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Sewer Slide

The 'You-Know-What' Word

Pollenwood Photography

Much like Hagrid's aversion to saying Voldemort's name, suicide is a hard word to vocalize for me, like something evil you dare not speak into existence. It's not a word that should be glamorized or romanticized and though, "I'm going to kill myself," is probably a catch-phrase that everyone has used in some ironic jest at life. Suicide is in no way humorous. The first time I ever said it, I was 11. As I floated face down in the family pool, I could hear mother's mocking tone to my brother, "Look, she's going to kill herself"—and they kept walking. I survived, clearly, and I understand why she ignored my cry for attention, but what if I had died. Maybe I did. Maybe this life is a reboot. Like Groundhog Day, I'm sure I have lived this life before. I've heard that some Eastern religions believe that if you take your own life, you are destined to repeat it, bound to the same, until you get it right. Only then can your soul grow, to move on toward enlightenment. Well, I'm sure that somewhere along the timeline of my life, or lives past, my end was met by suicide.

Depression and anxiety have shadowed me for as long as I can remember, becoming increasingly aggravated as I age. If I tell you that some days are death days for me, you know in your core what I mean, if your spirit is also haunted. Those who are unencumbered by such inconvenient truths are those who believe ... suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Only, our "problem" isn't temporary. It is there, always, neatly tucked away on our best days and raging like a storm in the dark on death days. I've learned to let the thoughts come, and go, to ebb and flow like the storm surge inside my brain. I let the storm saturate my being. I endure the pain, sometimes for days and days and days, because I know the sun always rises even after the darkest night. For whatever reason, our souls are splintered, but oh, how we can and do shine. Some of the best and brightest lights among us are now gone. We feel deep sadness, but also a morbid clarity of understanding why.      

I will be 51-years-old in a couple months. I try to live simply and spiritually. I have the honor of seeing my two beautiful daughters become amazing young women. They have taught me what it means to love unconditionally, and they have made me a better human being. They accept all my faults and are my island in the storm. How could I ever leave them? I have accepted that I will never be free from this sadness, this ... presence that I liken to an unhealthy friendship. She used to go hand in hand with my soulmate, alcohol, but we broke up about five years ago. Drunk is not an attractive look for anyone, but especially for middle-aged women. Living sober has been my best decision, my only regret is that I wish I had done it sooner. I'm also no stranger to prescription medication. I have taken just about every anti-depressant made as of 15-years-ago, no more. I have been counseled, more than once, and after finding my savior, know with unquestionable clarity that I will not end my own life, no. I must be present, in every moment. I need to learn the lessons that my soul desires to learn, so that I may grow like a lotus through the mud, toward the warmth of my enlightenment.


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Sewer Slide
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