WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THE ONLY WAY OUT IS DEATH?
Two things happened over this past weekend, Country singer, Mindy McCready, age 37, committed suicide and I watched a documentary about Joyce Carol Vincent, a 38 year old British woman whose body was found in her tiny studio flat three years after she died in 2003.
Many people have died throughout my lifetime but for some reason the lives of these two women, who I never met, cast a shadow of deep concern over me. My concern is for the many women and men of all ages who have tasted the hopelessness of despair to a point where suicide is the only believed option. My other concern is for the loneliness that surrounds people’s lives in our high-tech and low-touch society.
The cause of Joyce’s death was unknown due to the decomposition of her body (only parts of a skeleton left). The cause of her death, to me, is not as important as the fact that with no shortage of friends and family (four sisters), she just disappear from the world without a missing person’s report or an opened door to her apartment to locate her whereabouts.
Mindy’s life was full of substance abuse issues, heartbreak and mistakes. Some watched her on television going through rehabilitation. Others perhaps looked at her life with sadness or passed her over for yet another tragic celebrity. It is easy to watch reality television, watch the drama of others lives, and judge them without connecting our own stories for fear of that same judgment by others.
My desire of this post is two-fold. First, I encourage those of us who have not been to that point of desperation to take time to put down the computers, Face book, texts and social media and reach for a phone, drive to someone’s home, and touch base with people in our life that we have not heard from or talked to in a while. Often we go about our lives concerned with the things that matter to us yet forget that many around us feel lonely, unloved and unnoticed. Our society makes it too easy for people and a personal touch not to matter. We are able to keep a wall up of who we are and keep others from seeing our mess through a text, Face book post or dating service. While, social media is convenient, it can never be a replacement from hearing someone’s voice or having a meal and seeing a person’s face. I encourage us to take moments to return to the “touch” of society that only we can do.
Second, I encourage those of us who have been to that point of desperation to know we are not alone despite our feelings and struggles. Most people at first meeting have the impression that I have it all together, have a perfect life and an unblemished background. While that is a blessing that allows me through certain doors, the greater blessing is the story I can share once I am in the door. To those who are struggling today and believe death is their only friend and the pain will never go away, I get it. To those who feel lonely and that no one, not even God cares or can help, I get it. To those who feel like the pain will never go away and life is just too hard to bear, I so get it.
I know the feeling of wanting out and tried and attempted suicide more than once in my past because the pain of another day was too much. I understand the loneliness and belief that God doesn’t care and judges you with the same shame and guilt you judge yourself. I know the shame of abuse and having a past that reminds you daily that nothing will ever change and purpose, potential and greatness are excluded from your life.
For me, there was no magic pill or word that zapped those feelings from me. The problem was never that I felt those things or even had those thoughts. My problem was that what I felt I trusted as the truth and made that truth my reality. I felt like a loser and no one could love or accept me because of my past and the horrible shame I carried. So I believed that it was fact that I was a loser and that God and others felt the same way. Believing that was reality was too overwhelming for me to escape so I reacted to that. I was so overwhelmed by the lies I was believed that I could not receive anything true. Again, the problem was not struggling or feeling hurt, the problem was that I made my feelings that absolute truth and reacted to them. I needed someone who helped me to challenge my feelings and show me a healthy reality instead of the jacked up filter I believed since childhood. There is never any shame in getting help.
Struggles, pain and suffering are going to happen as long as we walk this Earth. The struggle, pain and suffering are NOT the problem. Believing that we should not have those things in our lives often is a problem because we have an expectation that can never be met. The problem is that we allow the wildness of our feelings to become our fact. We believe because we feel someone hates us, we are alone, we are unlovable, etc, that is the truth when it is ONLY a feeling which is an indicator that something is going on in our mind. We feel stupid because of mistakes we made or that we will never accomplish anything because a foolish parent or person (who was just as jacked up) declared it so due to their own pain and issues. Healing and a weapon come when we realize, the same ability we have to believe a lie is the same ability we have to take on the truth. What we do or what was done to us NEVER declares our future or who we are…NEVER.
You have power and a weapon and sometimes we need help from someone who can separate our jacked up filter (based on our past hurts, beliefs, etc.) from a healthy filter. The best decision I ever made was to come to the point of saying, “I need help” and getting it.
You can do this!
As always, if you have questions, comments, suggestions on topic areas or would like to share some of your story, please email me at email@example.com. I would love to hear from you.
Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, Trust Completely tm
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Copyright © 2013 by Charlotte D. Hunt All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, or otherwise without written permission from the author except for brief quotations in printed reviews.