The Journey

How Grace Transformed “Let it Be” into “Let it Go”

I always thought that Christians were the most judgmental people in the world. So, in accordance with that belief, I accumulated a lot of friends who hated religion, and therefore anything having to do with God.   Even the word “God” was like a curse word to them.  Then I met a group of Christ-like people, who finally proved to me what I thought God was all about, all this time.  I’m now learning how judgmental the spiritually irreverent people in my life truly are. THEY ARE THE VERY THING THEY HATE… and they don’t even realize it.  I realize now that being nonjudgmental has nothing to do with whose side you’re on; just as being open-minded has nothing to do with surrounding yourself with like-minded people.  I have slowly made an effort to open my mind to people who don’t think like me, only to realize we have so much more in common than I had ever noticed; and also that what we do have in common is so much more important than our petty differences.

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The process hasn’t been simple, but the more I’ve given it over to God, the more I’ve watched the pieces fall perfectly into place.

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There are a lot of people in my life who think I’m completely insane, or that I’ve suddenly become extremely simpleminded.  You should recognize: I’ve always been completely nuts, and never have I claimed sanity.  I simply realize now, that I had a choice to make: one option would diminish my quality of life, and shorten the length of it; and the other would fulfill my life, and give me a purpose to move forward, with a complete disregard of the past hurts (and there have been a lot of those).  Based on that, my decision was really quite straightforward.

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I think even most of the people who have supported me in my journey to God, really don’t fully understand how perfectly it has all worked out.  The fact is, that I know my Source now, and nothing else really matters.

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For the people from my past who just can’t even grasp where I am, or how I got here; I know that it has been kind of ridiculous to observe.  This is mainly because, I’ve hidden my transition from a lot of people while it has been taking place.  I have been the only person to witness and experience the ENTIRE process, and it has been BEYOND mind-blowing.  I’ve arrived at a place in my life that I NEVER would’ve imagined I would find myself.

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I’ve come to a conclusion of the 2 places that I want to explore taking it from this point.  First, I need to write a book.  Written communication is my strongest gift, and the only way to attempt adequately conveying what this experience has been like for me.  It is clear that explaining it in a blog alone, won’t reach as many people, and will break up a testimony that needs to be expressed as a whole.  My second realization is that I want to go into counseling (of some sort).  These paths are crazy things to consider pursuing, so more processing is certainly in order.  But I do trust that these endeavors are crucial.

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To the people from my past, let me just say this: I’m not going to judge you because I suddenly understand God’s love.  Your fear of that is based on your own misunderstanding of God; for which I don’t blame you.  When I started going to church, I walked in with the same misconceptions about what I would find there, mostly based on my previous experiences with religion and church.  This isn’t about religion, or church.  This is about a relationship.  I’ve fallen in love with something that will never reject me, or let me down; and have unlocked my own capacity for unconditional love in the process.  I don’t mind that you’re filled with judgment when you learn of my new relationship with God.  It doesn’t bother me, because I know where that comes from, and your feelings are very valid.  This is about being in a power struggle with a world that was constantly fighting me, only to realize that it is neither them, nor me, in control.  It is also about the very concept behind this blog: incurable hope.

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Hope was the one thing that kept me going, and also the one thing that left me completely crushed when I realized how powerless I am in this world, despite my passionate drive to change it.

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I know that a lot of my old friends are terrified that I judge them now; or that I’m going to try to change them; or that they are suddenly different in my eyes.  If there is any difference now, it is simply that I love them that much more, and am that much more grateful for their roles in my life.  I’ve been blessed in so many ways, and even the pain of the past makes so much sense to me now.  I’m full of forgiveness, love, and gratitude.  I won’t say I’m not judgmental, everyone is; but I’m not any more judgmental than I was before, and I am probably even less so.

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Who is to say where things will go from here?  I’m filled with so much light, that my only hope is to carry that with me everywhere I go, and to convey it to those who are in the depths of where I’ve been.

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I’m not going to shove anything down anyone’s throat.  That would most certainly contradict the very things I’ve been working against my whole life.  Understanding God’s love, however, helps me to realize that I am not opposed to sharing that with others.  It is obvious, though, that this is most efficiently accomplished through acts of kindness, rather than hate and judgment.

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This is how many are:

Titus 1:16–They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. (NIV)

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And this is how we should all be:

1 John 3:18–Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and truth. (NIV)

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I think that people who live in God, and allow God to live in them, really cannot help but offer that to others, solely through the contagious nature of JOY.  Everyone wants to be happy; that’s why drugs are so addictive.  Unfortunately, addictions and basic consumerism are based on the concept of fulfillment as a commodity.  Let me save you some money… you can’t buy this.  If I could box it, or bottle it, or make it a pill, I would WOULDN’T.  I come from privilege, and I realize the way that being handed something seriously devalues it.  You can only truly appreciate something that you had to work for.  You can’t get this in Penthouse magazine, from a drug dealer, or in a luxury car, through a vast collection of Manolo Blahniks, on a yacht, within wrinkle cream, after liposuction, in a mansion, or in flight on your private jet, to get to your private island… you can’t find it in manipulation, deceit, or unstable relationships; by watching reality TV, and even in reading self-help books… you can’t even find it through the pages of  a Bible, at a church, in your best Sunday dress, or by following religions or various religious principles.  (And you definitely CANNOT buy it at Wal-Mart)  This has to come from within.  It is a process.  Though my process is my own, I had to go through hell to get here.  Honestly, it hasn’t even been something that I strived for.  Quite the opposite, I kept my feet planted firmly in the past, and fought this with all my might, for as long as I could.  I went through a lot of BULL to arrive at this conclusion; and this isn’t even where I intended to end up… NOT EVEN CLOSE.  But, this is where I am.  And I am so grateful to have finally arrived!

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While I was in the hospital last fall, we talked about the concept of “letting it go.”  I realized one day, while listening to a version of “Let it Be,” (by the Beatles) that this is where I was comfortable.  I could accept that things were the way they were.  Certainly, there was nothing I could do about the past.  I thought, for sure, that I would dwell comfortably there for the rest of my life.  I understand now, that letting things be, was the first part of letting them go.  You have to accept what was, in order to let go of the burden.  As Oprah puts is, “forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past can be changed.”  Before this moment in my life, the concept of forgiveness left me utterly baffled.  Now, I fully comprehend its purpose; and I’m filled with it.

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I definitely don’t want to lose friends as a result of my changes.  In the end, though, their reaction to it doesn’t affect how I feel, and it won’t affect me.  I suppose I expected more.  I understand the ways in which the institution of religion has traumatized many people.  I do recognize that such supremacy and ostracism are committed under false claims of God, and I won’t be a part of that.  It is simply my hope that those who are embittered by the representations they’ve seen of God, will hesitate to judge me according to the lies that they’ve heard.  And I certainly hope that, through my love and understanding, I am a more honest representation of just who God is.  I know that God’s capacity for goodness is perfect, and I never want my imperfections to hinder the communication of His LOVE.

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This entire transformation has totally turned my world upside down, in an AMAZING way.  All I know is, all the gaping voids in my life have disappeared.  My neediness has subsided, and has made way for LOVE.  The walls that I placed around my heart are gone.  I don’t rely on myself to filter out people who might hurt me (I never did a very good job of that anyway).  God is like an invisible electric fence around my life.  Only people who offer love, and incite growth within me, will know where the entrance is.  And anyone outside of that category, who just happens to make it in anyway?  Well, at least I know they’re there for a reason now.  I don’t think I’ve ever really considered the concept of grace.  I couldn’t define it for you right now, if I tried… but I TOTALLY get it!!! ❤

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AND OF HIS FULLNESS WE HAVE ALL RECEIVED, AND GRACE FOR GRACE. (John 1:16–NKJV)

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“If our hearts really broke every time we fell from love, I’d be able to offer you confetti by now. But hearts don’t break, y’all, they bruise and get better. We were never tragedies, we were emergencies. You call 911, tell them I’m having a fantastic time.”

-Buddy Wakefield

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[* disclaimer:*]

[*if you get too distracted by cussing to appreciate the possibility of poetry within it, just skip the following video 🙂 *]

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Victim To Victor: Remaining Open in a World of Slamming Doors

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Honestly, I’ve been avoiding writing since my last post.  I’ve gone through so much, have had so much revelation, and have been quite uncertain of how I should address these parts of my experience.

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I suppose I’ll start at the very beginning, as I heard once that it was a very good place to start.  🙂

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As of 5 weeks ago tonight, I have been medication free.  After a long 6 years on a cocktail of various psychiatric medicines, I decided one night to stop.  It was definitely a dangerously impulsive decision that could’ve been deadly in so many ways.  When I did it, though, that was kind of the point.  I had one last change in medications about a month prior, and had since sunken into a deep, deep depression.  When I stopped the meds, I did it in an attempt at my life.  As the following days crept by, something within me began to transform.  My anticipation of the end, evolved into my hope for survival.

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Let me STOP right there.  I want to say that medications can and do work for so many people.  I maintain, even now, that God would not have given us the ability to create such medicines so that the ability of healing could lay dormant within us.  These medications powerfully alter physical chemistry of the brain, thus affecting mood.  Stopping medications without the guidance of a doctor is dangerous, and especially so when done suddenly.  I have since consulted with my doctor, and remain monitored for sudden changes.

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What I did was not healthy, and very well could’ve killed me.  Somehow (God), it did not.

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The first place I went, after 2 weeks of staying in bed, was to church with some acquaintances who had been nagging me pretty relentlessly to go.  I’ve been asked to church before, but these people didn’t stop.  So I went, and continued to go in the weeks following.  I made the final decision to go one night a few weeks ago, knowing that if I showed up this particular time, they were going to keep expecting me to go.

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As it turns out, the people there were pretty amazing.  It wasn’t because of their devotion to scripture, or their claim of righteousness.  What struck me about these people was that, when everyone I’d encountered before them had given up on me at some point, these people stood by me through the worst of it.  I’ve been unintentionally testing boundaries since we met, and I continue to do so with this post.  (We’ll see where it goes.)

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I was also struck by the joy they experienced because of God, and the love they were capable of sharing because they were so filled with God’s love.  For the first time in my life, I felt I had found adequate examples of the God I’ve always believed in.

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They opened my mind and my eyes to God (love), and last Sunday, around midnight, I opened my heart to Him.  For the first time, I accept the ways in which God can work through me to help others.

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I now understand that I am only capable so much, but God is capable of everything.  I came to this point after years of single-handedly attempting to save a world that is largely uninterested in resolving the continuous destruction taking place.  I realize that I can accomplish more to confront this destruction with God, despite the numerous people who contribute to such destruction in the name of God.

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In the near future, I plan on explaining the extent of the torment of resistance that I experienced until the very last moment of that Sunday night.  I want to elaborate on the journey and explore why there is so much conflict within our surrender to God.  For now, I’ll summarize the event:  Last Sunday, I was mentally and spiritually tormented, and was feeling suicidal for the first time since I had stopped my meds.  I knew if something didn’t change, I would kill myself.  I had waited until I felt it imperative to make a commitment, because I wanted to be certain that these people truly lived by the image they portrayed.  I have to say that the majority of them do, including the people who invited me, and have stayed invested in my well-being.  Along with these friends, I continue to meet people who remind me daily of God’s love.  I’ve met people who have gone through many trials to get to God and people with souls so pure, it is strikingly beautiful.  I am so grateful for all of these people.

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As soon as your wall comes crashing down, however, some people’s true colors become achingly apparent.  I try to remain aware that judgement is one of the clearest projections of a someone’s remaining insecurity in God’s love.  This awareness raises my consciousness of everything I project, while also fueling my forgiveness of those who judge me.

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Because of those who have been living examples of God’s greatness, I’ve been adamant about holding true to my commitment.  The people who have shown me God, have reached me in a unique way.  I was not easy to reach and my mind had been closed.  As it is, I made a commitment to God, and He is my source.  That is unwavering.

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As I’ve been conflicted about the discrepancies I’ve heard within the ministry, I’ve tried to take an AA approach to what I take away from messages relayed from God, through people.  I am now capable of discerning when God speaks to me directly, and when people distort intention by playing telephone with the message.

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It is funny how people can say what they think you want to hear, until you’re reeled in, and then they change their tune.  I never felt judged in this church, before last Sunday night.  Immediately and ironically, after being told that satan would test my faith, I started to hear about all the things I would HAVE to change to be an adequate messenger of God.  After Sunday, I was basically told by several that I wasn’t good enough as is, whereas before that I had been assured that I was loved unconditionally as a creation of God.  I was definitely afraid at first, as though God would reject me now that I had given my life to Him.  I have experienced this pattern in so many relationships with people, but God is certainly enduring.

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I definitely feel without a doubt that God can improve me, but I don’t want to nitpick about insignificant details.

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I believe people interpret God in ways that make them feel safe, fill their voids, and protect them from dismay.  At the same time, instead of receiving what God intends from messages, they often try to conform God to a formula of perimeters according to how they’ve always known Him.

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I do not think mathematics are an accident.  The fact that so much can be calculated, I believe, is proof of God… to say that nothing is by chance, but rather, by design.  But to sum up God within mathematics is pretty ridiculous.  In other words, to say God is only capable of working within a formula, is selling God short.  Like REALLY short.

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I feel it necessary to say, that whenever you limit the ways in which you presume God can speak, you therefore are minimizing His capacity. God works through all things good, whether He receives credit is up to you. Certainly, if you are having a hard time finding Him, there are designated places to turn, but if you REALLY OPEN YOUR EYES, you will see Him EVERYWHERE.

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There are so many presumably “secular” mediums through which God is working constantly.  I don’t know why people limit Him to one book, or one medium of expression.  I have met disciples in this church community who are far more convincing of God’s goodness than the disciples of yesteryear, with whom I cannot relate.  I also know, for a fact, that I have experienced God and God has spoken to me in many many ways in my life… throughout the 27 years leading up to this point.  If He had not, I would not be here (in this moment, or at this spiritual point).  In fact, I probably wouldn’t have gotten far past the age of 4 or 5.  For example, I have seen God in nature, art, and selfless acts of compassion.  Also, for the most part, I’ve been very aware of the sources of messages I’ve received.  The thing that has confused me for so long, has been the voice of a people CLAIMING God with words, and DISCREDITING Him with their actions.  Now I am finally capable of deciphering the people who claim God as their source, and those for whom God IS their source.  This is because, for the first time, I’m giving credit where credit is due.

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So, when I started to feel judgement being hurled at me after opening my heart to God, I was put off.  The difference this time is… I know God now.  I recognize messages that are not from God, even when they come from people who associate themselves with God.  It is usually delivered with an authority.  I know a lot about a lot of things: gender inequality, sexual violence, mental health, literature, and even spirituality–But I always try to avoid, at all costs, ever making a claim of authority.  I know stuff, but I don’t know everything about any issue.  A lot of people have trouble admitting that.

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That awareness is definitely challenging.  If I didn’t know better, I could say “Oh, ok! This is what God is really about? Count me out. Peace!”  But since I do know better, I’m reminded, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”  (Luke 23:34)  I refuse to let PEOPLE come between me and GOD ever again.

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I’m also being constantly reminded that I have a unique perspective to offer.  I know that this is true, both for those who reject God and people who presume to know God.  I feel drawn towards breaking down the barriers that separate these two groups of people.  I do realize that this is a hefty expectation, but I also recognize that with God, all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

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The scriptures I’m referencing here is very basic.  But sometimes getting back to basics reminds you of your Source.

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I used April Fool’s day to out myself as a new person in Christ on Facebook.  No one got it, mainly because people from my church loved it, and people from my past couldn’t figure out if it was a joke.  I also took the time to proclaim my ongoing commitment to women’s issues, which may not be number one in my life now, but is still my passion–Especially because of the overwhelming role the church has had in the oppression of women throughout history.  I cannot passively allow women to associate that oppression with God.  God has nothing to do with any of that!

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I think people got scared because I used the words Christ and feminist in the same sentence.  It baffles most, though it makes so much sense to me.  Look, we all believe stereotypes, whether it is about Christians or about feminists.  How about this: get to know a few before you form opinions.  I agree with a lot of feminism, while not fitting into the prejudices people thrust upon them.  I also recognize my relationship with Christ, thanks to a handful of Jesus freaks.  If I had judged all people associated with Jesus, based on the majority of Christians I’ve met… I wouldn’t have given Him a chance when He started revealing Himself to me about a month ago.  I claim feminism proudly, so that people may know that feminists are NOT scary bra-burning, man-hating, abortion-promoting lesbians.  And now, I claim Christ proudly, so that people may know His endless capacity for joy, love, and hope–rather than the wrath of judgment by people who mistakingly claim Him.

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Through this, I acknowledge my revelation that being open minded has nothing to do with remaining in safe discourse amongst people you agree with–But rather, open mindedness comes through recognizing stereotypes and the bias of your own experience, and challenging that within yourself.  I also accept that with this message, I will undoubtedly feel the impact of stones against my flesh, tossed by those who think that a forgiven sin, was never a sin at all.

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***GOD IS LIMITLESS***

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“Joy descends gently upon us like the evening dew, and does not patter down like a hailstorm.”

-Jean Paul Richter

 

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Put Down the Shot of Bailey’s & Walk Away from the Guinness

I think the title of this post is a pathetic attempt at cracking a joke about a pretty intense situation.  As unhealthy as avoidance may be, sometimes humor is the only thing that gets me through tough emotions.  I double-dog pinky promise (?), I will take a break from the whole suicide issue after today.  I’m not saying it won’t arise again, but I’ll certainly hold off.  I really do not intend to overload or over-unload on the issue.

All that being said, though, I cannot deny that today is an important anniversary.  I think it is so important to reflect on where I was 2 years ago today, and just as much so, to revel in how far I’ve come since.  It has been a grueling, enlightening, and incredibly slow two years.  At the same time, I can’t believe it has been that long.  I almost feel as though my life has been a broken record this entire time, and is only now moving on to another track.  Or maybe I’m just trashing the record and putting on another album.  Or hell, maybe I’m throwing out the record player and upgrading to an iPod.   (I’ll just skip the 8-track, audio cassette tape, compact disc, and briefly promising, mini disc!)

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This isn’t an easy read, so I’ll go ahead and drop that warning now.  But maybe it’ll give you some insight into me:

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The day was a pretty normal one, as far as I remember it.  School.  Work.  It was the usual routine.  Then he called, toward the end of the day.  I don’t remember him saying much besides “we need to talk.”  I knew what that meant.

Let me build this up adequately.  We had been dating for 2 and a half months, not long, I know, but in that time, we had made some serious plans.  I had started searching out venues for our New Years, New Orleans wedding.  We had our children’s names picked out.  Aurora Scheherazade and Nalani Esperanza.  It was perfect, because we were going to have daughters, feminists.  And he, was going to change his last name to my name.  He hated his last name because it reminded him of his child molesting, oppressive, abusive father, anyway.

He had hooked me on that story.  He still suffered severe insomnia from the nights he had to stay up as a child to protect his sister from being molested by his father.  He would stay up all night, and when his dad would head into her room, he would get up and start a fight with his dad to stop him.  On the one night he thought it safe to sleep, his birthday, he lost track of time, and lost track of dad.  When he woke up, his sister had been raped.  He never forgave himself.  It is a dramatic story.  One I fell for hardcore.  One I imagine he uses a lot, especially on women who he intuits as having a history of sexual abuse.  I’m not saying it isn’t true, maybe it is.  Who knows.  I’m just saying, that I, as a survivor myself, with fuzzy memories of my own, have grown ridiculously tired of people using their histories of abuse as tools of manipulation against me.  That’s all.  Yes, its a fucked up situation, but no one need make it more so, by utilizing said fucked up situation for personal gain.

He had me good.

So, here he is, calling me at work to tell me we need to talk.  It was ridiculous.  We had the conversation not two weeks before about how cruel it was for people to say that to someone without explanation.  How it leaves you hanging.  I didn’t know whether it was a joke, or I should be seriously concerned.  I had a feeling it was the latter.

I immediately called my friend when we hung up and told her I needed to meet up for drinks.  So we did.  Dinner, and drinks.  I had bacon cheese fries  and alcohol for the last time that night.  GAG.  I told her about the situation and as she reassured me that there was hope for our relationship, I assured her that it was over and I need to prepare myself.  It was St. Patrick’s Day.  Irish Car Bombs were $5.50.  I had 4.

Then he called.  I sat in the car.  He told me he wanted to come visit next weekend, but he had a lot to think about.  I told him that if he wanted to dump me, he should go ahead and get it over with.  So he did.  And in true dramatic fashion, he just said, “Bye.”  He hadn’t even attempted to attach a “good” to it, probably because of the blatant contradiction within the combination.  I talked him into promising he’d talk to me after this night, but we never spoke again.  I started to cry, despite being pretty numb.

I went into the bar, had two more drinks, then left with my friend to go on the hunt to retrieve her boyfriend’s car from a tow lot.  After we did that, she and her boyfriend’s sister decided to drop me back off at my car.  I quietly obliged.  I knew my plan.

I had consumed 6 Irish car bombs.  I was pretty wasted, but I found a way home anyway.  Once home, I walked the dog, got the vodka and orange juice out of the fridge and feverishly started rummaging the house for all the sleeping pills I could find.  It makes me physically ill to think about, even today, as I look back.  But I will march on.

I went upstairs, took 3 gulps of the pear vodka, and chased them with orange juice.  I then began to pop the pills out of their wrappers, one-by-one.  When I was done, I got on my computer.  I messaged one of my old friends I used to work in a restaurant with to tell her what I was going to do.  She was the only person online.  She got pissed, because, as I had forgotten, her mom tried to kill herself once, and she was VERY sensitive about the issue.  I was an asshole.  That only made me more convinced.  I tried to text and email messages of apology, mainly to my sister.  She’s always been the person I’ve been most concerned about disappointing.  I did not send these messages.

I went back to my bed, sat down, and counted the pills.  102.  I took all 102 pills in 3 heaping handfuls.  Just.  Like.  That.  It breaks my heart to think about this moment.  The moment after I swallowed them.  I can feel the sobs coming up in me now, as though I just swallowed them, just now.  My first instinct was not quite regret, but almost.  I thought, “What have I done?”  Then I thought about the fact that so many people say that people who commit suicide go to hell.  I went to my bed.  I knew it was going to be over soon.  Crying, I sat there, and prepared to lie down and let go.  I started praying.  “Please God, don’t let me go to hell.  I don’t want to go to hell.”  Over and over again.  Soon, I was out.

There’s not much to remember after that.  The rest is hallucination.  And vomiting.  I just remember sitting up at one point and vomiting all over myself, although, I did not realize this is what it was.  I hallucinated it to be slugs and maggots slithering down my body.  Even when I got up, I was hallucinating that when I stepped in the vomit on the floor, I was stepping in puddles of maggots.

I don’t remember at what point this happened, but I saw my grandmother, who passed less than a year before walking out my front door, waving goodbye.  I don’t know what that was about.

Around 8 am, I awoke, groggy and disoriented.  I panicked.  I was alive.  I needed to be in class and at work.  Soon.  I could not drive, though.  Unsure of what to do, I got onto my school email to see that a coworker who lived near me was online.  I asked if she was going to work.  She was.  I asked if I could get a ride.  She called, and as funny as it may sound, I was so disoriented, that when she asked for my address to get to my house, I started to give her my email address.  I was having a hard time getting my head together, but I managed to get her there.

I walked my dog, changed out of my vomit-drenched clothes, and climbed in my coworker’s car.  At this point, I was regaining my ability to walk.  When I had first gotten up, my knees would cave at each step.  Honestly, I must’ve reeked of vomit.  All morning I was rubbing my fingers against my ears and chest and trying to figure out what the stuff coming off my skin was.  It was dried puke.  I looked, smelled, and acted very out of character.  She was disturbed by my presentation.  “Are you ok?”  She asked.  “What’s wrong?”  I knew I had nothing to lose after the night I had been through, so I just let her have the truth.  “I tried to kill myself last night.”  My voice shook as I said it, trying not to laugh or cry.  “Do we need to go somewhere?”  She asked eagerly. “No.” I insisted.  I demanded that we go to my class.  I couldn’t miss it.  I had missed the previous class.  I couldn’t afford it.

When we got to campus, I knew my knees were too weak for her to drop me off on the sidewalk.  I would surely face-plant.  I gave her a dollar to park in the garage.  When we parked I realized I couldn’t find my phone.  I was out of it, and realized also, that I would be this way in class as well, which would look bad if called on.  I looked at her and resigned myself to going to the counseling center.  She walked me there.

I told the receptionist that I wanted to see counselor on call.  When he came out, he called me by my first name 3 times, until the receptionist told me that he was calling for me, and I snapped back into the moment.  I went in and relayed the story.  He sent me to the hospital.  I refused to go via ambulance, due to cost, so they sent me in the back of a police car.

I stayed in the ER for most of the day.  I stayed in the psych ward for 3 days.

Needless to say, I traumatized my coworker.  She went to work and school that day, shaken.  Today, it is still awkward to interact with her.  She saw me at a very vulnerable point in my life.  It is almost as though she saw me naked, and we don’t know how to act about it now.  I put her through a lot.

She isn’t the only person I put through the wringer.  Two of my very close friends came by to get my things in order, once they found out.  They took care of my dog, and upon seeing the state of my bedroom, they cleaned up after me.  This, too, breaks my heart.  I think it probably resembles what it must be like to find a friend who has killed themselves, to find a friend’s home in such a condition after they have tried.  One of them said to me, “I couldn’t let you come home to that.”

The first who helped was the friend I had drinks with the night before.  She was very angry with me at first.  Especially when she came to visit me in the hospital and I spoke frankly about the situation.  Over time, and through talking, we are working on healing.

The second, the one who “couldn’t let me come home to that,” is no longer friends with me, in large part due to this entire situation.

I learned a lot from that night.  I learned a lot about how much people love me and the lengths they are willing to go to for me.  I learned that I do not need to drink.  I learned that I can live life without bacon cheese fries, something I honestly did not know before that night.  I learned that your perspectives change a lot once you’ve swallowed the pills.  I realized how scary that moment is, the moment after you do that action and truly believe you are going to die and this is it.  I also realized that deciding to end it is as difficult as asking for help; but asking for help is less traumatic and usually ends better.

I wish I could say that I came out of the hospital and rejoiced in my survival.  It didn’t exactly work out like that.  Two years later, I’m still getting to that point, though with cautious optimism, I’ll say I’m closer than ever before.

I am infinitely more grateful for everything good in my life, and I try to make that as clear as possible, as often as possible.  I don’t want anyone in my life to feel unappreciated.  I want really badly to be a better friend, but I do realize that being good to others requires that you are better to yourself.  I recognize I need to have a healthy balance of helping others and taking care of myself.  I’ve lost a lot of friends through the past two years.  Luckily, I’ve recently gained many new friends, who I’m fairly certain God has handpicked for me.

The darkness certainly creeps in, but I’m searching constantly for the light.

Overall, at this moment, I am filled with gratitude.  So many important people have fought for me when they were exhausted, frustrated, and testing their own limits.  I’m definitely better at asking for help, even though I still do it begrudgingly.  Every little bit of joy in my life is crucial.  I hold to it with a tight grip, because I know my life depends on not letting go.

I’m going to share 3 poems.  The first is one I wrote right after my suicide attempt.  The second is one I wrote one year later.  The last is one I’ll write today.  You might not get to see that one until tomorrow.

I have so much love to share, and while I’m always praying in the back of my mind for people who find themselves where I’ve been.  Today, I say a *special* prayer for anyone who finds themselves in the free fall between the decision, the action, and the anxious anticipation of morning, or hell.

On Friday or Saturday, I shall return with an exciting account of my anniversary day rituals and celebrations of life.  Until then, I send my love and bid adieu! ❤

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Canyon Dance (March 2009)

There’s a powdery film that coats my car

in spiky yellow balls

(a spring snow of sorts),

and the only thing that could baptize it

are storm clouds.

At night I can see the

lightning

breaking in the distance

and I don’t know whether it is

hallucination

heat

or rage.

There’s something so simple in “hello,”

something concave,

and riddled with vacuity.

It is far more distant

and detached

than “goodbye;”

far more settled in its self-loathing,

far more dissociated

and damned.

This something holds me tightly

releasing me and

twirling

till only our

fingertips are touching;

swinging me in and

dipping me so low,

my hair is

reaching for the floor.

It dare not drop me.

I dare not weep,

the air so thick between us

that love could fit inside.

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Absolute Bearing (March 2010)

I don’t know how to tell you, without telling you

I don’t know how to say

that at first I counted the days like thick blue waves

crashing in rhythm on the shore

that at first they slithered by, excruciatingly,

the skin of a moistened worm

tearing as it accordians across the pavement

after the first fresh spring rain

and the days since have melted me into waiting

have mourned me into loss

rebirthed me into being

and inspired me to write

at night i can feel the walls shaking,

as though they could simply explode,

exposing me to the night sky

to the crisp winter air

a winking moon

and shimmering stars

and In my shivering slumber

I will unceasingly resign myself to the knowledge

that i chose this revelation

and I will lie in waking

a steward of this ship

‘till the morning sun warms me

and I can finally rest

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(To Be Announced- March 2011)

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