Posted by: mydarkestplaces | February 15, 2011

100th Post

I find it awfully fitting that this is my 100th post. A lot has changed over the past couple years since I started this blog. Even more has changed since the time you’re going to read about in this post.

I’m fantastic. I’m good. I’m solid. I’m not sad. I smile. Take this post for what it is – a reflection on the power of love in even the darkest moments of our lives.

It seems odd that in a post about love I would talk about suicide, but here I am, doing just that.

My family, as documented thoroughly, is one of the most incredible families a person could hope for. They are supportive, and loving, all without being a “helicopter” family that micromanages every aspect of my life. I am also blessed to have friends that stick with me through thick and thin. Some I thought would be friends forever have instead fallen by the wayside. Friends I didn’t know I wanted or needed have cropped up and now I can’t live without them.

But my story doesn’t start with a happy ending. Neither does it start with a story of abuse by loved one, neighbor or stranger. Nor does it start with a tragic accident (though there is one of those), bullying or any of the more “typical” precursors of suicide. Mine starts with “simple” chemistry. My mind, body, whatever does not produce enough of whatever the happy chemical is. I don’t ever remember not being…sad.

Even when I got to college, an incredibly uplifting and positive time in my life, there was a pall hanging over me that I couldn’t shake. Little things were big things, and my mind just couldn’t comprehend the new situations I was finding myself in or things I was learning about. For the most part I was able to cover it up, carry on like things were fine, but the weight of pretending to be happy took its toll.

My world was rocked to its core following the Accident. The intricacies of my feelings regarding the accident in the months following, and even now years later, are many. But it sank me lower than I had ever been before. It was with a heavy, dark heart that I graduated college.

Even my elation at getting a job in a field I had been passionate about in college was overcast with a deep depression. A shyness encouraged by self-doubt ensured that the job I was doing was practically impossible for me. Every time I tried, every time I failed, the self-doubt and -hatred grew.

One night it all became too much. I had failed (again) to get an event put together. I was going to be the reason this, that and/or the other failed. I was going to lose the respect of those I respected, the love of those I loved. I prayed for an end to the pain.

I remember it really clearly. I was driving my car (Hank – a ’91 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais) and it was round abouts 2 a.m. There were no cars on the highway as I drove home. This was my opportunity. I increased pressure on the gas pedal. Before I knew it, my 16 year old car was doing 90 miles an hour down the road. My goal: a stand of trees about a mile ahead. With luck I’d be out of my misery and no innocent bystanders would be hurt.

Then I got a text message.

I don’t know if the person who sent it to me remembers that night. I never really let on what was happening on my end of things, so maybe that night isn’t as memorable to them. I remember reading and sending back messages through an unstoppable wall of tears. And gradually, as I received assurances that despite the upcoming changes we would remain friends, I eased my foot off the gas, passed that stand of trees wiping the tears from my eyes. And kept driving.

I do not want to create this idea that love alone can conquer suicidal thoughts, because not every case is like mine. But I know that without the love of my friends and my family, I would not be here today. They may not know it, but they have saved my life over and over just by virtue of loving me, even when I can’t find it in me to love myself.


Responses

  1. You are loved. I’m glad that person reached out to you at that moment. <3

  2. Kate – this is beautiful, and so very brave to put it out there like that. We all have those defining moments, when we clearly remember that life could have gone one way and instead (thanks to something outside of our own minds) it went a completely different way.

    I for one am very grateful for whomever texted you that night. You are too important in this world to be taken so soon. :)

    Thanks for sharing and for letting me linkback.

    • Thanks for giving me the excuse to write this. And for the kind words. It’s been an interesting 27 years. Im glad I have family and friends like you and Amanda in my life :)

  3. tears…wow…

    i think i know the feeling–some days, when there’s just not enough that could go wrong, when it seems like your body is only there to fill in the empty seats in the classroom, the empty spots in the crowd, i too wonder, why can’t i just disappear? haven’t i already disappeared? why can’t the ones i thought were my friends be here now?

    –it’s just then that someone, a complete stranger, even, gives you that something that makes you human again, makes your life something. “i, too, am human. i, too, can live.”

    for me as well, these people probably don’t remember these moments, because they were such insignificant actions. but to me, they made worlds of difference, and i wish i could thank them.

    i hope that one day, when i’m on my feet, running with all that i ever love, i can show someone that they, too, are human, that they, too, can live.

    • Wow, Murt.

      What a profound and beautiful way to put it. Thank you.

      • oh, man, i forgot about this quote. i even posted it on someone else’s blog! it’s from a speech by carl rogers (full speech here http://www.listeningway.com/rogers2-eng.html)

        Almost always, when a person realizes he has been deeply heard, his eyes moisten. I think in some real sense he is weeping for joy. It is as though he were saying, “Thank God, somebody heard me. Someone knows what it’s like to be me.” In such moments I have had the fantasy of a prisoner in a dungeon, tapping out day after day a Morse code message, “Does anybody hear me? Is anybody there?” And finally one day he hears some faint tappings which spell out “Yes.” By that one simple response he is released from his loneliness; he has become a human being again. There are many, many people living in private dungeons today, people who give no evidence of it whatsoever on the outside, where you have to listen very sharply to hear the faint messages from the dungeon.

      • That’s so spot on.

        I think the Internet, for a lot of people, is the place we’re tapping out that message.

        I’ve both “met” and actually met those who write back, “yes,” whether on Twitter, tumblr, support boards or even in this blog. A lot of times I use the Internet to scream when I can’t scream out in person. Often with that vague – almost subconscious – hope that someone will write back, “I hear you.”


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