Sunday, December 21, 2014

Suicide- why it's not so shocking to want to end the pain

I don't consider myself someone who gets wrapped up in the lives and drama of celebrities, maybe because I have enough of my own.  But the devastating decision that Robin Williams made to end his life, his pain and his struggle has kind of really rocked my world.  Based on the fact that my newsfeed has been nothing but shares and comments and posts about how others feel about this, it's clear this is something that affects everyone in one way or another.

So many people make flippant comments when they don't understand or agree with something someone else does.  I'm guilty.  Reading the comments on the news feeds have made me angry and sad enough that I decided to be transparent, once more.

I have never found myself so desperate and lost that I have considered taking my own life.  I say that in a thankful way, not in judgment.  I've certainly been told by others how they could never have been as strong as me, how they wouldn't have been able to make it through enough times that I've wondered what other option is there other than getting through it.  I joke enough about finding myself in the crazy ward, I guess there's truth in every jest as I can understand what feeling completely crushed by facing tomorrow feels like.

Music, as I've shared over and over, moves and speaks to me.  I am guilty of listening to a song on repeat, ad nauseum.  Ask anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes with me.  Many times when I couldn't express what I was feeling, someone else validated it through their emotion and lyrics.


"Spend all your time waiting, for that second chance
for a break that would make it ok
there's always some reason, to feel not good enough
and it's hard at the end of the day,
I need some distraction
oh beautiful release,
memories seep from my veins,
let me be empty,
and weightless and maybe,
I'll find some peace tonight"

So many times I wanted to find peace.  I was desperate for a break that would make sense of everything that my heart had suffered through.  I have been down in a hopelessness and depression I wasn't sure I'd ever find my way out of.  Losing a kid will do that.  I remember after my divorce and I lost J, I was exhausted with hurting.  I know what it feels like to go to sleep with the only thought that waking up would be nothing other than the reality that my babies were gone.  I never wanted to kill myself but after waking up to the heaviness and emptiness of facing another day with so much pain, sometimes I wished I'd just never wake up.

"In the arms of the angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear
you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort here"

Want to talk about uncomfortable and scary?  Try sharing your honest heart and emotions.  It's not easy.

I can say that I have never truly lost hope that my life would get better.  I've never doubted that.  That's how I continue to stand. But sometimes the weight of getting through the pain of the now was more than I knew how to handle.   I understand how someone could feel that the decision that ending their pain was the only option.  I have always been surrounded by love, encouragement and support.  And I still understood that darkness.  I've also been surrounded by judgement, anger and criticism of how I was finding healing. But beyond that, I've been faced with judgement, criticism and anger at how I've chosen to live my life or simply because someone didn't want to take the time to get to know me.

I'm a strong person and it still broke me down.

I can't even imagine how isolating and hopeless going through life feeling alone and in so much pain could be without the encouragement and support of others. But I wouldn't have had the outpouring of love and support had I not shared my heart, the good, fab and ugly with others who shared their stories of survival with me.  AND IT HASNT BEEN EASY!  This is not a fun thing, constantly being seen as the person that is still hurting, still sad or still talking about "it."  The "it" changes, the pain of going through "it" doesn't but "it" lessens each time I let "it" out.

"so tired of the straight line
and everywhere you turn
there's vultures and thieves at your back
and the storm keeps on twisting
you keep on building the lies
that you make up for all that you lack
it don't make no difference
escaping one last time
it's easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
it's glorious sadness that brings me to my knees."

I have a beautiful life. I'm happy and content and have a joy that comes from a merciful God.  But I also know what the other side of life feels like and I'm not ashamed to admit that. 

I was depressed after I lost the boys. I was devastated at one loss after another.  Who wouldn't be?  Are you stronger because you choose to hide your feelings or are you stronger for sharing your pain and struggle with others? 

I read an interview today with one of Robin Williams' good friends. He said that Robin Williams was never ok with himself.  The only time he was comfortable was when there were at least 2 people in the room because then he had an audience.  He was never comfortable with himself.

I have lost people I love with my whole heart because I chose to share my life and it makes them uncomfortable.  I'd never ask or expect someone else to blog or sing or speak or tap dance if it made them uncomfortable but I'd also never judge anyone else for doing that if it brought them happiness.  I can't imagine judging someone for doing that if it brought them healing.

I was on stage this weekend in front of a group where I knew very few people.  I shared my heart and it was healing but it was also gut wrenching.  It was emotional and it was hard.  And I am a firm believer that the more you talk about something, the more you acknowledge pain, hurt, anger, confusion, awkwardness and the things that make you uncomfortable, the less power they have over you.

I have blogged, I've written, I've talked about what has hurt me.  What has brought me pain.  I've used self depreciating humor in an effort to take some of the heaviness off of it, not for my benefit, for the benefit of others who don't know how to handle someone who is as honest and transparent with their emotions as me.

How would you feel if you knew that a smile you gave a stranger made them feel like they weren't invisible?  If a kind word or a hug for someone may be the thing that turns them back to wanting to feel and try and keep going?  Wouldn't you do it?

What if your criticism, judgement and anger made someone who was hurting keep everything inside?  What if your question of -"Why do you think anyone cares about your blog?" or comment of "Why can't you just get over it and move on?" or "Who does she think she is?" Or or or- made someone go inside with their pain and hurt to a point where they shut down and internalized everything and instead of healing, the pain becomes a cancer that takes over their thoughts?   If your words carry so much weight and have the power to make an already hurting person completely shut down, wouldn't you stop?

My point...everyone is facing something, be kinder than necessary.  The emo kid who wears the dark clothes you think is weird?  Does it affect you what color their nail polish is?  The hurting woman who is crying or upset, wouldn't she benefit more from a hug and a kind word instead of judgement and criticism?  The man who is lost and broken, instead of making him feel bad for feeling, wouldn't it be nice if you prayed for him and let him know you cared?  The person who you know is trying to be strong, the person who hides behind laughter or drugs or alcohol or food?  If you can't love them, at least don't judge them!  A lot of hurting people have made bad decisions but a lot of hurting people are trying their best to get through a life that hurts because of someone else's choices or angry words spewed at them.

Hurting people hurt people.  Loving people love other people. Wouldn't you rather be someone that makes someone feel less alone than someone who makes an already hurting person feel more isolated?

The suicide of Robin Williams wasn't totally shocking as he's been severely depressed for a long time and from what I've read, it was something he'd considered more than anyone should.  It's shocking that someone who made everyone who watched him feel more alive was so plagued by self doubt and pain and devastating that someone whose light shined so brightly to make others feel, was never able to appreciate the light of what he added to a very dark world.

"Suicide is a very permanent choice for a temporary pain."  To the person contemplating it, I can only imagine that the pain doesn't feel very temporary.  I only hope that this tragedy will take the shame, the judgement and the isolation of being sad away from those already hurting.

If I could say anything to someone going thru pain, hurt and despair, it would simply be this. Don't give up. It's not cliche, it's not oversimplifying. Your life is precious and worth something so much more than it may feel right now, but God has the power to turn your darkest struggles into something more powerful than the hurt.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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