In less than 15 minutes I experience another milestone. I will be 58 years old on October 18th. The excitement of birthdays has long ago left my life, however they are a good time to reflect. This has an eventful year as I was buried in the quicksand of depression-anxiety. It has been difficult to try to function in the manner to which I've become accustomed while sinking slowly but surely in this quagmire.
Maybe some of you have felt the same way. In my case I see this as a "lost year".
I lost my job and lost my sanity, if you will. I felt at times like I could overcome this and then felt like I'd rather die and that my famliy would be much better off without me. What keeps me from following through on my suicidal ideation? My initial reaction is my family. Suicide is the ultimate selfish response to a difficult life. I was nearly that selfish this past year. My next response to the question is God. I believe God has a hand in my life and that He would not be pleased by my dying at my own hand.
There have been days and nights so dark and painful I despaired of life and felt it unbearable. These strengthened by the lack of hope that I would never, ever, get better. My wife and friends encouraged and bouyed my up in these times. The professionals that attended me brought me around to re-considering my psychic "death wish". I know my problem is not unique. I am not much different from anyone else. My problems are no more difficult; my trails no more severe.
I have seen many, I dare say hundreds over the years who had similar problems to mine and not even considered the path of suicide. Does this make we weak? I have been depressed so long I have lost track of what it is to feel "normal", to feel like life is fruitful and fulfilling on some level. My family and a small group of friends continue to try to convince me of this gently and tenderly. I am not now actively suicidal. It just hangs in the darker recesses of my mind; hanging in the closet of my awareness as a pair of slacks or a shirt. It is a choice I can make among all the others.
When I try to pull happiness off its hanger it will almost not budge. It is nearly immovable. Whereas time with my wife, children and grand children are wonderful for the time, when the time is over I find myself at the door to my closet to see what else I have to wear. I look and see love, joy, peace, faith, and hope. I love to be able to reach in and put those on. I can wear them for an hour or two, or even a half a day and then I feel them slipping off my soul and returning to the closet as options for another time..
You see, in this closet is also negativity, depression, anxiety, fear, and despair. These come off thir hangers much more easily. I sincerely have fashioned my bag of tricks to be able to employ them to be successful in my quest to "wear" the more positive of the clothing for my soul.... temporarily.
The effort goes on and with all the attendant discouragement but also great determination. I believe that this year, my 58th will prove to be one in which I make great progress in my journey toward mental health. I will continue to seek to wear the positive clothing for my soul and seek spiritually the presence and power of God. When October 2011 arrives I hope to be a different person. Generally positive, joyful, and enjoying peace of mind. I ame hopeful that faith will take the place of fear and hope will overcome despair.
None of us know what the next day will bring, much less the next year. I just want my family, friends, God and my readers to know that this is my goal. I want to become healthy enough to work at least part time. In my optimistic moments I can almost see it on the horizon.
Every day I thank God for my life occasionally through smling eyes and more often gritted teeth. I live and pray for freedom of my soul and spirit as so many of us do.
So now I wlll set forth on another year's journey hoping against hope that it will be the year that I notice genuine healing in my soul, spirit, and my life in general.
Happy birthday to me.
Typos and all . . .God bless you