I'm sorry I seemed to "go heavy" on you strait out of the gate.
I told you I've been suicidal. I'm sorry for talking about it in such a way that you might think I still am. I'm not. I'm 44 years old... for 39 of those years, off & on, I felt like dieing. I felt like a waste of space. A waste of matter, atoms, molecules. I could see value in everyone.......else. It is sad. The further from it I get. The more it hurts. Which is where I was/am with hearing of suicides & attempts at suicide. It helps me to know there are people like those from To Write Love On Her Arms. People who are shouting "you matter. Your story is worth finishing. Please stay. Wake up, your alive, we're on your side." That last sentence is actually one of their many cool t-shirts.
When I hear about suicide. One of THE first things that comes to mind, is the list people I would have walked out on if I had killed myself. Then there's people like you. If I had killed myself, we would never have met. I enjoy you. I would have robbed us.....of us. Like I said on the phone... I wouldn't have met Mick [Mickey, my wife of almost 20 years.], I wouldn't have met & enjoyed her 3 sisters. Who are my sisters. I love them. I need them. I wish they could understand how much. I now have 2 brothers-in-law. They are cool, too. [they don't know it either] I have 2 nieces. There are no words adequate for the task of describing the feeling of being "Uncle Brian". I NEVER thought about that. Never thought about what it would feel like to be called that by 2 little girls. They will run across a crowded room, screaming it when they see me. It is the ONLY fame worth having. Nothing is so beautiful, or scary, as being recklessly loved. I'm glad to have that. I'm sorry I almost gave up on getting it. I'm sorry I've scared people. Knowing that there is a "dark part or chapter" to my story.
I have people to call. As I told you, people who will only ask 2 things if I called & said "I need you" right now. "B, where are you? Should I bring anything?". Parents, family, LW family, friends.
I take NONE of it lightly.
I have music...
King Crimson makes me want to be creative. They remind me that I AM creative. They remind me that there are people who call me an artist, a poet, a musician, a valuable person, a friend, a cook...
I have a TWLOHA playlist. I call it that because it's code for: Songs of Hope.
There are songs by Switchfoot, King's X, The Call, The Fray, Plumb, U2, PFR, BEARCAT, Rush, Dustin Kensrue, ..... on it
I have movies....
the TWLOHA movie, among others.
I have books.....
The Inner Voice of Love by Henri J.M. Nowen
A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sitzer
Purpose for the Pain by Renee Yohe
If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski
These are my emergency med kit for when I feel dark. I have pieces of it that go everywhere with me. "just in case". Do I still feel worthless at times? You betcha. The feelings, the thoughts.....yeah, they keep trying. However, I don't plan.....I don't write notes to those who would be left behind. No.
I do write notes.......now, though..... I write notes to the ones who want to leave, asking, begging them to stay.
I sometimes read something & for me, it relates to suicide.
[from Eugene Peterson's Devotional book: Living the Message. pg 64. Feb 28th]"When we read a novel we have an analogous experience. We begin the first chapter knowing there is a last chapter. One of the satisfying things about just picking up a book is the sure knowledge that it will end. In the course of reading we are often puzzled, sometimes in suspense, usually wrong in our expectations, frequently mistaken in our assessment of a character. But when we don't understand or agree or feel satisfied, we don't ordinarily quit. We assume meaning & connection & design even when we don't experience it. The last chapter, we are confidant, will demonstrate the meaning that was continuous through the novel. We believe the story will satisfyingly end, not arbitrarily stop."
Dear friend, I have lived through some nightmarish stuff.
do you hear what I've been saying? Do you "hear between the lines"?
I HAVE LIVED THROUGH IT. meaning I'm still alive AFTER it.
In the beginning of this post I wrote:
"I'm 44 years old... for 39 of those years, off & on, I felt like dieing."
That's 5 years difference. Those 5 years....mean something. They mean something changed.
Something ended. Something else began.
"I am a story still going" - TWLOHA
I loved Star Wars. Enjoyed it since I was a kid. The sub-title of the first one...fits here.
"A New Hope"
Though, perhaps it isn't new. Perhaps it's very old. Perhaps.... at some point, I just woke up to it. Realized, yeah...this IS for me.
I hope you know this.
I hope that you've never deeply felt like giving up on your story.
I hope you never do.
I hope that you'll reach out to me if you ever get there.
So I could help you leave.....the feeling,
I hope these words find you. I hope they comfort you.
mostly, I hope you live.
as long as you can.....
May His grace drip from your fingers,