I had to be the one to break it to my son yesterday…one of his favorite singers committed suicide, at least the second, big-name singer in the span of just a few weeks. He was heartbroken and rightly so. What a tragedy, to end your life because you’re beyond hope for your future. To feel so alone and so incapable of changing those feelings or your circumstances that led you to them. I know. I’ve been there. More than once.
For me, I think it’s always been a cocktail of genetic predisposition and tough times, whether they were caused by me or due to the decisions of another. It really doesn’t matter because you end up at the same exact place. I think the first time I felt this way was in high school. I remember sitting at the top of our stairs, lamenting my life and sobbing uncontrollably, wanting it to all just be over. The funny thing is, what I can’t remember is WHY. I just recall the emotion, not the specific reason for it. I never actually attempted to end my life. I’m a quitter that way, vision but no follow through. The one area where it’s a benefit and not a detriment to me.
That time passed, but others followed. Those times evoke more clarity as to the why. A myriad of reasons at a myriad of times in my life. Again, some caused by myself and my own foolish blunders, mistakes, and transgressions, and some caused by others in my life. Some of those times lasted longer than others, and the most recent of them was just a couple of years ago. Some days I didn’t want to get out of bed. Sometimes I just wondered how in the world I ended up at that point. Other days or times I just wanted to get in my car and drive away from everyone and everything, never to return again. What is common to all of those times and days and periods for me is that the tragedies always pass. Always. That’s not to say others won’t creep in to take their place, but I’ve discovered that just as in all other aspects of life, those times and those situations ebb and flow. They dip and peak. There’s a mountain and then a valley. It’s the rhythm of life. Maybe not for all, but for me. It’s my rhythm.
What I told my son yesterday and what I wish I could tell everyone facing that hopelessness is that there’s always tomorrow. Help can be found, whether it’s through medication (which I take) or therapy (which I have gone to on and off for the last two decades of my life) or the sympathetic ear of a loved one, and for me, especially for turning to God and pouring it all out to him. He wasn’t always part of my solution, but I’ve experienced things I cannot deny because of my faith and my hope. I’ve been able to be astoundingly appreciative of simple things everyone has access to…the sunrise, the chirping of birds, the contented sigh of a pet, a hug, the ability to walk, the flavor of food, the buzz of a good beer, a conversation with someone I love, the list goes on and on. When you have seen your darkest, small flickers of light illuminate in ways you never thought possible. Life is precious. Life is a gift. Life is meant to be relished and cherished and lived.
Whatever you’re going through today, there’s always tomorrow.