Sunday, May 22, 2011
Recently I received news that a friend of mine from the past committed suicide. I found myself lost for days in grief over this news. I drowned in the river of grief from the past, so much grief for lost time, so much pain of my own resurfaced. I sincerely understand my friend's choice. I, myself, struggle with moments of darkness that drive me to find a final release. I understand feeling misunderstood and alone. I know the frustration of lost expectation in myself and in others. The, almost constant, disappointment from high expectations and visions of perfection that never quite meet the bar. I know the fatigue of rarely having a really great day, a healthy-free from chronic illness suffering-day. I know the feeling of seeing myself from across the room so very emotionally taxed that I could scream, run, do absolutely anything to relieve the tension. I am full with the endless daily "to-do's" and "re-do's" that are mostly care-taking tasks for others. I am bored with it and mourn the lost days of living care-free. I wonder if they really ever existed. Mostly, I'm tired of caring so much, of feeling so much, of worrying so much about everyone I know: family, friends, the ill neighbor, the grieving widow, rescued dogs and children. For as long as I can remember, I've cared too much, so to speak. I recall a girlfriend of mine replying when asked why she didn't do something for someone with "Because I didn't want to." I was dumbfounded. How could that be an option? I still ask that question. Since her response floored me and made me question my own actions, I have been working on putting myself, my wants, first. I often fail, realizing too late that I've exhausted myself for someone and now have nothing left to give to myself. I remember saying to my husband recently, "what if we interacted with everyone we came in contact with as if that meeting was for their benefit solely?" His tongue-in-cheek response: "I think that would make you Jesus." Well, no, I am not quite that good, not even close....this posting is about my frustration with caring and not taking more for myself. I understand taking one's life when feeling overwhelmed. I know that desire. I GET wanting to escape this life of expecting so much and receiving so little and that downward fall into isolation from being forgotten again. I do share the responsibility; I have built my part in this relationship with folks in my life. Those who care about me have been lucky so far; I have managed to make it through that despairing moment each time. I survive one more day again. But, to you my dear friend Ross, I understand and I would have expressed this to you had I known you swam in the same water as I. Life is so much more painful than I expected, than anyone prepared me for. I am not alone in my sentiment. I struggle daily to focus on JOY.