You can stand under my umbrella

Life

I don’t know about you but the news from the past week and a half has really gotten to me. The day Robin Williams committed suicide seems to have started a downward spiral of terrible news all over the world. I am  disturbed by all of it.

I am especially saddened by the death of Robin Williams. The sadness has crept up on me slowly. When I see videos of him and stories about him it breaks my heart all over again. I grew up with him and his crazy sense of humor. I see these videos of him being funny and, like others, I am shocked that this person decided to end his own life.

Suicide is a very touchy subject for me. It has affected my life in many ways. When the subject comes up in the news it stirs up thoughts of my own struggles with depression.

In an odd turn of events, I was called upon this week to attend a Mental Health First Aid training workshop.  I was a little hesitant to go because I was personally feeling a little fragile, but I went anyway. It was really good training, though very intense. I went away from it feeling good about helping someone through a mental health crisis should the need arise. It also helped me realize that I am not alone in my struggles, which helps me feel better.

During this past week and a half one of the things that has come up (and was completely validated when I took this class) is the idea that we need to reach out to others who are suffering. It is a hard thing to do. I admit to not doing it as often as I should. I would even go as far as to say it is a very brave thing to do.

When a person is in a deep depression they are incapable of helping themselves. Much of the advice I have heard on social media about this is something like, “If you are depressed, don’t be afraid to reach out to others.” Unfortunately, this is very hard to do. Sometimes it is impossible. When a person is in that place of darkness it can be hard to find the way out. It becomes very important for others to  help them by leading the way out.

A Polish proverb came up over and over again about a month ago in very disparate places. It was very odd and made me wonder if the Universe was trying to tell me something. The proverb is:

Not my circus. Not my monkeys.

when I first saw it I embraced the idea. I tend to easily get sucked into other people’s drama and it affects me in negative ways, at times. However, after giving it some thought I have to really disagree with it.  I realized that we are all in this together. We are rowing the same boat. If you are suffering, I am suffering too. Your suffering is my suffering. So it benefits me to reach out and help.

I am so very grateful to those of you (you know who you are) who have helped me through some of those darker times. Thank you very much.

Pioneer to the falls

Books, Music, Art, Movies

The first time I heard this song was in October of 2007.  I’d heard the news that my step-brother was found hanging from a tree, alone in the wilderness of Idaho that morning. I wasn’t particularly close to my step-brother but, still, the news cut deep. I was living in Spokane at the time and walked to work. It was a 45 minute walk and I’d just bought the latest Interpol album: Our Love To Admire.   I thought I’d listen to it on my way to work. The song, Pioneer to the Falls came on and there was something about the haunting lyrics coupled with the suicide of my step-brother that brought me to a sobbing mess of tears before I made it to work.

I love this song, though it doesn’t make me cry like it once did. I just think it is an incredibly beautiful song with beautiful lyrics. It evokes a story  in my soul that I can’t quite suss out completely. It is a story from a dream that is  there but not quite there at the same time.

I randomly grabbed this video off of Youtube and I  love it. It is comprised of scenes from one of my favorite films: Once Upon A Time In The West. 

World Suicide prevention day

Life

I didn’t want today to pass by without acknowledging World Suicide Prevention Day. If you are a regular reader of this blog you might know that I have struggled with depression and, yes, suicide tempts me from time to time. It knocks on the door every now and then to see if I will walk down that road. Sometime I follow the thread and sometimes I slam the door in its face. I am not alone. A statistic I read today stated that over 1 million people die by suicide every year. More than a million people are so desperate that they feel that the only answer is to end their life.

One of the things that I come back to again and again when I am tempted, is this quote from the New Yorker article, “Jumpers”  from a Golden Gate Bridge survivor:

“I instantly realized that everything in my life that I’d thought was unfixable was totally fixable—except for having just jumped.”

Everything in life is fixable. You don’t have to jump.

Tragic

Life

I got some really bad news on Monday night. My step-brother committed suicide over the weekend. He went into the forest and hung himself from a tree. Some hunters found him early Sunday morning.

It really hit me hard Tuesday morning when I was making my breakfast. I just broke down and sobbed. And then I couldn’t stop. I cried my whole walk to work. When I got to work and people started asking me how my weekend was I got choked up. I broke down in my manager’s office as I asked her for Friday off so I could attend the funeral.

Todd had his problems. but he seemed like  the All American kid. He was really popular in high school. On all of the sports teams. I think he may have even been the homecoming king. He was a handsome young man.

Saturday night he called his mom to tell her that he was sorry for all of the pain he had caused her.The next morning he went into the forest in some remote place and hung himself.

I’m broken up over it. The whole story is so goddamn tragic. I don’t even know what to say about it. Is there anything to say? He was a nice person. A great coach. A good father. It’s too bad he decided he needed to leave this world.