Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Suicide Is Hardly Painless

I know it's been forever since I last posted. Sorry about that. Things have changed some, and I'm now driving (at least sometimes) and that has lead to being more tired and less inclined to write. I'm also less inclined to read as much. It's making me sad. That, however, is not the point of this post.

I want to talk about my theory of suicide. (Robin Williams is still having a profound effect. Hopefully people will get help instead of following the leader.) If that bothers you, sorry. Hopefully I'll post something less emotionally traumatizing soon after this. You might want to skip this post if you are fighting that fight, although I'm not really planning on going into hows as much as whys.

I have a friend who posted a link on FaceBook about depression. And it got me thinking, once I got past my emotional first reaction of finding depression entirely too close for comfort.

I used to believe, back before I ever fought depression, that suicide was selfish. I was a stupid teenager who wondered how someone suicidal didn't see the impact on their loved ones who were left to mourn the loss. I didn't understand that sometimes people are just pushed to the edge of what they can handle and the lack of hope is the final straw. I did understand that as bad as things seemed, ending my own life would never seem likely a good solution, because I'm probably more scared of the potential physical pain than I am of finding a way to just keep going. I'm kind of wired oddly sometimes, but it works well for me in the long run.

Today, I saw much more clearly that suicide is much more about someone who couldn't hold on any more. The pain and rawness of depression are too much. The numbness seems unending. The lies of depression seem too believable. The self-loathing is too acute and the belief that no one else cares seems too real. You know that it's not true, but you just can't fight any more.

I'm still not the kind of person to attempt suicide. I'd rather just hide from society and just not move until something motivates me enough. I struggled two years ago with depression crippling enough that I wasn't eating right and couldn't find it in me to want to do anything about it. But I found the motivation to go shopping once a week and go to a prayer team once a week and to do the minimum that I needed to not become one with the bed. It was horrible, because I just felt so bad and I wasn't sure how I was going to be okay again. And then, it got better.

But it helps me understand better why someone might give up. When 3 steps is too far for food, you learn things about yourself. And they aren't pretty things.

I survived. I've not had anything even remotely as bad as that happen again.

We are, all of us, more than our weakest moments.

Even when we fail to make it through those moments.

If you are depressed, please find help. I should have. I wish I did. I wish I could have. I'm thankful that my will to survive was stronger than my lack of motivation. I am willing to listen/read. I don't have answers for you, but sometimes just sharing with someone helps. If I'm not your cup of tea, please find someone who is. There are plenty of people out there willing to help. And not all of them require making a phone call. (Sorry, my own weird phone phobia is slipping in.)

And remember, please, that you are more than your weakest moments. It does, eventually, get better. Depression lies. And someone does love you.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

I Have Some Things to Say

Dear World,
You do not get to define me. I am much more than your limited views of me would suggest. I am not just anything, except for just me.

Because you do not know me, you cannot tell me that I can't have problems because I am a white woman. You cannot tell me that I cannot have problems just because I don't have children to figure out how to feed. Life is hardly ever as simple as outward causes for mental problems.

You cannot tell me that my husband can't potentially have problems because he is a white man. That his weight is where it is simply because he's lazy. That he doesn't care about me intensely because you don't see him doing whatever you think shows his care.

You can't tell me that everyone is hurting and then expect that everyone is fine emotionally. That someone who outwardly has their life together can't be lost inwardly. That depression only affects those whose lives have obvious complications and the rest of us are just weak or lazy or overly emotional.

You can't tell me that depression only attacks when things are bad. That I've never felt fine emotionally when things were at their bleakest from the outside and barely able to semi-function when things were starting to get better because it suddenly attacked with every trick in it's demented book.

You can't tell me that I'm the only one that's happened to.

Stop telling women that if they don't look like this celebrity or that supermodel that they are fat, unhealthy, and worthless. Too many of us take it to heart and it causes more problems. Quit implying that any woman who has any noticeable body fat anywhere is overweight and needs to diet and exercise. Quit implying that every man finds your insane standards of beauty to be the only standards that are acceptable. Quit lying to us all.

Quit acting like who someone loves is more important than that they have someone they love. That only one religion could possibly have the answers to everyone's questions. That just because I go to this church instead of that one that I am going to Hell because God is so narrowly strict on who he accepts. Quit denying that the Bible says that God wants to save as many people as He can. Quit telling me, without words but with attitudes, that I am going to Hell for any minor wrong and that I've got to be careful to never have a bad day (but apparently judging people based on their sins is okay, despite what the Bible says).

Quit trying to pigeon-hole everyone. Let us all be as free to be ourselves as we want to be. Let us be individuals or a group based on our social understanding and let us label ourselves.

Quit labeling women with negative words when they do things that a man would be praised for. Quit acting like a woman's worth is tied into being perfect at all things at all times while a man's is tied into what he earns. Quit acting like my opinion on anything might be less than my husband's because I am female and he is male.

I think it is time we all grow up and treat each other as we would want to be treated. Let's try that for a while, instead of judging and labeling everyone for convenience.

We are all more than most people see from the brief glimpses we get into each other's lives. Maybe we should try to respect that more.

M.A. Smith

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Exhausted Rambling

I would love to say that things are going swimmingly over here. They are going pretty well, but today has been long and I'm tired and sore and cold (Pennsylvania is cold in February, especially right after a snow storm, spread the news).

Ace got a load today that we drove 20 miles, maybe? Before he got 5 miles from the shipper, we got a call that he needed to head back. But we had to wait, somewhat, for a call from his dispatcher (because the first call was from someone else) and now we've been waiting for over an hour for getting into a door for them to unload the load they just put on the trailer and...

It's nothing big. We're getting paid well for that short trip. But it just made half the day feel pointless and I already had problems with not wanting to get up this morning.

I just want to wake up and not feel tired. That is where I'm at today.

Tomorrow, we get to be up and have the truck moving by about 6 am to make it to our next pick up on time. And I'm feeling like I've not been getting enough sleep for the past month (I really have, but it's been not so great sleep). And it sucks and I'm whining and feeling annoyed about that.

Things are going well. This is a small issue and I'm not getting depressed over it. I'm just ready for the day to be done. Because I think Ace is coming down with my cold/sinus gunk/whatever, which strangle came back when we got to colder weather. And I just need one of us to be okay right now and it doesn't seem like it's going to be me.

I'm just glad I have my blanket to wrap around me and help me feel like something is going... at least not completely pear-shaped. And I'll get to lay down and sleep soon, I know. I'm just ready to be past soon (and to have some heat warming my toes).

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Literary Tattoos on the Brain

I've been fascinated with literary tattoos lately. And this is unsurprising, seeing as I am usually reading several books at once and stories with meaning stick with me and if I enjoy (or don't absolutely hate) getting tattoos, I may consider one someday.

I, somewhat recently, read a book about literary tattoos. Mostly it was looking at pictures of tattoos, but still. It was fascinating. Some people explained their tattoos and some people didn't. One woman wrote a story (or was in the process of writing a story) by having words tattooed on people. Some were tattoos that related to writing more than just being about a specific book. Most of the tattoos were quotes.

I'm not sure there has been something that I've read that I want to put permanently on my body. That, however, is not necessarily going to be true forever.

So far, I'm planning on getting "I am stronger than I think" and "It gets better" tattooed on my wrists (possibly in white). As reminders to myself that dark days don't last and I will get through them. Ace and I have talked about getting matching tattoos, and even potentially picked out what we're getting. Of course, if I don't like the process, that will put a damper on the idea.

I've never thought of myself as someone who gets tattoos, and yet I'm considering getting not just one, but three.

Anyway, none of this is set in stone. But I am fascinated by why people choose the tattoos they choose.

And now I think it's past time I went to bed.

Friday, January 24, 2014


One of the things Gretchen Rubin wrote about in The Happiness Project was being grateful. Between that and the book Ace and I are reading about marriage (not the best book as we keep disagreeing with things said in it and our marriage is doing quite well, thank you), I have been thinking about how much I am grateful for how good a husband Ace is.

And they have caused me to reflect that I say "Thank you" to Ace regularly for him holding open doors for me. He prefers it when I let him get doors and I'm happy to let him, as I like it when he holds open doors. I almost always say "Thank you" and I always mean it when I say it. Sometimes it probably sounds like a subconscious statement, but it never is. I always appreciate his being willing to hold a door like a gentleman.

It's also caused me to reflect on the other things about Ace that I'm thankful for. The man takes such good care of me, even when I'm being cranky or grouchy. He cares and it shows. He cares more about our relationship and my well being than I sometimes give him credit for. Mostly when I'm being cranky or grouchy.

I have a wonderful husband who makes it easy to be thankful that he's in my life. He lets me tease him all the time and while he often teases me back, he never gets his feelings hurt by my teasing (not that I'm malicious). He is my hero. And he's very easy to get along with.

So, I am thankful for Ace. And I love him. Enough to make stupid jokes about silly books. And have serious talks about serious subjects. And to make plans for the future.

Thank you for being the best husband ever, Ace. Hopefully I'm at least as good a wife.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Happiness Is...

I am currently reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (along with 2 other books that I'm reading out loud to Ace as he drives and we're talking about). And it's got me thinking about what I can do to appreciate my life more as it stands.

I started reading it right now because there are several people's blogs talking about depression, and it was getting me depressed (Not that they shouldn't talk about depression, because they should talk about whatever they want to talk about. I just needed to focus on something else after that, and happiness seemed like a good option.). So, I decided to focus on something positive.

It's one of the first nonfiction books I've read in a while. Ace and I have been reading through fiction, which is wonderful, but I like nonfiction too. So, I'm in the middle of 3 nonfiction books at once. (Nicely, they are about 3 different topics, so they are easy to keep straight.)

I'm not unhappy. And I know I could probably be happier in general, but I'm pretty happy with life right now. Things are going well. I can replace my worn out clothes. My bills are paid and we're starting to not feel like our finances are tight. We're going to be paid on over 4,000 miles next week. Life is good.

But I'm doing better emotionally because I am focused on happier things than depression. I pulled myself back to the shore before it could get away from me. I'm doing good.

I am planning on spending some time looking into poetry after I finish The Happiness Project. I've never really appreciated poetry, and I'm going to work on seeing if I can find poems that I like (Besides The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe, which has always appealed to me, despite the somewhat dark and depressing subject matter. Maybe it's the meter?).

I'm going to work on growing some. Exploring things. I may not ever love poetry, but I bet I can find some poems that speak to me. And worse case scenario, I waste a few days and find that poetry is truly not something I like. There are worse prospects.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Can I Just Sleep for the Next Week?

I am having a weird day today. I'm not depressed, I don't think. I'm just... emotional? Or something. Other people's emotions are hitting me harder than normal. And I'm way too tired for someone who got plenty of sleep last night.

I am struggling with my own emotions some too.

My grandma is not as well as I'd like (not that I can do anything about that). My laptop, the one that my brain keeps telling me is mine, is supposed to be fixed and waiting in Tulsa, but I don't know when I'll get it (and then I have to add stuff to it all over again).

And people are fighting depression, and I get it and I love the posts about it, but it sort of feels like those posts are dragging me down, unintentionally. And I'd hate to find that talk about depression, even talk about things to pull you out of it, gets me depressed. That undertow would be nasty.

I am finally, after our time off, past my cold. And things are going well, financially, for the first time in years. The laptop thing? A minor blip for a few days. Seriously, we had to watch our spending from Monday until today, and now our bank account looks really nice again. It's been way to long since we've had that kind of financial security.

So, I'm having a weird day. The shoreline is not as steady as I'd like, but I can still see it. I'm not fighting an undertow. And I'm being cautious to keep that from happening.