This is what I do, don't try to understand how I do it; I don't really know either

Archive for December, 2016

I can’t keep you alive

Since my last post about my friend who committed suicide, there have been opportunities where people have shared with me their desire to commit suicide. This has been incredibly painful. I am so heartbroken to see so much pain. I am so incredibly grateful that I have had the opportunity to share their pain with them.

At thanksgiving someone posted on facebook about their belief that no one except essential services should have to work on thanksgiving. I made the comment that not everyone wants to be, or is able to be with their families so perhaps allowing them to work is actually a very good thing for them. Someone responded that it was sad that this is the case and I agree, but I commented that it is a reality. See I don’t think that this lady even thought about the fact that there are people who don’t have a white picket fence and a super loving, squishy family who gives hugs and kisses and affirms everyone. On the one hand, I’m glad that it means she has this – I wish more did. On the other hand, I wish she would pull her head out of her ass because its not that hard to see the pain in the world around us. I mean does this lady not own a TV or ever leave her home??

Christmas is usually a time of year that people have more initiative to look for those who are hurting and that’s great. Christmas, and everything that it is, can bring a lot of hurt.

I still stand by my pledge that I am someone who you can reach out to and tell me your honest feelings – especially about suicide and I will listen. I won’t judge or ask why or try and make a huge list of why you shouldn’t do it. I will just be here to hear you so your not alone. Here’s the catch that you need to know: I can’t keep you alive. I will do everything I can to support you but I can’t fix everything – or sometimes even anything.

When I taught my kids to ride a bike (and I still have one more yet to go), I helped them get on, I walked with them, I gave them just the right amount of forward motion, I helped them steer but in the end they had to peddle and they had to ride the bike. I can’t ride your bike for you. If you need help getting on, then I can do that. If you need help moving forward, I can help with that, and if you need help steering, I’ll do my best but sometimes I get lost too. The only thing I can promise is that you won’t be alone while your trying to figure things out and hopefully if we keep trying together – one day you will ride without my support and we get to ride alongside each other and have a great adventure.

I want you to LIVE


 

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No sir, I will not mind my own f’ing business.

I live in a place where we don’t get a lot of snow. I chose that on purpose. As of right now we have been a one vehicle family for over two weeks because I can’t drive my car -because of SNOW.Yes its beautiful, but it can leave my city anytime and it will not be too soon. People are just not prepared!

So this morning I walked to my yoga class and the post office. I was walking home when I was wished a Merry Christmas in a non very Christmassy way. I was on the sidewalk and there were two vehicles wanting to turn left in front of me to get into the parking lot but they had an oncoming car. I know that in the scenario of car versus human, car wins so I just waited in case she decided to turn. As the oncoming car approached, the rear vehicle that was waiting honked his horn at the little car in front of him. Once the oncoming car passed, the car turned left no problem and the big truck followed. I waived my arm to signify he should slow down and he stopped in front of me and lowered his window. So I asked him, since perhaps it was someone else who had honked, but he assured me it was him and that he had been waiting “an hour” for her to turn.I told him that it had not been an hour and then he said I should “mind my own f’ing business.” I replied that he should not talk that way with a child in the car.

I understand that in his truck he could have made that turn in the time he expected the young lady in front of him to, but she wasn’t him. She drove a small car and road conditions are so bad I was told that two of our bridges are shut down. I’m so sorry if the extra 60 seconds that lady took to ensure that everyone was safe is going to impede his super urgent plans.

Here’s the thing though – I will NOT mind my own business when it comes to bully people like that. My concern is that the lady driving the car in front of him will second guess herself the next time and maybe take that turn that she doesn’t have time for because she doesn’t want to upset the asshat behind her. However, the more we live in community, and the more we build each other up then the more confident we are of our own decisions. If she feels supported and confident then she wont care if there is honking behind her. She will make the best decision she needs to, make based on the information available to her ie. her car is small, road conditions are bad, there is a pedestrian, and she only has front wheel drive.

Is your life so important that 60 seconds will dramatically change your day? Her life and my life are more important to make you wait sir – and that IS MY business regardless. Making sure other people aren’t being bullied IS MY business. It’s been too long and too often that people aren’t saying anything. People are being pushed to the brink of destruction – either self destruction or school shooting kind of destruction. We don’t want to be pushed around anymore. Each person has value and worth just the same.

Don’t but your nose in somewhere just for the sake of being “in the know” and having the ability to gossip. But I want you to make it your business when people are hurting because they need help. If your willing to get involved then make it your business so that people don’t feel alone and unsupported. You do have to pay attention and be sensitive to the needs of the people in pain. They may need help in a way you are not prepared for, so know that if you come to the table you have to meet them where they are at – not whats comfortable for you or whats easy for you to do.

It IS MY business when someone is hurting and I can do something to help.

A funeral for Christmas 

It’s eight days till Christmas and I attended a funeral this morning. Christmas is not my favourite time of year and this was not a welcome addition. No one wants to be at a funeral; let alone as people are busy shopping and decorating and baking. So much pain in a time that is supposed to be so happy. 

Sital was a friend from when Rod and I were dating. Her and her husband started doing photography and we had them photograph our first wedding. They also did a photo session at Spanish banks six months after our son was born. Those were great times with them. They were such a fun couple. Sital had lots of energy and a loving personality. She was great behind the camera but also as a friend. 

What makes her loss extremely devastating is that she took her own life. There are many things wrong in this broken world in which we live and suicide is one of them. Accidents happen, diseases happen, old age happens- suicide should not happen. 

Her 14 year old daughter was so brave today as she spoke about her mom and her death. She said we need to talk. She’s right. 

The first thing I did when I found out was that I called a dear friend who I know struggled with depression and who I know has contemplated suicide. I told him (through sobs) that if he ever felt like acting on those feelings that he needed to call me and I would be on the first plane I could to go to him. I told him I wouldn’t have any answers nor would I know what to say but I would just sit with him so he had tangible proof that he wasn’t alone. I would stay as long as he needed me. 

Sometimes people don’t know until it’s too late. I highly doubt that Sital knew how many people her life has impacted and how deeply people cared for her. Depression lies to you about such things. Pain is a big mask that filters out all incoming positive aspects of life and relationships and only allows in the negative. 

In talking we become vulnerable. We share the good and the bad- but that’s what makes us relatable. I wear many hats – mother, wife, business owner, coach, teacher, friend, daughter and others. I struggle. I love what I do but it’s really really hard. Sometimes more than others. I have wanted to give up and quit. Thankfully I haven’t had suicidal thoughts since I was a teen but I’ve been close to running away. Like actually very close to getting on a plane at random just to go somewhere else for an undetermined amount of time. Life is so hard sometimes.

Some people share that openly and publicly. As long as your not doing that for the dramatic attention then that’s great. Others share more quietly or not at all. Regardless of the medium, we need to connect. God did not make us to be lone islands. He built us for community. That community is hard and sometimes it’s the community that we’re currently in that hurts us. This is one reason I love living in a big city. If one group of people really sucks I go find another group of people that are super awesome. 

Be in community of some kind. 

Have real and authentic relationships. 

Be vulnerable. 

And please above all else…

Never Give Up Hope. I don’t ever want to be at your funeral for that reason. Your not alone.