With the tragic loss of the great Chris Cornell, I thought this post was good to re-share. 13 reasons why I am happy, and 13 reasons why I won’t harm myself.
The challenge is to write 13 Reasons Why I am Happy (in contrast to 13 Reasons Why on Netflix…I have to write about my feelings on the show at some point too) I figured I’d do my typical thing and change it around a bit. First, I will write the 13 reasons I am happy. Then, I am going to write 13 Reasons Why Not(kill myself).
…But aren’t they one in the same? Hell no. Not for me at least. I have dealt with suicidal thoughts/ideation/depression since I was 14. When I was 14, I had completely intended to kill myself after a Metallica concert. I had no plan, only a promise to myself. I think, when someone is at that point, they don’t actually make a plan, because a plan can be undone. My friend hugged me, and I realized I would hurt her if I did. That simple hug during Nothing Else Matters made me stop. It’s amazing what love can do. It’s amazing how a mind can lie.
The thing is, a lot of people like to speak in generalities about mental illness and suicide. “bullying” or “depression” makes it all sound benign. When you couple it with the mixed/weird messaging you get from society, how does anyone really figure it out? I had said to a friend recently, we all talk about triggers – screaming, loud noises, but what if your trigger is love? What if the very notion of loving someone or being loved makes you anxious? What if you are triggered by your own happiness?
That’s my life. For 20 years, my mind beats me down with a meat hook of suicidal thoughts, depression, worthlessness, perfectionism, and just every fucking -ion, -ism, -ing. For 20 years, I’ve stayed alive. I have cut myself, I have abused alcohol, I have abused my body, I have taken too many pills, but not to kill myself, just to make the thoughts stop, I have smoked insane amounts of weed, and I have tried a serious amount of drugs, but never really got addicted, luckily. Escapism is a hell of an -ism when you don’t want to hear your brain. Who would?
As I type all that out, and I feel all of my emotions surging through my finger tips, I feel a smile crawling up my face. It is so easy to forget how much I have fought to be here on this couch typing on April 25, 2017. March 7, 1997 was the concert. That’s a lot of years of fighting. I may be struggling now, but holy shit, man, I’m here. I’m fucking here, I’m alive, and maybe I’m not doing “everything I thought I could/should/would”, but who gives a fuck, I can breathe! I’ve always said, nothing will ever actually knock me down. I just like to trip myself a lot. heh.
13 Reasons Why I Am Happy
- My children are equally my greatest joy and frustration. I picture their smiles whenever I need a shot in the arm. My youngest, in particular, has this incredible smile where he squinches his whole face up, and I just want to eat him.
- My ex, Jack. How crazy is that? Our marriage ended for a lot of reasons, and we both promised each other, once the anger subsided, that we had to do this together for our gang. They had to see love, where once they saw hatred. He has always been my best friend. He remains. In all of this, who brought me underwear to the mental hospital? Jack. Who talks me down while I’m having a panic attack? Jack. Who makes me laugh so hard I pee myself because I’m a mom and things aren’t what they used to be? (haha) Jack.
- Music – all of it. I can’t imagine my life without it. Frankly, I feel like part of the reason I’ve been struggling is I’m in a bit of a rut with music lately. I’m tired of my usual depressing stuff, hell I’m even tired of Maynard lately, but the joy of discovering and connecting with music, to feel my emotions played by someone else, ahh it’s a connection that transfuses me with life.
- My Car – seems silly, but the ability to drive around, zoning out to #3 helps me so much. There’s a bit of pride, because I overcame a huge, crippling fear of driving and actually became addicted to driving…Although my CR-V is RIP, my new Forester is nothing short of fucking awesome. I actually love it more than the CR-V, which says a lot, because I LOVED that car.
- My Friends – I have some pretty insane friends. My one best friend just has this amazing ability to make me die laughing by making fun of me, and my other best friend really gets me on the other side of things – my spirituality, etc. I love being able to completely be myself around people, and it’s difficult to do so. I may not be the most popular person in the world (honestly, seriously, relationships are tough with bipolar), but the ones I have get me and love me and support me. (and make fun of me for being batshit crazy…it helps)
- This Blog – tapping away on the keyboard has been better therapy then the therapy I get. I’ve made new friends, I’ve been able to expunge a lot of icky crap, I’ve tapped into my inner poet (I didn’t know it, but my feet show it, they’re Longfellows), and I’ve become more authentic. That fact alone means the world to me. I don’t wear masks like I used to. I lived 99% in my head, swirling/racing/shitty/confusing thoughts. To have a medium where my brain gets to leak out productively versus repeating ad nauseum? Damn.
- My Journal – it’s funny how, as you get older, you forget what made you happy. I used to be a diligent journal-er. I started again a few months ago, and man… I love the ability to also pour stuff out, like my blog, but things I don’t necessarily want to share with everyone, or I’m too lazy to talk about.
- Yassy, J-Dub, Kent Wayne, Just Me <<some of my favorite bloggers/poets here that I also babble to pretty frequently 🙂 Love the blogging community, and yea they deserve their own category (as an aside, everyone should read Kent’s Echo series, he’s phenomenal!)
- Nature/Universe/Meditation/Spirituality – even if I’m just standing in the grass, or staring at the sky. There is something so calming and soothing about being outside. I need to get myself back to playing in the woods, for sure. Being around bodies of water is my favorite, the sounds of nature always bring anxiety down. My journey inwards and into spirituality and meditation have connected me to so much, and nature is a huge part of that, this is what keeps me in the game a lot of times.
- “Comfortable Life” – I’m not sure what to categorize it at, but like, damn, I have water, electricity, clothes, food. The basic stuff that I tend to whine about or take for granted. Yes, Money and Bills SUCK, and society in general is ridiculous, but it’s so nice to not have to kill an antelope every morning for breakfast and eat it in my cave with my vagina hanging out. I’m just saying….
- Thunderstorms – I am SUCH a little kid with storms! The last big one we had, I pulled all of my blinds up, turned out all of the lights, put on Pink Floyd and watched the most incredible natural firework display I’ve ever seen. Mother Nature is the grandest screen, if you ask me.
- Family – While I may fight with everyone about everything, it is incredible to know that my parents have seemingly endless forgiveness and vice versa. I think, in my black and white mentality, I had expected things would be a certain way, and when nothing ever worked, I started losing my shit. I also think that no one actually understood how to deal with me. I could be angry and say man what the fuck why didn’t anyone send me to a doctor when I was younger, but the point of that would be?? I always assumed how I felt was because “I’m worthless and fucked up” so I never really squeaked my wheel, so to speak. I don’t know, but what I do know is that I have a family, and they do love me. Even if we’re all pains in each other’s asses.
- Saved for last, because it is the most important, and all 12 prior are worthless without it: ME. You see, the last 12 things are lovely, just lovely, if I CHOOSE happiness. Everything in my life, particularly with managing my mind, is reminding myself constantly that everything is a choice. I refuse to be a victim of any circumstance, and I believe unconditionally that everything in my life is a result of choice. I have to choose these perspectives and thoughts, because none of them are natural, and that right there is the rub. That, right there, is why suicide seems enticing.
As I said, I wanted to write 13 Reasons Why Not. The thing is, as I alluded to in number 13, every single one of those can flip to a reason why I should kill myself. Well, maybe not thunderstorms, that seems odd. “Fuck lightning, I’m done!” I don’t know, that just seems extreme. Maybe you arch your eyebrow and say, “Kill yourself, BECAUSE of your kids?” My brain lies. There have been so many times reasons #1 and 2 became “They’d be so much better off without you.” The hell I was in after my marriage ended… My brain had a field day. “You know this is because you are fucking crazy…if you would have just found the right pill…you’d still be married..”, “If you hadn’t gone nuts and met that guy, you wouldn’t have cheated….”
You..should…really…do everyone a favor and just. fucking. do. it. In these moments, when I’m awake at 3AM, crying, lost, and thinking bad thoughts, that list up there doesn’t do much for me. Plus, I have to keep it simple. If I get too big, I will then think about how I can’t handle it, I can’t even get out of bed, I fuck every relationship up, and you are in so much debt, if you made it look like an accident…. Alternatively, as I’m driving a car at 60mph and debating telephone poles, you just can’t have paragraph like sentiments. That’s the reality of my life…I am so grateful for all that I have, all I have done, and all I will do.
13 Reasons Why Not (Kill myself)
- Laughing feels good. I can do that.
- Peanut M&Ms are the best thing in the world
- How everything smells after it rains
- Cigarettes and Coffee are a delicious combo, and make you poop
- The word poop is funny and makes you #1
- I refuse to be a statistic. I’m not interested in being the __% of bipolar patients that committed suicide
- I could set an example for my kids, and they might choose the same option.
- Beer tastes great
- All of the cheese I have not yet eaten
- I don’t know where in the world Carmen Sandiego is.
- I could get a new tattoo eventually
- So many books to read still
- Last, and most important, I promised myself 20 years ago that I wouldn’t, and I keep my promises. Sometimes, I have to recite “You promised” over and over until it stops.
The thing is, when you are suicidal, it doesn’t matter what the ads or anyone else says to you. Being told you are not alone or loved makes you feel worse, because you now feel responsible for hurting someone else. It makes you feel even less – “Ugh, why can’t I just…” To be honest, loneliness is usually a huge factor, so leaning on others is not always an option. My 13 reasons why not sound so stupidly small, but as I said, a hug saved my life the first time around. It’s incredible how dark a mind can be, and how the tiniest shifts will change it. Because the thing is, most won’t talk. I certainly won’t. We all know if we utter suicide, there’s a potential 302 coming. There’s concerned looks and too many phone calls. “how you doing?” texts. Every time I’ve swirled down the rabbit hole, one person was aware – me. That’s me, maybe other people do talk it out, I don’t know, but I know I’m the driver in this ice cream truck of life. I’m lucky that I do have friends that struggle as I do, because speaking openly and candidly helps, but it’s usually after the fact.
Thanks for letting me think this out, this was pretty damn cathartic!!! Please feel free to re blog or link this post and give your reasons. 13 reasons why or 13 reasons why not (hurt/kill yourself).