(This is the beginning of my short story collection. I have finished the second set in this series, which will come in the next few weeks. Please, take a read and let me know what you think. I send a big thanks out to Dave for his editorial edits. Thank you! – Wendalynn) For a […]
Within the last three days we have heard and read about the deaths of Kate Spade – fashion designer – and Anthony Bourdain – chef. Both took their own lives, it has been reported.
I am not familiar with the work of both these souls, but I am not removed from feeling compassion, empathy and sympathy. I have been reading comments from disgruntled people asking “why it is important to broadcast their deaths when thousands of others end their lives with no mention in the paper or the Internet?”
I used to ask that question until I was almost a statistic.
Losing someone to suicide is devastating, I fully understand. I only want those in the sphere to know what it is like to be in that place to almost choose to end it all. I can say with all certainty it is a conversation that most avoid. You guys, I see the posts regarding suicide prevention day in/day out, yet the conversation door gets shut with a thud when I mention I survived an attempt. Mental illness only seems to be suffered by those who have not tried or those who have died.
I am part of this conversation, please remember that. With the help of a talk with a friend I am still here.
That breaks my heart.
I believe the presentation of someone admitting a failing moment is hard to respond to. How do you answer? What do you say? I find it easier to deal with someone who announces they have survived cancer treatment. Don’t be like my dad and say, “get some help, as I don’t want to read in the paper that you jumped off a bridge.” One good friend told me that he was glad I stayed. That comment I want to get made into a tattoo.
There are so many emotions involved in dealing with suicide. I look back at the moment my friend told me I mattered and it seems like a dream. I go to that other place every now and then but I always make it back to home. I do not call that moment the “black dog”. I refuse. Black dogs (and most black coloured animals) are usually the last chosen animals to be adopted from an animal shelter. I am not allowing my mental illness to be tagged with animals that are marginalised due to the colour of their fur.
In April 1975 (at the age of nine months) my mother found me unconscious in my crib. I was rushed to the hospital and after a few days of bickering, the doctor administrating my care was finally allowed to test me for diabetes. It was positive. Forty- three years later (after a bitter telephone argument with my mother and three years after my decision to not kill myself) she said this:
“I found you unconscious in your crib and took you to the hospital,” (I thanked her, obviously,) “I could have let you die but I chose not to.” Those words alone do worry me somewhat, as it implies a moment of questioning.
She chose to save my life. I almost chose to unsave it. Now, more than ever, I need to keep this body and mind going. I am going through not nice things right now, yet I am reminded daily of those who think I am worth keeping.
All I ask is for you to consider the struggle it takes to keep going for someone who almost gave up.
I recently received a letter from my aunt, my father’s sister. Even before opening it I knew it was an invitation for the annual family get-together on May Long. I also expected and received, a long list of reasons why she was hurt due to me not going last year. Now, I am used to receiving free guilt trips every time I try to make a decision regarding my own personal mental health and physical well-being. I end up deciding to attend these annual functions, usually against my gut, but also as a way for my mum and dad to avoid the one-day trip there and back. Yes, my husband becomes a chauffeur and our house a bed and breakfast, without the money.
As you are aware, I am slowly trying to become my own self; to own myself. I have had to give up my podcast series of audiobooks due to time and finances. I am still struggling to find a job, yet I am still filling the bank account with the odd job here and there. I am scared of not finding something permanent. Through all this striving for the most awesome position, I have become aware I am looking in the wrong place. My deep dislike for xenophobia, misogyny, racism and the hate towards my LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters (I am one of them, btw). Though not a direct connection, the letter from my aunt was the final decision to look into a job that focuses on the person rather than the profit.
Today (7 March 2018) I am home taking care of Richard who is recovering from shoulder surgery. I will admit I have let out a few swear words these six days – his surgery was 1 March – but I have also collected a huge amount of respect for Richard, who has spent over twenty years working with the intellectually and physically disabled. He is learning as well how compassion can be received. I want to be able to return this service (minus the profanity) to others. I want to work in an inclusive place which strives to better people (and/or pets). I want to be able to love people for what they have to offer, even if they block our driveway with mounds of snow causing me to have a meltdown.
You had to be there.
I will have to write a letter back to my aunt. I am sure she is aware of my issues with my dad, without a doubt. Her comments about my brother I can fully appreciate; he does not visit me either. As I Christian, I am to forgive this behaviour, including hers. Guilting me into how disappointed So-and-So was due to my non-visit went a bit beyond acceptable. So-and-So should tell me. I am also to ask for forgiveness. You know how much trouble I have regarding that.
One thing at a time.
I am tempted to ask for an apology, but do I? I may get one, yet at what price? Oh, that sounds rather philosophical. I have all these amazing words in my head, however, knowing me, I will put it aside and find it sometime next year, even with all the pinging reminders of its existence.
I am waist-high in courage, only I am not too sure of how to use it. Writing myself out of the lives of my family and some of my friends may not have been the best way to go. I am better than that, says Richard. I need to offer my hand out to some of these same people who have humiliated me, as they may be my only chance to get out of the Waldheim Rut. My aunt’s letter reminded me of this point, in a non-pointy kind of way.
Boy, she is good.
I don’t record the calories I eat or count my steps. I do need to calculate the carb-to-insulin ratio for my injections but that is to maintain decent blood sugars and dietary needs. A couple of months ago I celebrated losing three pounds due to starting a yoga regimen. I do not do this very often. I will explain the reasons further on.
At the time of writing (09 January 2018) I am five feet, three-quarter inches (SGI refuses to let me be 5’1) and 155 pounds. Yup, a little pudgy, me. I recently discovered I am beautiful. I still have a weigh to go to be comfortable with my floppy bits.
Within the last four or five years, I have become less worried about my outside. My insides, on the other side, are a concern. Diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis are playing against each other. After the car accident last year, I have been through bouts of physio treatments which have helped with regaining movement in my arms, but the stress of waiting to get better has made arthritis worse. Do not fret, I am not getting tingly feet or the like.
Yoga has to help me strengthen my muscles and my joints, which I think it was meant to do. I have found a programme designed for people with disabilities and limited movement. Having been blessed with whiplash in my middle back and a concussion, these exercises have been great. I can’t do fast moving Zumba like I could before. Heck, I have trouble watching television for a long time without feeling uncomfortable. Besides the plot of ‘The Last Jedi’, I could not wait to get into the car to go home and rest after watching this film. The fast motion, the loud sounds and the bad storyline made my brain hurt.
Now with the documenting of achievements. I see postings of training runs, laps run at the field house, stairs stepped at the office; all these are great, it does show a desire to feel better and get into shape. The work we put into our fitness programmes is to be encouraged. We slip out of it for a while, the reasons are our own. I used to be bothered by all the accomplishments of those who are dedicated, but now I am encouraged by those who take a break, cut back or lose only a pound after trying with all their might to lose two. I find our examples of humility lovely and we need to be kind in our attempts. Cheering each other on, even through the stoppages.
Setting a goal is great. I hope to melt away the dimples on my backside, yet that is going to take a lot of physical work which my body and my brain may not be able to take. Failing to achieve a set goal is not a bad thing. You may be sick one day and this may change your processing. Do not be discouraged. I still have a pilates ball waiting to be rolled again.
I could get into the fooding elements involved in getting fit. ‘Getting fit’, pfft, how about saying ‘feeling great’. I have been changing what I eat, going for a less meat diet. Not meatless. Bacon and I are no longer on speaking terms, yet I have made room for more chicken. I have tofu in da house. Going back to gluten-free may come later. I know I need to fix my food habits, as these go along with exercise. I am one of those lucky diabetics who have reoccurring low blood sugar episodes, what we called ‘insulin reactions’ back in the day. This has made it a bit complicated to change an eating lifestyle. Carbs are a blessing, but they are also a curse.
Like me, we need to consider the reason we post our fitness goals and our misses. I do it as a way to remind others I am a human with floppy bits. I am just glad to be able to do something that allows me to move at my own pace whilst stylin’ a funky pair of yoga pants (or not 😉).
It may take a while to get anywhere, and the same could apply to you. It does not matter – I will still love you.
The more I look at where I am the more I want to be somewhere else. I am finding it difficult to find a job, mostly due to a thousand others looking for the same thing I am. I have had a few set-backs to my healing from our car accident, which can make work tough.
I found a fantastic posting at a not-for-profit music organisation, based in Regina with an office in Saskatoon but, alas, it was not to be mine.
Their mandate is promote Saskatchewan music artists from all aspects of the universe. I send albums by Saskatchewan-based artists across the world; you want promos, you got ’em! Granted, it is only for one year, but what an amazing year I would make! I have a music degree (BA), I have done my own radio shows, Classical music mixes: Ina Toon, one even broadcast on an international radio show: We Dig Deeper, Cassette# 15, and I completed the first instalment of my podcast: A Split in the Cabinet; or The Fate of England – Chapter One.
I am a Saskatchewan music artist with no support in my own province, even with sharing on social media. I don’t tour or have a band. My support comes from my fantastic friends in the UK and the EU. They make my art worthwhile.
What more do I have to do?
It has been a long time since I have written here. Weird stuff is going on.
I am in the process of recording an audiobook, which will be posted here (crossing fingers) by the end of the month. I have set up a podcast site, which will be linked here in the next few weeks.
I have finally admitted I cannot be like the others. I have tried to get into the dance/house/shake-it-all-about music, but I just can’t. I love songs and I think that is where it will stand. I am at the same place where some of my friends are when I get all crazy-weird over Shostakovich.
I tried the radio show thing and I could not get it. It could have been the format I chose or the music I played. I built myself up even though I realise I should have stayed on the ground. My style didn’t really mix with the cloud.
I need to stop trying to be cool. I have to go back to being school.
I am still doing my Classical music mixeruppers. Musicating brings me joy. I am breaking soundscope rules for instruments. A banjo can play the first violin part – darn tootin’. I need to reclaim my stuff and prepare to break rules.
I may not be able to talk shop with the Jedi DJ Masters, but I can thank them for supplying an alternative soundtrack. I still listen to my friends’ radio shows, read about their various entertainments and delve into musical conversations. Mind you, some of these conversations have lead to extreme bullying and horrible accusations, however, most people are fairly decent; even the broody ones.
*Bully Alert activated*
I do have some personal issues to deal with, so I cannot promise a definitive date for anything. I do not have the type of OCD that needs set dates, which is not a good thing. My brain is stacked full of thoughts and hopes that I hope will materialise into something.
Thank you all for being awesome!
Here is my birthday installment of my radio show. I will be ready for another in September. Hope you have a great summer!