2019, Classmates!

Take care of yourselves tonight and tomorrow and the days after. You all have something to offer, but do not think it has to do with size.

Stay away from humiliating the marginalised, your neighbour and the person across the ocean; this ickiness is something I have seen much of this year. It is difficult to practice love, however, by steering away from the easiness of liking and sharing, you have already shown you can go further. I am not saying you cannot find humour in the odd bits, be careful of the intent.

Please, be one of the good ones. I love you all and know you can go beyond the clickbait. You will help make 2019 better for all of us.

“Oh, Wendy, you’re rather dire at the end of the year,” you say. No, I am hopeful the following year will be better on a human contact level. I cannot control interest rates, voter apathy, world economic markets and the next music craze, but I can control how I react to the events that unfold. Oppression begins (in one way) with the breakdown of the human spirit. People are driven to look after themselves, and though well-meaning, ultimately forget the ones who cannot take care of their basic needs.

On Facebook, I have asked my friends to reconsider sharing videos and photos that humiliate (sometimes unsuspecting) people. I ask this of you as well. Consider the subject and also consider the producer. I know a few of my collective couldn’t care less about the people in the video or photo, only the reaction, the positive response, from friends who “like that kinda thing”. We need to change that.

We are better than that. I sure have a ways to go in what I talk about and the process I take, and I will not deny that. I can be the right Grumpy Gus. Like right now. I will be taking a break for a while and take stock of what is essential. Maybe in that time, people will understand Jeremy Corbyn is not Godzilla.

Have a safe and Happy New Year, my dear ones.

Here Goes Everything

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.