Maybe it’s from the suicidal idolization thinking that I held for so many years, an escape mechanism from the overwhelming that I find myself here again. Maybe it’s the recovery and different life’s my own life has held, that I feel it is my part to say something, anything. Maybe it’s just the lives that have left us too soon, too early in the journey, that spur an overwhelming desire to stop the silent avalanche that sweeps up those just trying to make it to a downhill portion of life again. Maybe it’s the children that lay in the wake of the disaster that carry forward only these examples for experience.
A niece on my wife’s side of the family, the one that has almost dwindled away, passed in February. She had a heart valve replacement when she was very young and it failed her sometime in the night. She was the mother of two, and going through finding herself, a divorce from a childhood sweetheart, and finding a new love along the way. The news shook us to the core, the one my wife used to babysit often, lived with for a while too, changed diapers etc. There was a story of addiction that went along with her story, and one that was that of success. Her newfound love was also successful at finding a new way of life, he was also as human as the rest of us and relapse comes to the best of us.
Almost five months to the day I get news of his passing. He did not have a heart valve to give way, but he did have a problem with addiction, I guess heart valves are present beyond the physical plane. Another railroad spike pounded hard into the chest, the real estate growing less available for the next. Whether it was meant to be the end or not, there is never any guarantee when you use any at all, that you will get out. So it’s always the end in one way or another. A spike, another black hole, another voice and life unable to ask for help, unable to tell you their pain. I get that part, that nobody will listen, the nobody could possibly understand it. I get that part because I still say it, still think it, even though I know the real truth. Even with that knowledge it is beyond difficult, paralyzing, to think of opening that trap door to the place you need help with.
I could never quite finalize my suicidal idolization’s. Since I got to that place, to that jumping off point through deep emotional expressions; I was also close to those other deep emotional expressions. That part of this emotional tepee creeping kept coming back around, as soon as I got to my ultimate loathing, I also got to my ultimate truths, my ultimate love, and my humanness. I was able to tie down the rudder enough, a thread, a strand, to who I was, that the greater waves of life didn’t send me to the depths. Sure, I, like many I know are bailing like hell to keep it all afloat, but there are days and weeks of clear weather that make it all worth the trouble, make it somehow worth all of the pain.
I recall a psychologist saying that the number one issue with the younger members of our society is this; They are afraid to make mistakes, they are so overwhelmed with choices, that they are afraid to make decisions. They are so very afraid of doing that one thing, that wrong career, down to that wrong social media post. In today’s world the one thing that the older adults had that this generation doesn’t is being able to forget. Our lives were not one of constant connections and encyclopedic knowledge, even down to the personal, that applies to the social minefields they must discover. Not only discover, but blaze and shape, casualties and all. What? You didn’t think that a new world would spare our children? We put them into the soup to begin with, we have sacrificed without foresight the next generation to build a new society on our crumbling yesterdays.
But all of this is nothing new, none of this just started in the last hundred years. It has gotten worse, it has hit hard across every spectrum of society, and knows no nation it doesn’t transcend. I think it’s the recovery community, the recovery from alcohol that showed me that the more personal the pain, the grander steps it is we take to stuff it. To stuff it down there with all of the other symptoms of our past that make us sick. This belief that personal things, personal issues, must be personal only. is utter bolshoi! The constant and unrelenting efforts to polish the outside of our garbage cans has now usurped reality, and is driving decisions based on bad data.
One of the things we learn in recovery is that there is no user manual for any of this. There is no set way any of this is supposed to work out. We have sold the idea that the only way to a good and fulfilling life is through the hoops laid out by others. The effect of all of this is the belief that there is a user manual, there is a painless pull, and there is some “right” way to live. Leaving younger people paralyzed in making decisions, overwhelmed by everything thrown at them. All of these opportunities we bring to the table just more value added to the mental construct of pick up sticks. There was no better teacher than having to sit through a long term illness. During that time people tried to help, suggest jobs, and look for opportunities that could make the difference. They had no idea that you couldn’t do something anymore, or at the time. They had no idea that the job they brought to your attention was so perfect, so right for you any other time; That it hurt your feelings nobody remembered your share that morning about not being able to stand for very long. It happened so many times, and in that trying to say something that you realize nobody listened to you in the first place.
When these deaths happen, when life itself is the disease of the heart and every beating pulse just drives you deeper, there is not a singular solution. There is the too late burning scream that we, the others in this life don’t have the answers either. We have masses of experiences just the same, and somehow, we were stubborn, or scared, but we made it through. That’s it! No grand design, no guide book to say that you do this and then that and everything will be okay… With all the best guidance in the world, it is still up to that person, still up to them to make the ultimate decision. God has no place in the decision if he wasn’t a part of the life, and even then it’s not enough much of the time. We mess stuff up, life itself has no fairness doctrine, we are scraping by on the insides too.
I wonder how difficult it would be to make things better? It is at least breaking down some barriers in today’s societal awareness. These polished personas, these outward displays of having their stuff together is just that, a display. If half of the tough guys would admit they have problems, or half of the beautiful people speak of their issues, hangups, and life. Then maybe younger and more susceptible minds would understand that we all have difficulties, we all have fears, and we all hurt so damn much. The human part of us is not aligned with the wreckage of chivalry, old time religions, and the silent suffering that has endured all too long. Talking itself is one way to tell the stories, writing yet another, but in this entertain me era, it is imperative that the narrative be we do really hurt, we fall down, men cry, and women are viscerally screaming. The lives are being lost, but the healing is happening, slowly but surely the words are going out, the guide book is made, and filled with pages, with only two words atop every one… Keep Going…