to spend days in the Intensive Care Unit.

I am bad at dying. My cats keep me loving. My friends keep me loving. My God keeps me loving. All this love distances me from the flame. When I was in his clutches, alone in his cave, no one could reach me. I want to say something to my friend, more that just “I’m hear for you,” but when you’re where she’s at you’re like a dried popsicle stick. There is nothing left to melt.

My last stay in ICU, a beautiful, tiny, East Indian doctor woke me simply to tell me I still had many things to do in my lifetime. I was 34-years-old. I blinked, then closed my eyes. I couldn’t hear her footsteps as she left the room. She was tiny in body but large in soul. I’ve never forgotten her.

I would love to say I wanted life right that minute; I didn’t. I still had months in the cave. I finally looked in the door and saw sun, saw moon, saw grass, smelled bacon, felt warmth…felt. I felt something other than despair. I wish love for my friend. I will offer her a popsicle . Grape may be the wrong flavor, but if she holds it long enough it will melt leaving her hand sticky, able to grasp something other than despair.

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Today is June 15, 2015. I am alive and well.

So, yesterday I came across a book at the library for children titled Combat Handbook. Although it is a gaming book, I was appalled by the title. How did I come across this book? I work at the library as a page and it was mine to check in.

Where do we draw the line at what we give children to read? Is it a kind of censorship if we restrict topics we find inappropriate  for children? These aren’t new questions. But are they ever answered? Some writers’ priority is to sell books. The title Combat Handbook will sell books.

Something else I find disturbing at the library is that we now subscribe to The National Enquirer. Why? Because there is an audience for it. Man has double heads, Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson’s ghosts haunt Hollywood stages, the martian will be landing soon, or is alien the new word for martian. These things are not even close to the most outrageous of things found in The National Enquirer. Maybe The National Enquirer fills a hole in people that need to feed on imaginative tales.

Other media that appalled me was the show on television called 100 Ways to Die. What is that? For a person such as myself, who has attempted suicide at least eleven times in my 51-year-old life, this is not a show for me to watch. When darkness drops over me, I don’t need to know ways to die that are fool proof. Today, I know I am terrible at dying. Today, I am far from wanting to die. This is amazing to me; I haven’t felt haunted for a good seven years.

I don’t have children. I don’t play electronic games. Maybe if I had children and did play electronic games, I would feel much different about a book called Combat Handbook for children. It seems to me that the generation of children now will have very different experiences to draw from once they reach adulthood. I am all for change. I believe it is the responsibility of adults to impart as much knowledge as possible to young people and encourage them to surpass what we do in this life of ours. May the next generation be smarter, kinder, and healthier than we are.

Today is May 31, 2015. I am alive and well.

I was in bed for three days with a bad cold. Fever that made me sweat and gave me chills, body ache, sore throat, exhaustion. I was so tired that I told a friend in a text that I could not text because texting was too tiring. These three days reminded me of the two years I spent in bed at my grandmother’s eating chocolate cake and cheese danish and showering every other week.

These two years had me trapped beneath a stone slab laying on my chest and abdomen. It cracked, releasing me when I needed to go to the toilet or eat. On my trip to the bathroom, I ignored my reflection in the mirror, knowing it would only prove how dismal I felt and how hollow eyed I was.

I was so sensitive to sound that my grandmother’s foot steps down a carpeted hall drove me to madness. I wanted to shout at her “please stop walking and learn to fly” knowing she would do her best to step silently. As for flight, well, that belonged to another reality, another space and time. My grandmother would have done anything to make life more bearable for me, thus the chocolate cake and cheese danish.

I spent two years reading suspense novels, falling asleep to the murder of Joe and Alice, only to wake miserable once again, seeking solace in the world of books.

So having this cold frightened me. I thought how easy it would be to let the stone slab slip into place; armor against an unknown world. I had to remind myself that those two years were sixteen years behind me; lost to the ragged T-shirts I would put on one on top of the other hoping to mask my body odor.

It amazes me how true it is that our bodies hold memories. My body remembers that painful time of wishing I would die because I could not cope with the sun, I could not cope with waking, I could not cope with my grandmother loving me so much as to not be critical of the fact that I could not leave the house.

And then I left the house. I have had sixteen years of leaving the house. There is joy in my life today. Life is a steady stream of occurrences. I eat salmon and green salads. I bathe regularly. Simply said, I love. I love the way the breeze moves over my skin. I love the touch of my friends as we embrace, which will repeat itself the next time we meet.

My grandmother is dead now, but I love the way I can hold her memory in my palm, hear her feet sliding over the carpet, stare at her photo, knowing she is not missing but rises with me as I leave the house.

(I promise my next blog won’t be so long!)

Today is March 22, 2015. I am alive and shaking…

…I won’t be going into why I”m so rattled, though.

I laugh because when I brought Grams and Annie home from the Humane Society they were basically feral. Now Grams is all over me most of the time. And Annie will come and snuggle up to me if I take a nap. Grams is a black fireball, always wanting to bring heat to my body. Annie is the soldier at the window, making certain we are safe. I am their mom, watching them prance around. Cats are certainly grateful.

I did not prance and was not graceful growing up. I was a gangly 6′ tall girl at 13. I left my body to spend time in my mind. I would appear to be sitting at my desk in ninth grade, but my eyes took a bow and I would be traveling by flight to Switzerland. I picked Switzerland because the Swiss seemed so beautifully neutral and anonymous. They don’t make the newspapers. There is no war in their country. I love chocolate and have a great respect for money.

While in Switzerland, I dreamt i covered huge canvases in bright colors. Today, they would be considered sister canvases to Rothko’s work. He the dark colors and me the bright. He the solemn one and me the free spirited one, a fly landing her and there and everywhere, terribly curious as to what the spot of life I live in brings. Rothko came to  a tragic end; he took his own life at a young age. I have had over ten suicide attempts in my lifetime. I am really bad at dying. It’s amazing that I will be 51 on Friday.

I live in my body today. I don’t need alcohol to do that for me like it did for so many years. My height at Christmas time is a beautiful thing; I can be in a crowded shopping mall and not suffocate.

Today is June 15, 2014. I am alive and well.

I am a women whose outline is continually traced by a black pen. Letters flow from the pen in quick succession, creating a quick glimpse of me:  tall, long dark hair, black clothing, Converse sneakers or black boots, slender, ten fingers, ten toes, two arms,two legs, and a hunger that pushes me forward from where I stand.

I haven’t always had the hunger. I was thinking today how good life is and how far I have come from being a woman obsessed with death, believing suicide may be the answer, to the usually joyful person I now am. I have peace. Sometimes my black outline gets smudged and I need to move in a different direction than where I was originally headed. But, move I do. The strength of the outline returns.

I have a friend who has stage 3 cancer. Her cancer has led me to reflect on my own life and inevitable death. I realized today that I actually fear death now. I definitely don’t want to die anytime soon, and not by my own hand. I can’t express in words the miracle that this is. Life is more than possible. Life leaves me ecstatic, wanting to become the person God intended me to be. I grow in the light and dark. The balance of the two I have come to rely on. Step in mud and track it into the house; then gratefully clean it up. 

Today is June 11, 2014. I am alive and well.

I am loved beyond the edge of language–this is a line I wrote when talking about my friends in my second book. And it is true.

My first suicide attempt was at the age of eighteen. I remember having to tell myself over and over that no one cared for me, no one loved me. In doing this, I was attempting to rid myself of any responsibilities I had in regards to my family and friends. I did not want to think that maybe, just maybe, I was letting someone down by taking my own life. Ha. Letting someone down…people would have been devastated!

Today, when I have rough days (the days are not nearly as rough as they were in my late teens and twenties) I think about the people I am responsible to. That thinking pulls me through. I don’t know how healthy a psychologist would say this is, but if I can’t do it for myself, I can do it for them. This is why living with someone is such a big deal. I am responsible to Guy.

With Guy gone these last six weeks, I have fared much better than I thought I would. There are nights when I feel like I’m losing my mind, or that I’m having a melt down. I tell myself I’m just tired, I need rest, and it wil all look different in the morning. And by God, it does. I wake up with that new lease on life. I would have said “leash” on life but I don’t feel that much in control of things, which is good because often I don’t know what the best thing for me is and I don’t need to know. Intuitively, I take that next step forward and am slowly lead to where I need to be. Things in a day miraculously unfold. Things in a day have been beautifully good.

I am loved beyond the edge of language.