Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May



Why is it that sudden celebrity deaths make me think so hard about my dad? After Phillip Seymour Hoffman's overdose, I started re-posting old blog entries from the time when we set up my dad's intervention. I do plan on continuing but it's hard re-reading that old stuff. You can read what I did post by clicking here. Robin Williams's death on Monday hit me as hard as it hit other fans. I'm not usually a celebrity fangirl but...my dad didn't commit suicide in a traditional way but I've always believed that getting back on drugs and the level of disregard he had for his health was an, I don't know, form of slow suicide.

I don't have any amazing insights but I'd like to share some that touched me:

Long time and much admired friend Tony wrote a great piece and reminds us that "suicide isn’t an act of cowardice or selfishness. It’s an act of sadness."

Ann Voskamp says something similar here, that "depression is like a room engulfed in flames and you can’t breathe for the sooty smoke smothering you limp — and suicide is deciding there is no way but to jump straight out of the burning building."

Cracked is a humor website where I waste way too much time. But they often have insightful pieces and their article on Robin Williams and Why Funny People Kill Themselves is one of them. "Rest in peace, Robin. You've given us a chance to talk about this, and to prove that this has nothing to do with life circumstances -- you were rich and accomplished and respected and beloved by friends and family, and in the end it meant jack f*** s***."

Sarah Bessey lists many, many other articles and they all say you are not alone.

In addition to the links above, check out the Twitter discussion at #faithinthefog. Some of the folks speak to my soul--joy doesn't always come in the morning, some worship songs break my heart because I can't sing them. Today, Ecclesiastes and Psalms of lamentation bring me the most comfort.

This is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Please call it if you need it.

A few people who know me in real life have a hard time imagining me struggling with anxiety and depression but I think I might, a little, fit in Cracked's funny (or perky) people who are sad category. I tried telling Mike I was an optimist yesterday as I leaned against the cabinets, sitting on the floor in the kitchen, angsting about some difficult decisions ahead of me and he said, "NOPE. Realist, MAYBE." I finally conceded that he was right although I refused to admit I'm a pessimist (I still don't think I am). I think of myself as an optimist because I eventually do get up off the proverbial as well as literal floor but sometimes I have to really work at it. Lately, the fact that I can't write bothers me. I know some people feel their despair fuels their art (um, such as it is in my case), but not me. I haven't created much of anything other than Autumn's party. I have to make myself write every week here and on the family blog and that isn't like me.

The kitchen floor is my sit and angst spot. Sometimes Molly visits and glares.

I have no answers, no advice, no wise words. I don't even have any inspiring Bible verses. I wrote in the post where I discussed tapering off Zoloft that "I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING EVER." It's still true. Somehow knowing I don't know seems like a good thing, though. I'm considering getting back on Zoloft. Sometimes I feel great. My exercise classes, friends, family, martial arts brothers and sisters, all of these things help push back the darkness but the last few months it's harder to hop out of the fog. I haven't started on the medicine yet because I've had some improvement since I've been seeing the dietician. Now that my nutrition issues are taken care of, I can better evaluate myself knowing that I'm not simply grouchy and tired because I'm hungry.

I can't find the correct attribution but I'm sure if you are on Facebook or any other social media you have seen the quote, "be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Whoever said it, it's true. I remember in the weeks after Garrett died, I went around feeling shell shocked and wanting to scream that something terrible happened and I'm dying inside and why can't anyone tell. If there's anything I have learned, at the end of the day, it's compassion and love that changes lives. I'm not great at it (I wasn't gifted with a particularly merciful personality type) but I try and maybe someday I'll be known for my love.

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. ~1 Corinthians 13:1-3

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