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Thoughts on Bravery and Suicide

There is a quote, a meme I’ve seen on Facebook, that reads…
“The bravest thing I ever did was continue my life when I wanted to die”

I don’t know where that quote originated. At first glance, it’s powerful and holds some truth but if staying alive is brave; what’s the opposite scenario?

I wasn’t being brave when I chose to stay alive. I wasn’t being a coward when I planned my suicide or when I swallowed that bottle of pills.
I was hurting and exhausted.

I wasn’t brave or strong all the times I did nothing after I had cried out for it to all be over; after I had given up trying to fight or pretend.

I was broken and helpless, so helpless that I hadn’t the energy to even complete the task at hand. I wasn’t even good at dying.

I was empty. I felt nothing. I had no hope of ever rising above the madness or rising at all. Motionless, emotionless and every other thing-less.

But never brave or strong or intelligent or worthy. Never worthy, of happiness or pleasure or contentment or relief.

I would then think to myself, emptiness is a step up from pain in a sense. I can do this. Feel nothing, be nothing, do nothing. I’m really good at the last one.
Resolve to accept the even keel of numbed emotions.
Sleep. Wake. Function. Repeat.

Depression and the suicidal thoughts that follow never allow me to maintain those four simple steps. They have other plans for me. Deviously waiting for me to think that I’m ever going to be better than just okay.
Sleep. Wake. Slip into the dark pit of hell. Repeat.

I know some of you know exactly what I’m talking about.
There’s one more step I need to add…
Hold on.
For no other reason than the sake of holding on, if that’s all you’ve got, grab it.
Don’t worry about being brave or strong, just don’t let go.



Six Feet Under – A Day in the Life of a Domestic Violence Survivor

It had been going on for about a year, the mind games, the emotional torment and the physical abuse.

I sustained numerous black eyes and bloody noses, before he realized that I couldn’t leave the house in that condition. He began purposefully hitting me where the bruises couldn’t be seen. At one time my back was completely covered in bruises.

I had an escape plan in the works but continued to be hopeful that I would never need to carry it out. There was good in between the bad. We had been going to marriage counseling and his abusive behavior had subsided for the longest time since it began.

He thought I was cheating on him with his business partner. Nothing I could say would convince him. Most of the physical abuse was triggered by this.

The business partner and his wife were friends of ours, I babysat their daughter, we had dinner at each other’s homes.
My husband began scrutinizing every reference his partner made to me and I to him.

One night my husband came home very late. When he climbed into bed, I reached over and touched his hair. It was filled with sand. His skin was hot and sweaty. I asked him what he had been doing. “I dug a grave for you and your boyfriend. His body’s in the trunk of the car. Go take a look.” He turned his back to me to go to sleep. I didn’t believe him, and I certainly wasn’t going to look…just in case.

A couple days had gone by and things had been tense but not horrible. We had an argument and this time I lost MY temper.
Anyone in an abusive relationship can tell you that is a big, bold mistake.

I told him to take me somewhere, anywhere. I threw some clothes in a bag and got in the car with our three year old daughter.

He didn’t hit me, he didn’t even seem angry. Calmly he drove us down the highway. Suddenly he pulled off the road and down a dirt path into the woods. I asked where we were going and he told me not to worry about it, he was just taking a shortcut.

He pulled the car over and jumped out. He brushed away a patch of leaves on the ground and moved a large piece of plywood. He jumped into the hole that he uncovered and picked up a shotgun.

My angry turned quickly to fear. A grave! He really did dig a grave!

He was now standing at the open car door, pointing the shotgun at my head. I was still sitting in the passenger seat, with our daughter sitting next to me, between us. He was screaming at me to tell him the truth, to give him the sordid details of the affair that he believed I was having.

Our daughter was crying, I was yelling back at him. I grabbed the shotgun and pointed it down to the floor.
He pulled it from my hands. My grip was tight, and as the shotgun was tugged from my hands it cut through the skin of my palms. Blood began pouring from my hands. Our daughter was screaming, my husband tore off his shirt and wrapped my hands in it. He threw the shotgun back into the grave and covered it with the wood and leaves.

We drove home. He spent the entire time apologizing, crying and begging me to forgive him. He stopped at a store and bought supplies to tend to my wounds. We sat in the car, in the parking lot of the store while he cleaned and bandaged my hands. Still apologizing, still crying.

He ordered dinner for us to take home, he bought me flowers.
He spent the evening treating me like a queen.
…and so it continued.


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15 Things That Will Make You Say “So What” (or What I Did Last Night)

1 Watched all things Jerry Seinfeld on YouTube and wondering just what it is about his voice that mesmerizes me.

2 Made a chart documenting my hot flashes; time, length, severity, activity…

3 Vowed to redo my work schedule to accommodate me and not everyone else. (Phrases to be eliminated: “Sure, I’ll switch my shift with Mary.” “Of course, I will stay on night shift until you can replace me.” -That was said in June, it’s almost October.-…and the infamous “Put me on wherever/whenever you want to.”)

4 Stared at my calendar.

5 Played solitaire on my phone.

6 Did a head to toe assessment of my physical attributes and flaws.

7 Did 200 squats and some Pilates.

8 Decided to throw out/give away the massive amount of stuff I’ve insisted I may need some day.

9 Wondered for the millionth time, does anyone really give a shit what I have to say or how I feel? Do I?

10 Drank too much coffee and smoked too many cigarettes.

11 Contemplated the meaning of life and the state of humanity.

12 Played John Lennon’s “Imagine”.

13 Watched infomercials and wanted everything.

14 Acknowledged how incredibly boring I am.

15 Gave up trying to end this list with something clever.


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Apathy and Small Talk Don’t Mix

Listening to someone talk, someone that I have nothing in common with, and it hurts.
I feel mean and selfish right now, but I just don’t care about this conversation.

I’m thinking about what I should say, what she may want to hear.
I’m thinking about catching up on reading something I am interested in, whatever that is.

I’m putting on my game face, nodding, smiling and giving an occasional “uh-huh”, but in my head I’m screaming “shut the fuck up!”.

I’m wondering if my eyes are beginning to glaze over, I can almost feel my pupils dilating more with every spoken word. Can’t she feel the tension in here?

I can be much more tolerant. I listen and I do care.
Just not today…and maybe not tomorrow, this is happening more and more lately.

So my mind wanders further and I’m recalling times when this has been me. Incessantly talking, even after the person I’m talking to is clearly not interested in hearing what I have to say.

Does anyone enjoy the sound of our words more than we do ourselves?
Are our thoughts as intriguing to anyone like they are to us?
Is this what irony looks like?
Why is she still talking?

I want to write this shit down.



Good Times, Bad Times

I had an especially rough weekend, not feeling well, I missed work last night (well, I didn’t “miss” it, but I didn’t go).
I hate the control my mind has over me.
Debilitating sadness comes from the slightest things sometimes. An argument with a family member, a disappointment. Even a positive change toward a better life can cause overwhelming stress.
It creates actual physical symptoms and even though I know this, it still scares me sometimes.
Last night it was chest pain. It’s a feeling I’m very familiar with, but each time; especially now that I’m older, I wonder if it’s just anxiety sending that crushing pain through my body or a medical emergency.
I’m fine, physically all better.
There is a heaviness in my head afterwards, however.
A feeling of guilt and irresponsibility.
I’m a reasonably intelligent, college educated woman, I tell myself. I’m tough, I’m strong and I’ve been through much worse, I say. But those words mean nothing, they don’t make me all better.
Today, I need to dust myself off and be a grown up again.
That means, not only functioning as one, but being respectful of myself. I need to give myself the understanding and compassion that I so easily give to others.


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I found this picture on Etsy.
I was not the lucky buyer. But thanks for the memories…

I had this same radio. I was about 13 years old and remember the day my mother bought it for me. A random gift, for no reason.
They are the best kind.

It was my constant companion for at least a dozen years, maybe more.

It sat in my bedroom window so I could get the best reception. If I position the antenna just right; so that it was touching the metal screen, I could get the best heavy metal rock station ever!
It sang me to sleep and through tears. It brought me to a whole other world outside of myself.

It also had a place on a shelf in the bathroom.
It accompanied my singing in the shower and dancing while getting ready for school or a night out.

When I was a wife and mother, it helped me get through some long and stressful days. The kitchen window was its new home. I didn’t work at the time, we had only one car and I was home alone with a very difficult child.
I still had this radio when the beginning of the end of my marriage was becoming my reality.
If I could listen to music, if I could sign and dance like no one was watching (because no one was), I would be alright.
Music was my mental escape.

This pink radio was one of my prized possessions. A bit of a status symbol, since I grew up in a time and place where most families had only one television, if that and children didn’t have any electronics of their own.
But more than that, it was the reason I came to love music so much, the reason I sing (off-key), the reason I dance and one of the reasons I started writing.

Thank you Panasonic and thank you Mom.



Writer’s Block (Again)

They call it writer’s block.

I call it frustration.
I also call it asshole and fucking bullshit and a whole bunch of other profanities…out loud.
I look at the barren white pages, glaring back at me.


There’s a hint of a smirk hidden between the college ruled lines on the paper.

Pretentious bitch.

I’ve been reading a lot of other peoples stuff to try to spark a fire.
All that has done is smear my ideas amongst theirs; like a Monet…except with words and messier, until I think there isn’t an original thought in my head.

“Who gives a shit what you have to say anyway?”
It speaks to me in the taunting, sing-song voice of a school yard bully.
“You call yourself a writer?”
I have no response; no defense.
No words.
They are lost somewhere out of my reach.

That’s pretty much it. I don’t even have a lot to say about not having a lot to say.
(Bangs head on desk. Makes obscene gestures.)


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