I posted this as a response to a week-old, pretty much resolved thread and also as a blog. But in all honesty I want as many people to see it as possible, so I am posting it again as its own thread. I'm not proud of my emotional meltdowns in the past, but I think it is important that those who are on the edge understand that many of us--even those who are very stable now--have been there. And that, having managed to get past it, we cannot thank the universe enough for getting us through.
I think a lot of people, even those you'd never imagine are "dark" enough to get there, are close to the edge of suicidal thoughts. I'd been close on three separate occasions and may have done it once had I not been fortuitously interrupted in a garage full of CO1 by a cell phone call that, for some reason, I actually answered. It turned out to be a woman from a church group I was supposed to be at who, knowing I was having troubles, was calling to see if I was OK. She never knew I was in the middle of a suicide attempt--and I didn't tell her about it until years later, when she too needed a huge pick-me-up--but she saved me that night by showing me that someone actually cared and would miss me if I were not there. I would certainly have succeeded otherwise; no one would have even looked until at least sometime the next day when I didn't show for work. And if I had...
I'd have missed watching my children grow up and begin to discover themselves.
I'd have missed seeing my oldest child, lost and troubled, wander in and out of darkness until he knew he was transgender and began taking hormones and finally was happy.
I'd have missed falling in love again and getting remarried.
I'd have missed seeing the country elect its first black President.
I'd have missed traveling to Alaska with my mother, one of the most joyful memories of my entire life.
I'd have missed traveling to Europe this summer with my two college-aged daughters, a memory that may someday supplant even that last one.
I'd have missed Firefly, and that would have been terrible.
I'd have missed so many friendships, so many conversations, so many people.
I'd have missed the impact I've been able to have on thousands of students over so many years.
I'd have missed moments like the one I'm having right now: sitting on my deck on a perfect August day with a cup of coffee and a laptop, enjoying the waning days of summer vacation.
I'd have missed so much life and so much everything.
It would have continued without me, as it always does when living creatures and things die. But I would not have been here to be a part of it. When I think about that, I give thanks to whatever power exists in the universe for that phone call that night from a church friend I hardly really even knew or know. I was unwilling or unable to save myself, but without even recognizing that she was doing so she reached out and did it for me. She did me a favor I can never, ever pay back. I don't owe her one.
I owe her all.