Thursday, May 16, 2013

Still Here

It does so break my heart every time I hear this song.

I mean, I've heard that she had a lot of heartache and troubles, but she was still here to sing about it. Now she is gone and she will always be one of the many reminders to me that life is life and death is death. I don't want to be punked into giving up  - not by disappointment or shame or hurt or loss or fear. I want to go out fighting a little bit harder than that.

People say that suicide is a coward's way out. I don't think so anymore; I think that suicide is a brave act -stupid but brave. After all, you are rolling dice on eternity.  By giving up in a moment of overwhelming pain, you are forfeiting a chance at any more joy. It's stupid because you don't know how much of your love you are robbing other people of. You are giving up ever finding what could have been your saving hope - a person or pursuit. There could be someone you don't even know who will need you, and you won't be there. 

I bring up all this because there are many ways to commit suicide (and I'm not talking about intentional styles or methods). What I mean is that there are people all around us who are committing suicide by lifestyle and mindset.

A close friend of mine is dying a little every day by sitting and letting life pass her by. She is letting depression kill her without a weapon in sight. (And I am not downplaying the very real problems of depression.) 

Like I said, there are people dying of suicide all around us. When you are depressed and won't let anyone help you, that's suicide by default. When you are in a dangerous relationship and won't get help, that's suicide by shame. If you feel overwhelmed by life and can't lay down your fear or pride or shame to reach out in any way, that is suicide. It's slow suicide. 

Just like we should do for anyone with suicidal tendencies, we have to keep trying to reach people who are lost in their pain. Maybe because I am a Christian (imperfect as I am), I truly do believe that I am my brother's keeper.

I've been the one who needed "keeping." Thank God I had friends who were there for me. I was the one committing suicide by shame and pride and misguided wishing. I didn't want anyone to know I was in a dangerously abusive relationship. Shame and pride. I didn't want to give up on someone I once loved and wanted to love again - no matter how many times he put me in fear of my life. Misguided wishing. 

Anyway, believe it or not, a lot of my thoughts for this post came together out of a simple conversation about the weather. Yeah, I am both complex and simple! (Or just simple.)

It's been an unusual summer here so far. Anchorage is home to some great summertime weather. (Fairbanks has better summer weather, but they also have winters that will freeze your ovaries.) The weather here at this point sucks. It's so gloomy today that I had to have three hits of caffeine just to fall out of the right side of my bed. This is the way things have been since we expected summer starting in late April.

Am I complaining like a champion whiner? Yes, you bet. But I have a new philosophy about everything:

As long as I am here to complain, I'm doing better than I could be. I am still here. Some people left us way too early. I wonder if they can know that we miss them and think about them; crave their presence and need them?