Saturday, August 23, 2014
Just read of yet another suicide. This was the percussionist for a band in Portland, OR. 43 years old. Shot himself. Even prior to the suicide of Mr. Williams, this has been a year of an uncommon amount of those in the spotlight taking their lives. It is almost becoming as common place a the proverbial showing off of the baby bump. And it is very sad. These lives were as yet undetermined as to the amount of joy they could have and bring to this world. It is only in the bleakest moments that such acts are initiated. Yet life has so much more to offer for those who can see past the haze.
1974. I was 23 years old. Had just suffered through an agonizing hospitalization, and was given a major mental health diagnosis. I felt okay when I left the hospital, and while at home with my parents for awhile, but the diagnosis was figuratively killing me. I saw no one like me in the world who would ever amount to anything. I was almost totally helpless when one night, alone in our lower level bathroom, I grabbed a bottle of my mom's pills that she was using for anxiety. I downed more than half of them, and went to bed. That was it for me. My way out from my new disturbing and impossible circumstance. Only thing was, I think now that they were placebos. I woke up the next morning. Sun was shining brightly, air was warm. I was feeling fine. No ill effects. AND I DIDN'T DIE! I was alive. I was kind of a confessional sort of kid, so I told my mom I took them. Nothing seemed to change between us. I had been seeing a psychiatrist, and continued seeing him. I had a very good relationship with a psychiatric social worker. I felt very much that she was on my side.
Shortly after that I met my wife, who was also in my corner. Years of work in therapy and in nightly coffee trips out with my then girlfriend led to me moving on, albeit slowly, with my career. There was a major geographical move to just leave the past behind. Eventually my wife and I had a child, and then he had two children, and now, there is a beautiful 3 year old girl and her younger brother who bring joy to the world and who wouldn't be here today had I been successful on that evening in 1974, or on any subsequent night.
LIfe has innumerable ways to reward you for sticking around. Of course life has setbacks, but there is a resiliency anyone can develop that pulls you through the tough times, and there are lots of people along the way who you wouldn't want to have missed out on.
Let's not let this become more of a trend. Seek help from whomever you can trust. It takes a lot of work, but it so much more interesting to see just what's around the bend. Glenn