This post is part of a series. Click to read all posts in Things I Didn’t Know 30 Years Ago.
Too often, in recent years especially, I’ve felt helpless, impotent, unable to make an impact while I witness the world fall apart. Politics, society, Earth herself, people’s personal lives… they’re all on fire in one way or another. It breaks my heart that my small voice can’t tackle the huge problems that plague humanity – no matter how urgently or desperately I want it to. BUT, I wonder if maybe my small voice can make a difference in someone’s life…
I learned only today that September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month. I’m going to use that fact as the impetus to finally step up and address a topic on which I have firsthand experience – and maybe make an impact after all.
You see, almost 30 years ago, on the morning of December 22, 1990, I swallowed a handful of pills hoping they would put an end (temporarily or permanently – I didn’t care) to the emotional pain I was in. I’d reached the end of my tolerance for living with an abusive husband, crushing debt and estrangement from my family of origin.
It seemed on that day that there was no hope for me to ever escape those conditions. I could see no exit strategy, no means to affect change on any of the toxic circumstances in which I was drowning. I felt insignificant, powerless, isolated, unloved and unlovable. And I wanted – no – NEEDED those feelings to stop. I had no more psychic energy (or will) to fight through that miasma another minute. My tank was empty. My spirit was broken. My life was meaningless, it seemed, to myself and to others.
That’s all I want to say about that particular day. It’s well in my rear view by now. I’m not that person any more. And THAT is really the point I want to make: That situations change. Conditions change. YOU change.
Even when yesterday was total shit.
Even when today is total shit.
Even when every indication is that tomorrow and every day after it will be shit.
Things change. I didn’t know that then. The person I was couldn’t know that then because, well, no crystal balls, right?
But the person I am today does know that – with all my heart.
I’m not saying it was easy. It took a helluva lot of therapy and introspection and courage and support and love (from others and myself). But every day since then has proved another step out of that desperate mindset. I’ve become the me who does know and can acknowledge that things change.
In celebration of the fact that yes, change WILL happen – even when no part of you can believe that to be true – I’m making a list of things I didn’t know 30 years ago to demonstrate the amazing twists and surprising detours a life can take. So even in the depths of what feels like hopeless, never-ending despair, believe in your heart that you can’t know for certain what the future will hold for you. You could have an amazing life waiting for you, just out of view. I did.
Here goes – I’ll add one daily.
Things I Didn’t Know 30 Years Ago
- That I would be loved by my Sweetie and that we’d build a wonderful life together, based on respect, kindness and silliness that fills my heart with unending joy.