Death: The Relentless Monster

Death: The Relentless Monster

Shit. Shit. Shiiiiiit.

Just working in the same spot of the same coffee shop I’m always at when it starts creeping in…

FUCK!

Mumford and Sons brought it on today. I just know he’s in their music.

People die. It really happens. People you loved and once gave your life to stop breathing and existing. Sometimes it happens, and there’s not a fucking thing you can do about it. As powerful as one single human can get, death leaves even the mightiest of us all cowering and broken in dark corners. Blood on our hands. Tormenting aches in our souls; crippling our minds, our bodies and our present moment. There’s just nothing like death to slap the shit out of you and sober you up.
What even matters in life? The promotion? The debt payoff? The clean house? The summer plans? The petty toils of relationships? The house, the car, the dog? The regrets of the past? The dreams for the future?

Nope. No. Wrong. None of it. None of these things last…they don’t hold up next to the torrential force of death. And here’s why…

Nothing is final in this life, except death. NOTHING. Everything crossing your mind right now…there’s a way out, around it, or through it. Everything has a plan B, alternate route, or more options. Except death. Death pops you in the mouth and knocks the wind out of you. “It’s over! Hope is gone! Shut your thoughts down! Stop wishing, dreaming, searching for a way around it! You have no way out! It’s final! It’s done! There is NO turning back, no other routes, no way out! So, deal with it…or die yourself.”

That’s just a taste of how fucking offensive and cruel death is. There is no sympathy, no gentleness, no easing you in. You get no hand outs and no short cuts. Death shoves itself down your throat and if you don’t choke it down, you will suffocate and die. It’s violating, sadistic, vengeful, and merciless. And it never relents…it will always have a place to cut you in the side, just when you think you’re free of its grip. Oh, no…don’t be a fool. Death and all his ploys to destroy you are never far from you.

I am fine. I am busy. I am happy. I have good things, people, and work in my life. My kids are doing well. But today. Today death made a move on me and left me shaking in a coffee shop, tears welling and completely consumed by it’s antics. I am paralyzed by it and powerless against it in these moments. My only escape today was an empty GoogleDoc happened to be open. I will be fine, I’ll recover from this offensive assault soon, but real-time…this is what those “bad days” or “grief pockets” look like… Welcome to my normal.

 

MK

 

As always, if this particular sequence of words moved you in heart, mind, soul or spirit, please follow my DrinkerBelle Blog and FB page, comment, and share the post.  My story is not just for me, and neither is yours. #everymindmatters

Hashtag #everymindmatters and share this blog, your story, or how you’ve seen mental illness.  Join the fight against ostracizing those who suffer where you can’t see.  Let’s learn how to create a safe place in our society for truth, help and support.  We are not alone.

A Parent’s Nightmare: The Suicide Bomb

A Parent’s Nightmare: The Suicide Bomb

Disclaimer: (I know, always with the disclaimers! I’m just trying to protect you from the big, bad world of life gone wrong.) If the “F” word makes you wince, if other people’s pain scares you and if you don’t know how to handle hearing really stupid life stories about how life can take some pretty terribly horrific turns, well, consider this your very strong warning to stop reading now…it’s been “a day.” And if I normally “don’t hold anything back,” well, tonight is gonna be an absolute throw down.

 

So, through the course of this and that and all the shit that follows life after a suicide occurs, I have known that one day I will have to dish my innocent, precious babies the cold, heartless truth that their daddy hung himself. They know that he “hurt himself really badly and died…and he chose to die,” and the god’s honest truth is I thought that would “hold them over” for at least a couple of years. I was naively wrong. It actually needed to happen months ago. Before you all go up in arms about child-appropriateness, timing, waiting “till their ready,” and everything else I threw at the 5 different child therapists I’ve consulted, I’ll teach you what I now know. They need the truth. The cold facts. If they don’t get it now, they will grieve what they perceive surrounds his death instead of what it really is. If they carry on without knowing, they will have to re-grieve the truth of his death when they find out. And that, my friends, is one of those- over my dead body will they have to rehash anything on accord of ME being too chicken to face the fucking horrible reality of my life and theirs-kind of moments. So, today I decided I must sit my two, innocent, bright-eyed, beautiful, thriving, lively children down at some point in the next 2 weeks to let them know that, not only is their daddy dead…he hung himself.

I already have PTSD from having to orchestrate the whole “breaking the news” ordeal of his death to them, and now…round fuckin’ 2. I cannot imagine having to tell your child anything worse than what I am faced with (perhaps there are worst things, but I’m right in the middle of the biggest adult-sized tantrum you can imagine, so naturally, I cannot think of another situation being worse). How, I mean, HOW do you walk into a moment where you are knowingly traumatizing yourself and even worse, the 2 most precious things in the world to you? How do you do that?! I am constantly calculating worse/worst case scenarios: should I tell them before they go to gymnastics (their favorite thing in the whole world) so they have something “positive” to distract them after the dose of reality I shove down their throats or will that ruin the best thing in their life right now and possibly forever? How am I supposed to know? It all feels like a lose/lose.

I just made an observation the other morning: Man, I haven’t cried in a few weeks…the tears must have weaned away. That’s kind of nice. Well, guess what? That thought bit me in the ass hard this week. I have cried my ever loving eyes out for days, and then today. Today. Today I settled within myself to do such an unthinkable thing, I don’t even want to know it, talk about it or bring it anywhere near my children. They are my world. I bend my life inside out for them, to make sure they know every day that they are loved and cherished, wanted and cared for. So, doing what I’m about to do makes absolutely NO sense. I risk everything here. I risk breaking their hearts, crushing their spirits and worst of all, losing my heart connection with them, which is what I have given everything in life to maintain since the day they were born. And, here I am, actually considering giving it all up, for what? Truth? Fuck the truth. Fuck suicide. Fuck this whole thing. I hope, oh God, how I hope, that people who suffer from any silent disease will read my words and try to find more fight within or outside of themselves to NEVER take their own life. Even if you think not one single person on this twirling, swirling world would notice your disappearance, I assure you with one thousand percent certainty: at least ONE person will notice, and you will literally fuck up at least ONE person’s life. So, if nothing else motivates you to get help, please, let that.

The shockwave of Tyrel’s suicide is miles and states and continents long. He had no freakin’ clue anyone would notice or care…well, we do. And his family, friends, students, and his babies and me are left to scramble to pick up the broken pieces of the “bomb” he lit himself up with. We all have limbs, organs, and pieces of us missing now. There is shrapnel everywhere. Worst of all, my children, his mother and his sister. Let me make this even more clear than it probably already is: a person is not something one just simply “gets over.” There is no getting over this. There is only moving through it. And holy God almighty, it is nothing close to doable. I can’t. All I’m doing is trying my best to love my kids in this moment and keep those hearts open to me.

So, as you kiss your babies, your parents, your siblings, your spouse or whomever you love goodnight tonight, just remember how fucking precious their life is to you. Do not hold a sweet word, a gentle hug, a loving touch or wink of the eye back from expressing.

While you put my very wise words into action, I will continue to scoop leftover mashed potatoes into tupperware and wipe tears and snot off my face with a dishtowel (you may or may not want to accept a dinner invitation from me after this). This is never what I imagined being a parent would entail, but guess what? You have to man up when shit breaks the fucking fan. But seriously, maybe I should plan a beach vacation a few days after I drop the bomb Tyrel handed me to pass along to our children.

I do believe I have moved into that one stage of grief they call anger.

 

As always, if this particular sequence of words moved you in heart, mind, soul or spirit, please follow my DrinkerBelle Blog and FB page, comment, and share the post.  My story is not just for me, and neither is yours. #everymindmatters

Hashtag #everymindmatters and share this blog, your story, or how you’ve seen mental illness.  Join the fight against ostracizing those who suffer where you can’t see.  Let’s learn how to create a safe place in our society for truth, help and support.  We are not alone. 

Isolation: The Silent Killer

Isolation: The Silent Killer

I hate the smell of tears. This has been a hard week. I have had what I refer to as PTSD episodes where I find it extremely difficult to move past a traumatic memory when it crosses my mind. All the memories of the week of Tyrel’s death have been knocking this week. Acupuncture eases it, but it’s still there. I suspect enough time has gone by that my brain thinks I’m ready for another layer of healing to be peeled back, like an onion. I think my brain doesn’t know a fucking thing. The triggers have been things like a dream I had about Tyrel pretending to be dead, my son’s mannerisms starting to really resemble Tyrel’s to a tee, my daughter’s sleeping face looking eerily like her daddy’s the last time I saw it…cold and lifeless. It’s disturbing, I will not minimize that.

Tonight I was watching a documentary about Steve Gleason (called Gleason on AmazonPrime). He has ALS and is slowly dying. His wife gently and lovingly cares for him as he loses more and more of his ability to function over the course of a few years. I burst into tears during one scene when his wife is stroking his head…and I cannot help but wish that Tyrel’s disease was more outright and tangible. I think the biggest struggle with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, etc. is that it is a disease of isolation. It isn’t seen. It doesn’t show up on tests. Diagnosis is a hit or miss. There isn’t one protocol for therapy, and there’s no cure. And it is not just simply difficult and taxing on the loved ones around the person with the disease, it’s destructive. The person is expected to act and live to a certain standard because they physically appear to be able, and that creates such a frustration and anger for them, because every day is such a battle. To maintain stability. To give the perception of normal. To continue to function, provide, engage, support, socialize. It’s absolutely exhausting. But loved ones don’t see that and the one carrying the burden can’t and often doesn’t know how to explain what has always been simply, their way of life.

As much as Tyrel feared being in a vegetative state due to an illness or accident, after watching this documentary, I’m thinking, “Well at least this guy’s family was able to hold him, and cuddle up to him in bed and feel his breath and touch his body near the end.” When Tyrel was dying, he seemed so normal. He woke up, drank coffee, went to work, came home, played with the kids, ate dinner as a family, watched football, played multiple sports on a weekly basis, etc…But his days were numbered and living was a challenge. He had to keep up the image of “stable.” He had to cover his disease so he wouldn’t be judged, scorned, and worst of all…pitied. Oh, how that man loathed to be pitied. Because he was strong and able. But the whole clusterfuck of life vs. his mind isolated him. And in the isolation, the anger grew. Understandably. Unfortunately, I was his number one target. I loved him so much, but it became such a destructive environment, even I had to walk away.

From that point on, it was a free fall for Tyrel. His days came faster and ended quicker. And he wouldn’t let me so much as speak to him, let alone hold his hand through it. This absolutely crushed my heart. I would cry my eyes out, because I knew we were losing him, and all I wanted to do was show him he wasn’t alone. But his disease isolated him. There was no room for vulnerable support with all the anger from the battle he fought alone for as long as he could remember.

So, all I have to say tonight, through these stupid, smelly tears and the absolutely horrific side of this story I continue to live is this…

Be thankful. Love others. Hold your people tight. Choose to see the good and get the fuck over the petty. And most of all…let others in.

 

As always, if this particular sequence of words moved you in heart, mind, soul or spirit, please follow my DrinkerBelle Blog and FB page, comment, and share the post.  My story is not just for me, and neither is yours. #everymindmatters

Hashtag #everymindmatters and share this blog, your story, or how you’ve seen mental illness.  Join the fight against ostracizing those who suffer where you can’t see.  Let’s learn how to create a safe place in our society for truth, help and support.  We are not alone.

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