It occurred to me recently that I was approaching my 1,000th post this week. Not a huge milestone in the overall scheme of life, but I just feel that any number that has a triple zero in it should be celebrated!
I got involved in some other threads over the last few days so I never had an opportunity to post anything about it, and I thought I should just let the occasion pass without mention. After all, it could be perceived as being self centred and narcissistic expecting anyone to care. I don't think anyone else has ever started a thread just to advertise their number of posts. It's just a silly number after all, isn't it?
However, I decided to go ahead and post this because of another 'significant' incident which took place on this day, exactly eleven years ago. On September 7, 2004 I was brutally assaulted and nearly killed in a random attack. I wrote about the experience here last year on the tenth anniversary of the assault:
When I shared my story here, I got tremendous support, both on the thread itself and with PM's, and it really made me feel that people cared. It wasn't anything I could really talk about IRL because, in our world, you're just supposed to move on (especially after ten years) yet the scars and memories stayed and lingered. Writing it down here and getting responses validated my own feelings and helped me get through a rough, painful weekend. Thank you.
As many people here know, the issue of suicide has been prevalent and a strong motivator in my life, having attempted it myself, losing my partner to suicide, and losing a friend who took her life while four months pregnant. This never goes away. All of these experiences have been a significant part of my past, and again, I never really shared the loss and loneliness with others. It was only here that I opened up about it and realized how much of the past is still with me today. It was all so long ago, but when I hear young people on this site who are feeling depressed or suicidal, I'm right back there again and feeling their pain. It's been so helpful for me to actually talk about how suicide has affected me, and I hope I have been able to reciprocate and share my experience with others. Thank you. I'm most proud of the fact that we were able to get an article posted around suicide prevention so that people know where they can turn when those terrible thoughts occur. As a long time survivor, I can promise you, it does get better.
I've also been most grateful for the forums, where we can chat, socialize, argue, debate and say anything that comes to mind (did we really need another thread about Under the Dome? Well, yes, it was just cancelled so we had to discuss it!). Mostly I appreciate the Mature Topics forum where I've really learned a lot about various issues, particularly things I hadn't really thought about before with any great analysis. I was really informed by the debates around rape culture, gun control, and got a greater understanding of American politics. These forums and debates have helped me develop stronger opinions on topics, and, although not everyone shares my opinions(!) you are all responsible for helping to form them. Thank you. In turn, I hope people have at least considered my worth and perspective as an advocate for people living in poverty and a precarious state of homelessness.
After being on this site for more than two years, I've noticed that I still seem to lack confidence in posting new threads or sending friend requests, always afraid they'll be ignored or rebuffed. I seem to be getting better at posting new threads. It used to be traumatic for me, wondering what if nobody responds? What if they think it's a stupid topic? What if I wind up showing my stupidity by posting something that is totally misinformed? I'm only human, and there are most definitely times when I've put my foot in my mouth and posted my response before I had all the facts, and, ohhh how I paid for it! Fortunately, From my time here, I know people here can be quite kind, responsive, and forgiving. Thank you for giving me the courage to speak out more.
More than anything, I owe a big Thank you to Moo. I was really annoyed when I was forced to go to the greetings forum and introduce myself after I had joined this site. I had just gotten a computer and this was one of the first sites I found. I was happy to read it from afar, without any active participation. I nearly gave it pass, but I'm so glad I stuck with it, because I really feel like I made some great friends, and connected with people whose perspectives I admire. I think we all owe Moo a round of thanks for his vision of Adisc and his inclusiveness of its members.
So, here we are at post #1,009, whether you want it or not; hopefully, it comes across as a time for reflection,, self-evaluation, and not narcissism. I actually never would have had the courage to begin posting if it wasn't for the amazing people here, always supportive, always helpful to anyone in need, and most definitely some of the most caring, sensitive people in the world. THANK YOU!