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Not a pretty topic, but it weighs on my mind today

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The topic? Suicide. What an ugly word. Made uglier when it enters your life through someone you know. Made more so when "nobody saw it coming".

Last night my son clued me in to some FB statusses I had seen from people I met during his deployment. I am not a real active communicant with them, but still have them on my contact list, and I'd seen some things out there that led me to conclude someone had lost their life. They were vague though, and I don't know these folks well enough to barge in and say "What happened, who?"

My son told me he didn't know if I'd met ____ and his family, but as I had got to know so many at the Yellow Ribbon events while he was away, I'd probably want to know... and I did want to know. Nearly a year after coming home, one of the unit members attached to his sister reserve unit chose to end his own life on Sunday. He leaves behind a little girl.

Suicide is hard to understand from the outside. It's particularly hard from the "nearby" outside. But clearly from the inside, that person believes it to be a solution to his or her problems.

A few years ago, a young man who worked in my small team also died by his own hand. The very day he did it I had seen him at noon... he was laughing and joking, always had a kind word for everyone. This news brought that all back. And especially the feeling "If I had only known..."

I don't have answers. I have faith, and a heavy heart. I have concerns about loved ones... we all do. May God be gentle with those who knew this man best... and with all of us trying to make sense of the senseless.

And God, while you're at the answering prayers job, help me remember that eating well and moving help not just the ordinary stresses of day to day, but help with the big things, too.

All you Spark Friends out there... if you get one thing from my blog today, let it be this: YOU are a person of value. YOU contribute to the world. Take good care of YOU, because you're worth it. And I love you. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYWBL 12/18/2011 3:39PM

    Too true! Every last one of us is 'worth it'. I need to say it to others much more often.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEDDYPEDDY 10/5/2011 12:49AM

    Last week the brother of my boss commited suicide. Three years ago, when I lost the legal fight about where my daugther should live, I was so close to letting go that I claim to know what it is about. Of course to me only, everybody is not the same - I could have been cheerful a couple of hours before total desperation because to me it came very suddenly, just BANG! total desperation and pain and feeling that I could not ope any more...

Thanks to my experience I could tell my boss what it is like to be in the fearful state of anting toend ones life. Since that horrible night I have worked hard to pu up some good prevention walls in my life, when I am "normal" I know that it does not benefiyt my daughter that her mother leaves, but when I am in that blak hole... I can seriously convince myself that it is the best I can do. So I can´t afford to go in that black hole and I can dreat a life when I am as far from it as possible.

I know today that I have very weak spots. I know that I have to protect and take care of myself. I am very grateful for that insight.

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SUNNY1432 10/1/2011 11:21PM

    Suicide is a hard subject to approach and to deal with. I'll be praying for the little girl. emoticon

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SHELL- 10/1/2011 11:17PM

    My experience with suicide was with my immediate family. My mother's depression was because of horrible, unmanageable pain was suicidal when I was in high school, luckily her treatment for depression was successful.
18 years ago my husband of 20 yrs was "I'll show you and ruin your life" suicide those are the words of a psychiatrist's not mine, it was a tragic loss of a brilliant man. Then my son was put on medication to treat his emotions about losing his dad. The medication was one that they NOW warn to NOT put teenagers on, and it was double the recommended dose, within one week he was gone.
The crushing depression I felt at losing my whole family within 3 months was beyond words but I was blessed to have a friend who got me to a wonderful counselor who had first hand knowledge of suicide (her father, brother).
18 years and I'm still recovering... Your blog is an important contribution to people understanding depression and suicide and the long lasting effects suicide has on those that are left behind. emoticon

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    I am so glad Linda mentioned your blog so I would come and read it. Suicide is so tragic! 17 years ago, a dear friend of mine ended her life leaving behind a 4 month old baby girl with a husband who "never saw the signs" to raise her by himself. Just last month, one of our students at the university where I work lost his big brother to suicide... and he's still just trying to grasp the why. I wish those who choose to end their lives would realize the pain that is left when they are gone. But maybe that's part of the problem; they think others would be better off without them. I find that never to be the case. Thank you for a good blog even though it was a sad subject.

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DOGMOMMA2THREE 9/30/2011 7:43AM

    A wonderful blog and trust me, as somebody who has been suicidal, the fun upbeat mannerisms of this guy were because he had his mind made up and he was happy about it. Sad but true.

I hid my depression for years but since I joined Spark I now am more open. There is a horrible stigma about any mental illness so I think public awareness is the answer. I look and act "normal" but when I am really under the weather you wouldn't recognize me - I don't recognize myself!

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DEBRITA01 9/29/2011 8:28PM

    One never really knows the thoughts behind someone choosing to take their own life...often times it is totally unexpected and leaves their loved ones with so many unanswered questions. Prayers for comfort and strength for this man's family as they mourn the loss of their loved one. Such a tragic loss...I'm so sorry.

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_LINDA 9/29/2011 8:28PM

    So very sorry :(( It was difficult reading all these tragic stories. I can't imagine the feeling of hopelessness that leads to this action.. May people who have these thoughts have someone to rescue them before they take the plunge..

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KIKI0531 9/29/2011 7:39PM


My cousin's fiance' took his life some time ago. Out of nowhere - just after finishing a lazy Saturday morning breakfast. No note. No answers to so many of her questions.

I will keep his daughter in my thoughts and prayers. I know how hard this can be on those left behind.

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WATERMELLEN 9/29/2011 6:57PM

    Suicide is such an important topic: thanks for writing about it today. And reminding us all of how much caring for each other can do to change the world.

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DEBRA0818 9/29/2011 3:43PM

    My heart goes out to those whose world has become so filled with pain that they feel they have no other choice but to end it, and to those left behind to wonder. Feeling valuable, connected, needed, necessary are all such wonderful things to feel but hard to inculcate in another. It adds a dimension of helplessness to an otherwise incalculable tragedy. May the loving arms of God be felt by each and every person who was a witness to this light going out of the world.


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BUGGYS 9/29/2011 1:45PM

    The brother of a friend of mine dies in a horrific accident when he was traveling with some buddies. Although the funeral was so very hard for everyone, it was especially hard for the mom. She decided she couldn't live without her son and committed suicide by sitting in her car in her friend found her. She lost two family members in 5 weeks. Life is worth it and help is out there for those who think it's just too much to bear. The ones who are left behind suffer the friend has never been the same...depression is the killer...reach out to those you know are suffering, help yourself if you are suffering but please seek the help you so deserve!

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ELSEEBEE 9/29/2011 12:18PM

    Suicides are so very difficult to understand and to deal with. It especially saddens me to hear it was a young person who gave so much to our country. May his death remind us all to take good care of our military and let them know how much we love and appreciate them.

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BBORDEN86 9/29/2011 10:51AM

    I'm sorry you are having to deal with this. It's truely unfortunate that it coudln't be prevented. "YOU are a person of value. YOU contribute to the world. Take good care of YOU, because you're worth it. And I love you." Those are powerful words right there. EVERYONE is worth it!

I will never forget being a teenager and having to deal with this very issue firsthand. We always learned about it in school. I took it serious, but never thought it'd hit home. My next door neighbor and I were REALLY close friends. Same grade, and everything. She had been contemplating suicide, I don't know for how long. I remember one day her coming to me and asking me if my dad had a gun. He did, but I NEVER told her that. At this point I knew she was somewhat serious, but didn't know how to go about dealing with this sort of thing. Her next step was writing letters to everyone close to us and asking me to give them to those people. I told her I couldn't, started crying, and she walked away. I called my dad SOBBING telling him that she was thinking about commiting suicide, how she asked for a gun, and then had all these letters for me to give to people. I think right after we got off the phone he called her and asked her how she was doing. I'm not even sure how the conversation went, that's something I never asked him. The NEXT day she came and apologized, and we cried. She thanked me for caring. I was just VERY thankful that I possibly stopped her from ruining her life.

It still gets me teary thinking about it today. Now, she is almost done with college, and has an absolutely beautiful baby girl!


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JOSIEISHEALTHY 9/29/2011 10:30AM

    Suicide is such a tragedy on so many levels. I have a family member who committed suicide that left behind a daughter. The hurt my family members have felt run very deep. It's been over 30 years and I know it still affects them. I didn't know him since he died before I was born. My heart goes out to you and everyone else that has gone through a tragedy like that.

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HOT4FITNESS 9/29/2011 9:29AM

    Thanks for sharing this blog today. It is hard to believe that just about a year ago I was in a situation where I was contemplating ending my own life. Thank goodness for friends and family. God definitely intervened and put the right people in my life at the right time. I get tearful thinking of those moments but then I look at how much stronger I am today! Spark on!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 9/29/2011 9:24AM

    How very sad and tragic. May those left behind feel God's loving arms around them.

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KARIDIAN1 9/29/2011 8:24AM

    Suicide has touched so many in one way or another. Posting your thoughts helped you and others deal with the often silent killer of depression.

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MSLZZY 9/29/2011 8:10AM

    As my pastor said, we never know what is going through another person's mind or the demons they are facing. So sorry for the family and those who knew him.

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SAMI199 9/29/2011 8:06AM

    I'm sorry...It is the hardest thing of all to wrap our heads around.I would like to add that depression is a very insidious illness that makes "knowing" when a person is @ that point is almost impossible.They are not to blame,or selfish-just very ill( Thanks for sharing your thoughts & love) *hugs*

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Classic morning pep talk

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

emoticon Yep! Feeling charged up this morning. Wondering what changed from yesterday to today, because yesterday morning I was stomach-clenched to the point of had to take a 20 minute walk before going in to the office.

Breaking it down: yesterday I had no meetings! I put people off so that I could sit down at my desk and do some writing / analysis that very much needed to get done in preparation for a review next week. I have been so overbooked and had my focus split in so many directions that I was feeling badly stressed. I made a point to leave work "on time"... which I define as no more than 15 minutes late.

What a difference half an hour of OT makes in my mood! Why is that? Is it because of the tendency to obsess and try to do it all myself? "Mmmm... could be!" Anyhow, when I go in to work this morning it will be with at least a part of the planning behind me! That makes me feel a little more in control. And maybe that's the issue: feeling out of control is a huge driver of bad behavior with food. At least for me. More specifically, feeling out of control of something that I feel I should be in control of!

Note the subtle difference. Few of us are truly "in control" of most of the events in the world. The serenity prayer goes right to it: the serenity to accept the things we cannot change. But it goes on to the courage to change the things we can! One of the things I can change is my attitude.

I voiced that to myself yesterday morning as I briskly walked an extra mile before walking in the office door: "I cannot afford to have a bad attitude." That is bald truth. I can't afford to have a bad attitude. Who can? What does a bad attitude give you but bad health?

So here's to today: changing the things I can, accepting the things I cannot, and praying for that sometimes elusive wisdom to know the difference! With an attitude of gratitude to be alive on the planet.

emoticon Life's good. Spark on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHELL- 9/29/2011 12:03AM

    You are in good company. “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
winston Churchill

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WATERMELLEN 9/28/2011 8:44PM

    Ya know, I cannot afford to have a bad attitude either!! And: thanks for reminding me about that!

When my life feels out of control, that's when I "deserve" a treat . . . yeah! *aka binge*

Not good. Not a treat.

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SUNNYWBL 9/28/2011 7:22PM

    Your self-awareness is beautiful and healthy! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 9/28/2011 9:23AM

    Bad attitude = bad health.
Logical, perfect equation.

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_LINDA 9/28/2011 8:58AM

    So sorry you have to deal with such a high stress job. I get that you think you can do it better then anyone else so you have to try do it all. I have a little of that in my job, but now they want me to find my own assistant. The one they picked out had to quit for family reasons, which was a shame because he was so promising ;( Its very hard to get volunteers at the club as the board well knows so they are laying it at my feet. I have to find someone who can drive (not hard they all do), computer literate (much harder) and is willing to put time in (the worst). People will be quick to volunteer for a one time job, but hate long term commitment :(( I would be happy to dole out some of my work, but its going to be hell finding someone. If there is any way you can pass on some of your work, you should just DO IT. Not only does stress lead to binging, it can lead to ulcers and you don't want to go there. I did once, going to university as a mature student and not being able to handle it because of poor study habits and not knowing how to handle the volume of information being thrown at me. It also worsened my RA and gave me severe anemia. The bottom line? I have learned not to stress out over things anymore. What will be will be. Roll with the punches and come up fighting. I have a very tough skin, well developed over the years of insults.
Here is hoping you can find a way to have less stress at work.. Life is too short to worry.
Have a wonderful working wisely Wednesday!

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HOT4FITNESS 9/28/2011 8:42AM

    Amen to this blog!! I have had to make some adjustments i the attitude. Here'sto a great day with a positive attitude al the way!!!

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DEBRA0818 9/28/2011 8:12AM

    I'm with you on the need to have a plan in order to feel comfortable going into situations. My food plan totally removes the angst around eating, and my relatively structured life gives me a measure of peace about the day. Yet, it is the underlying confidence that I can handle whatever comes up (that I have no control over) that leads to ultimate peace. I'm working on that!


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MSLZZY 9/28/2011 8:08AM

    emoticonThat's the spirit! HUGS!

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This line was too good not to pass around

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Credit my brother in law the writer. In his newly refurbished blog, he references, " a wife whose family makes The Brady Bunch look like rejects from The Jersey Shore." I don't know whether to be flattered or insulted. But I'm laughing. emoticon

This is a funny man. I never know what he's going to pull out, and you may see something you say show up on the mellodrama stage or a veiled reference to the family in the plays (my dad's middle name and a grandfather's ended up together as a character in one).

Anyway, as someone who draws upon family in my own blogging I get it. Another gal that I work with wrote her first novel last year during November's NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) and published it. She got a phone call from her sister who greeted her as one of the characters in the book.

Here as Spark Friends we kind of become like family, too. I talk anonymously about "my Spark Friend who..." at work... hope y'all don't mind, but you're slightly famous in my circle. You are source material for motivation. Because every one of us who keeps trying is a reason for the rest of us to remember...

We're worth it! Life's good... Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRB13_1 9/28/2011 1:37AM

    isn't there an old saying "write what you know"? emoticon

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_LINDA 9/28/2011 1:21AM

    Most funny stuff does come from real life. Nothing zanier then the human race. We are a strange bunch!!

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MSLZZY 9/27/2011 11:12PM

    I had to have DS explain it to me, too. What a riot!

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MOBYCARP 9/27/2011 10:10PM

    That line was a lot funnier after my daughter gave me a two-bit summary of what The Jersey Shore is. If daughter got it right, we should be flattered.

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And on the "love" side

Monday, September 26, 2011

Autumn evenings. Orion rising. Temperatures perfect, air feels like... a swimming pool at the perfect temperature, but dry. Gentle breezes swaying the trees as shadows fall. What's not to love?

OK, the ah-choo factor is not to love... but the rest of it! Ahhhhh! Nighters, my Spark Friends! Life's good. Tomorrow is another Spark Day! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 9/28/2011 1:18AM

    Glad you can enjoy Autumn :) Looks like I am not the only one having attacks..But I still love getting out there :)

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KIKI0531 9/27/2011 10:42PM

    Enjoyed a walk with my little one tonite - long sleeve t's with a slight breeze. Love love this season. Sneezes and all :) emoticon

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PHEBESS 9/27/2011 8:23AM

    Sounds lovely!

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KALIGIRL 9/27/2011 8:18AM

    My favorite season! emoticon

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MSLZZY 9/26/2011 10:41PM

    emoticonFinding the bright side. Get a good night's sleep! HUGS!

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WATERMELLEN 9/26/2011 10:03PM

    I walked through the night to my concert and home again: perfection!

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FITFABJENN 9/26/2011 9:33PM

    Good night, emoticon


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The love/hate relationship with seasons

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yesterday afternoon I was treated to a visit from my son. I had whined at him over Instant Messaging that I was having mommy withdrawal symptoms, and since he was studying for exams this upcoming week, offered an ear for him to natter about what he's learning and postulating in his college courses. I miss that, you see. Remember helping your kids with spelling or math facts or science projects?

He brought over his used wireless router, and it was a breeze to set up so I can now take the laptop to other rooms if I want! Woo-hoo. Then we went out for a walk. He demonstrated that he can now actually use his thumb in a squeeze action on the "bad" hand... he goes back in to have its progress checked this week, too. He played with the kitties a bit and talked while I did a few of my "one thing" items... pulled a few weeds, loaded the dishwasher... and in general got my "mom fix". OK, so the hugs are a bit on the light side when he's got a bad wing, but I got 'em.

Two weeks ago I thought the Fall allergy season was beginning... now I feel like it is at it's height. My sinus passages are blocked up, my head's been pounding all day. Took some Advil and went back to bed for half the day. When I got up again the sun was warm and shining, and I went out for a walk. My head still hurts. My sinus still looks puffy in the mirror. But that doesn't mean it's not a beautiful day.

May the extra rest and the memory of son fix get me through the week!

Life's good, Spark On! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 9/27/2011 12:26AM

    I love that mommy withdrawal comment... exactly the feeling and I will use it a lot (although in swedish...)

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KALIGIRL 9/26/2011 12:52PM

    Sending soothing sinus thoughts...
It's amazing how something so glorious as fall has hidden pollutants in its formula...
Glad you got your 'mom-fix' and sorry I've been MIA - things 'should' slow down by the end of the month...

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BUGGYS 9/26/2011 7:36AM

    Whenever I have a computer/electronic problem, both my sons are on speed even my 8 year old granddaughter could probably fix all my computer problems!!! emoticon I have never experienced allergies but my DH struggles with the fall...hope you're feeling better!!! emoticon

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BETTAPRINCESS 9/26/2011 12:34AM

    I know how you feel visits from my son always feels good. He stopped by today and took his Grandmother and i grocery shopping. emoticon

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_LINDA 9/26/2011 12:31AM

    Glad you had some bright spots to your weekend. Been inhaling my Nasonex, and it keeps some at bay, but still feel that old familiar water running up the back of my nose :( Maybe you need some allergy medicine to take care of the sinus so it won't bother your head..Feel better soon!

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MSLZZY 9/25/2011 11:06PM

    The good outweighs the bad. a mommy fix, a computer fix and quality time outside. Hope the allergies back off and let you enjoy the new season. HUGS!

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WATERMELLEN 9/25/2011 10:55PM

    Your son sounds like a total sweetie AND a genius at the computer stuff too (I'm missing mine, who's gone back to school far far away from us here . . . and my daughter too, sob sob. Thank goodness for email but it's not the same).

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KARIDIAN1 9/25/2011 10:04PM

    Glad you were able to spend some "Mom" time with your son. Hope your allergies get better when you get a freeze.

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DEBRITA01 9/25/2011 6:36PM

    Feel better...I can relate (one of my least favorite things about fall...allergies) emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/25/2011 6:36:30 PM

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ANDI571 9/25/2011 5:07PM

    emoticon Couldn't find a box of kleenexes anywhere on here, so I am sending a hug instead.

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