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Friday, March 27, 2015

Please don't leave. If you don't think you'll be missed, think again...

Every year around this time I get all blah...

Not only is seasonal depression still lingering, because Mother Nature can't figure out which season should be in play - I'm also rolling into the time of year that I lost my dad.

It's been 31 years.  I still miss him every day.

I'm not 100% sure this blog will be well put together or easily flowing.  It is totally unedited and will be 100% my feelings, my thoughts, my ramblings as they come out of me today - 31 years (tomorrow) after my dad killed himself.

For those of you reading for the first time - on March 28, 1984 my dad took his own life.
It's a day that is etched so far into my mind I can still close my eyes and see/feel every single moment as if it's happening over again.

Because of what I've been through, I take this time of year to tell my side of it as a way to help others who may be suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts to realize they do mean something to someone, no matter how you may feel - AND to help people like me to know that it's totally OK to still feel the pain and still not be able to make sense of any of it.

If you want to read "My Story" click here:   How Suicide Has Affected Me.  My Real Life Story

I am LUCKY to have gotten to where I am without depression, without suicidal thoughts and without full on self-destructive behavior. (though I definitely walked the line.)  I am thankful every day that I am not someone who suffers from depression.  Thankful!

I was 18 when my dad died.
Even though it's been 31 years - that's 31 years of stuff that he missed.  That I missed having him here for.  Do you know how much happens in 31 years?  How many things you're forced to figure out for yourself as a child of someone who committed suicide?  Yes, he DID miss them.  I don't want to hear that he "Didn't miss anything, he's been right there watching."  Those are the nice things people like to say when someone is mourning.  While it may be true - my dad wasn't HERE WITH ME because he CHOSE to leave - and that is what's different.  That's where the anger, sadness, pain come in.  Because he CHOSE to go.

My family life wasn't all sunshine & flowers.  I lived with my dad.  So when he was gone, it was just me to figure it out.  And it's the words of another that forced me to figure it out...

The words I'll never forget that were spoken to me.  Words that both tore me down and forced me to build myself.  "Just because your father's dead, don't think you can move back in with me."
At the time those words terrified me.  I hated and resented those words.  The felt vile and completely unloving.  My dad was all I had and he was gone.  What now?

Whatever the sentiment behind those words at the time, I'm grateful for them now as they forced me to figure it out for myself.  Those words created the survivor that I am.  I figured it out for myself because I had no choice in the matter. I'm a better / stronger person today because of those words.

Do you know what it's like to be 18 and alone with no guidance??  How about dropping some insurance money into the mix?  That alone was a recipe for disaster.

I was LUCKY.

I didn't have my dad, the perpetual voice of reason, guiding my steps.  Steering me out of trouble in his own way.

I was only 18 years old when my father committed suicide.  I'm not saying that I didn't know my dad. He was my dad, of course I knew him.  I just didn't KNOW him as one adult knows another.  I knew him as the little girl I once was.

Yes, I know... many kids lose their parents.  Losing your parent to suicide is a whole new ball game.  You don't know how to feel.  You don't know what to say.  You don't know if you should feel embarrassed or brave or protective or victimized.  It's like being naked in the middle of a crowd.  You're completely vulnerable.

I both lost it completely AND totally held it together at the same time.  Sometimes I think I still do.

Right now, I am older than my dad was when he died.  When I think about that alone, it saddens me how much he lost.  So many things he missed.

I think that's one of the things those who are suicidal don't get... the tomorrows that they will miss.  I can't say for sure as I'm lucky enough to not suffer from suicidal thoughts or depression.  Even though I've lived through the deaths of both my father and brother by suicide, I'm no expert on the subject.  I can only speak of my thoughts, feelings and the things told to me in grief counseling.

It was said that a sad person can still function.  Still cares about the day to day activities, those who need to be tended to.  A depressed person still cares, but does only what needs to be done.  If the house is on fire - they'll burn with the house.  That's a lot to take in.

All these years since my dad died, I often think about the things he's missed.  I think about the mistakes I'd made because I didn't have my dad to ask me what the hell I was thinking.  He was good at that.  He'd never tell me what or what not to do, but he'd steer me.  He was the only one that could do that.

For those of you left behind - I get you.  I feel how you feel.  Lost for answers.  Even if you got a "note" (I didn't) you still don't totally get it.  All you feel is the pain, the loss, the anger and the confusion.  I know.  It's 31 years and typing this mish mosh of feelings - I still don't get it.

If you are someone struggling, some one who thinks they won't be missed - I have news for you - YOU WILL BE MISSED.  In that split second between life & death where you make your decision - make it be the decision to live - to go on - to fight.  There is another tomorrow to figure it out.  Tomorrow may not be filled with all you've dreamed of - but if you keep dreaming, there's the next day and the next day.  One second, one minute, one hour, one day - one breath at time.

It's OK to be sad.  It's OK to feel like things just totally suck.  It's NOT OK to quit on yourself and everyone who loves you.  Just because you're not getting what you want at this second - doesn't mean the next second won't get better.  Stick around to see it.  Please.

Don't leave someone you love left behind to wonder WHY?  To be alone.  To feel the pain.  To feel the loss.  To feel the anger over and over again of the decision you made to check out.

Please talk to someone - anyone.  SOMEONE will listen.

Choose life.

Thank you for getting through this mess of feelings.

Peace & Love,


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