Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Finding us in the end

Today has been another long day.  I finished up the series of statistics lectures, met with a sponsee, went rowing for nearly two hours, and got home after 9 PM for a late dinner.  Tomorrow won't be nearly as crazy busy, and I'm grateful for that. 

I have talked with my sponsor several times since his surgery.  He is thankfully doing well. He has a wonderful attitude, and I will go for a visit tomorrow after the noon meeting.  It will give us a chance to have a mini-meeting if he is feeling up to it.

The last few days have been a roller coaster of emotions for me.  I have been happily distracted in my work from thinking about my friend's suicide that happened last week.  I can't seem to shake the feeling that this woman who provided a lot of comfort to others slipped like water through our hands.  There were several people who knew the depth of her depression.

And she herself had been making plans to move to an apartment, and to admit herself for ECT (e.g. "shock" treatments) before she overdosed.  All of this still bothers me deeply.  I can't help but think that ECT would have helped her with the depression.  It certainly worked wonders for my mother who surely would have died without it.  Was there something that could have been done?  I keep asking myself that, realizing that it is such a moot point.  The life is over.  It won't be regained.  I need to move on. 

I know that the solution to this sadness lies in my practicing steps two and three. When I am in despair, I am not trusting that God is beside me.  Sadly K. had said during her last weeks that she had lost her Higher Power and no longer believed.  Some of us can regain our Higher Power by working with others, going to meetings, and reading literature. But there are those who are truly wired differently physiologically who can't seem to fight their way back to God.  But I believe that God does find them in the end.

Having spent time with Hazel, her little dog, in the last few days convinced me that K.'s spirit is near.  Hazel snuggled against me, licking my face, my hands and looking at me with trust.  There is supposed to be a memorial service at the beach on Sunday morning.  I think that going to that will help with the healing.  The beach going dogs that K. so loved will be there.  Hazel will be standing by, ears alert to the spiritual presence of her beloved human companion.


  1. Did your friend actually come across socially as depressed (I mean, if you didn't know her, do you think that's what you would have thought?) I mean, ECT is a pretty serious therapy and she probably wouldn't talk about "admitting herself for ECT" unless she'd had it before. O how horrible

    I lost someone who I won't call a friend because we weren't really that close, but I met him in a mental hospital. He was on venlafaxine and other medications yet he never "presented" (as they like to say) as anything other than cheerful. To me.

    He jumped in front of a Tube train. About 6 months ago. A friend of his, who knows the meaning of the word too well, that he was "really psychotic" before he died and that he had been "let out of hospital far too early"

    This was the same person who gave me a wrap of mysterious powder claiming it to be a "legal high with no comedown". Well it was legal. It also blew my head off. It was mephedrone which is like "ecstasy plus cocaine" (that's exactly what it's like). Until about a month and a half ago it was legal. He had obviously bought this stuff online in some quantity and I realize now that he was "psychotic" because of that rubbish. (I had never, ever seen or heard of him being psychotic before). It's terrible and just goes to show yet again what drugs can do

    That's one of the big things about suicide. It leaves behind so many questions

  2. Syd, thank you for your post as this subject is very near and dear to me. I am one who is wired differently as you put it. I noticed that you said your friend lost her HP and no longer believed, which told me immediately why suicide became an option for her. I admit when you first told us of her death due to depression I was a bit scared because my past includes several episodes of being suicidal. I think my constant belief in a HP has saved me from carrying through with my suicide plans. I wish your friend hadn't lost faith. Please know there is someone out here who didn't lose faith and will go on even if others won't. Also know that prayers for her-- even now-- will help her since God is not limited by the constraints of time like we are. Our prayers today for those who have died may have helped them regain faith, ask for forgiveness, etc. right before they died because, like I said, God is not bound by time and space. I just think that is the coolest thing ever! I hope it makes sense to everyone. Peace and blessings to you.

  3. yeah, i would never know who's life will be touched or need touching...

  4. I'm so sorry Syd. This is hard stuff.

  5. dearest Syd... sometimes what helps me in addition to Step 3 is to write inventory about my resentment and fear, and other feelings, and to let that go, and part of the letting go is to ask my HP to take my character defects. one big one is fear of abandonment. this goes both ways... i am afraid of abandoning others as well as afraid of being left. when someone close to me dies, i am afraid that i abandoned them somehow... when in fact sometimes we've done all we can humanly do. as humans, we're naturally limited.

    one thing stood out to me in your post: "ect would have helped her." with respect, my friend, how do you know this? ect doesn't help everyone.

    wishing you peace and comfort... --G

  6. The loss of a loved one is always difficult but, when there are unanswered questions left, it can become unbearable.

  7. I'm very sorry about your friend.

  8. The bottom line is- no one has any idea of the agony another may be in. Some people are excellent actors and while they may seem okay, at least, inside they are in such deep despair that they have no ability to think of anything but release and relief. And yes, she could have asked for help. And yes, the ECT may have helped her. But it was HER choice to do what she did and it does no one any good to beat themselves up now and say, "If only..."
    I had a friend who committed suicide and I have had many dreams of him being with his beloved mother who passed away some years before he took his own life. In those dreams, he is always with his mother and there is such peace.
    Yes, I regret that he found no way to resolve his many problems except for death at such a young age but I also respect his right to have done what he did.
    You are right- her life is over and cannot be regained. Best for you and all who knew her to go on with yours while still honoring hers AND the choice she made.
    These are just my thoughts.

  9. I'm so glad that you are helping to care for poor little Hazel.

    You are a good guy.

  10. I have a friend in AA whose addictions almost killed her and she said, compared to depression, her addictions were like Disneyland. Depression is a monster and one of its most monstrous traits is the elusiveness. You can't pin it down to any one cause or find any one thing that might help. I know depression well...For me, my HP is the only reason my life works at all. Without Him/Her, the darkness flies at me from every direction and death lurks around the edges of my mind. I am so sorry that you and many others are suffering the loss of such a treasured friend and the haunting questions that this kind of death always brings. Bonding together as you are will certainly bring healing. Clearly, hers was a life worth honoring...

  11. Hi Syd, I have never been in a position to know someone in a close way who committed suicide. I have known people who did lose close friends though. They all went through a phase of second guessing, wondering if they missed something. That seems to be the common thread: They cared for someone and that someone took their own life and now the people who loved and cared for them are left hanging and missing them. It sounds like you as a caring person are going through a grieving process, adjusting your emotions and thoughts as you work through it. I have been in close contact with people in depression, one of my daughters, my hubby, and me to name some. We cannot see inside each other. People deal with their stuff in different ways. I know you know all this, I am speaking to your kind soul and telling you that your friend would probably want to thank your for being a friend.

  12. wow. painful Syd...
    i'm sorry.
    i love the hope still in your post though...
    hope against hope...
    thank God,

  13. When our friends son killed himself a few years ago, my friend his mother was worried about him being an atheist at the time of his death. I remeber telling her that none of us but God knew what was going on in his head and in his heart at the time of departure. The feelings you are feeling are real. As a "fixer" we always want or think we could have done something more. Sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. Trust your higher power with matters such as these. Hoping you find peace soon....

  14. In working on the suicide case I had at work this week I kept hearing the same thing from his friends...this was his choice. It's not my choice for me, nor do I desire that this be anybody's choice. There was help for him available and good friends who were there to help him find it yet he refused. It makes me sad too.

  15. I know how hard these times are Syd.

    Hang in there.


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