Wednesday, 10 June 2015

An Unexpected Tangent

Image "smile" by K.L.
Today I received a text message from my son which led to an unexpected diversion in my writing. He sent:

I have a project for you. I'm making a poetry anthology in English class and I'm supposed to include 4 poems from other people, whether it be from online or from someone I know. I was wondering you and your great grasp of the English language could right a poem for me. The theme is cities if you're interested.

Now I first had to put aside any desire to correct my son's grammar (it being a text message, I made an allowance). Then I had to chuckle at the thought that his assignment meant a "project for [me]". Smiling, I took about ten seconds or so and, using my "great grasp of the English language", I concocted this little gem:

They scurry here,
They scurry there,
They scurry, scurry
Everywhere.

They go up high,
They go down low,
There is no telling
Where else they go.

The sky above them,
It is so dense;
To live in smog
Just makes no sense.

And with no earth
Beneath their feet,
They look so lost
So incomplete.

For those lost ones
We must take pity.
It's not their fault
They're in the City.

Not a literary classic by any means, but it's silliness brings a smile to my face.

And it feels so good to be able to smile

Monday, 8 June 2015

My Cry for Help

Image "Help!" by Lydia
Let me be clear, my suicide attempt was not a cry for help. It was a surrender, a complete abdication of my will to live.

My cry for help came on September 3, 2014. It came after.

I knew that my life was being saved on September 2; however, my brain, addled by the effects of the drugs I'd taken, denied me the ability to fully comprehend what this meant. In retrospect, this created a wonderfully serendipitous mental silence. The incessant negativity of my inner voice was stilled giving my battered psyche the opportunity to rest that had been denied for so long.

For hours, I drifted in and out of consciousness, steeped in the stimulus, the life, of the emergency room, gifted with this stillness of mind. The seeds of hope and of the will to live took root and, when the effect of the drugs wore off in the wee hours of September 3, my thoughts had clarity, a clarity grown from the strength within these seeds, the strength that The Black had sought to suffocate.

This brought its own terror: after trying so determinedly to kill myself, how do I now face life?

That is when I cried out for help.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The End Is The Beginning

Image "Urban Hope" by Twitter.com/mattwi1s0n
September 2, 2014, is the day when the rest of my life began. I didn't expect this. I expected it to be the day on which I died.

At some point that day, in the midst of a drug-induced haze, I sent an email to my parents asking them to make sure my son was taken care of. Typically, any email to my parents would languish for a number of days before I received a reply. But the email of September 2, 2014 was different. It was read immediately and acted upon immediately. As I slid into the oblivion I sought, my parents dropped everything they were doing and rushed to my apartment. They tried to revive me and ultimately called 911. They saved my life even though I believed it was unworthy of being saved.

The police, EMTs and hospital staff did their jobs with ruthless efficiency. They didn't care why I'd tried to kill myself. They simply did what they were trained to do and saved me from myself. They forced me to walk. They forced tubes down my throat and filled my digestive system with charcoal. Then, when I was moved from the emergency department to a room, they placed a guard at my bedside.

And something unexpected happened. At the end of all the efforts made by my parents, the police, EMTs and hospital staff, I discovered two things I'd thought forever lost: hope and a desire to live.

Image by PublicDomainPictures
I can't express how shocking this was. After months of Black, after months of suicidal thoughts, after acting to kill myself and still my pain, I saw a small flicker of light in the once suffocating gloom. In opening myself to death, in welcoming it and asking it to bring an end to my suffering, I found Life and choice.

Through their efforts to save me, my parents, and then a team of strangers, revealed to me in a most profound way that I was worthy. I can't fully convey just how startling this revelation was. My lack of worth was, to me, a given. To have this fact, this central belief, challenged so categorically was a personal paradigm shift the influence of which continues to this day.

My journey of recovery had begun.