Time has once again slipped away here. I have been nearly consumed with the bathroom renovations, working out, gardening, horseback riding, sailing, working on lectures for a class, and going to meetings. Some days it feels as if I have taken on so many projects that I will not get any of them done.
I don't think that I am running away from anything by keeping busy. I have looked at my motives and find that I have so many interests and not so much time to get to them all. At any rate, I am having fun with what I am doing. I suppose that's the important thing.
Today is my Al-Anon anniversary. Eight years ago I walked into my first meeting knowing that if I didn't change my outlook on life, I would not make it. I was thinking that suicide would be a good way to end the turmoil in my life. After all, no one would really care whether I was gone or not. That kind of thinking is what brings a person to their knees: wishing that things could be different, wishing that words could be taken back, wishing to stop the anger and the fear but not knowing how to let anything go or make anything right.
Fortunately, a good friend in the AA program told me that I needed to go to Al-Anon. I had resisted an earlier suggestion years before that I needed it, because I thought that therapy would be the answer. Unfortunately, therapy didn't make me feel better about myself. Instead, I felt more angry than ever because I tended to blame my feelings on what others had done to me.
And so here I am eight years later. My wife is in AA, sober and loves me. I have friends in the program that I treasure. I no longer want to end my life but live it to the hilt. I have struck out to do new things, pick up some old hobbies that I gave up years ago, and have learned to not obsess about what others are doing. I have a lot of joy in my life these days. Every day is a new adventure and a chance to live as fully as I can.
I do have moments when I worry. I sometimes feel sad that we have no family left, except for cousins. I fully admit that I don't know what I would do without my wife. She is my heart. My fear of losing her is kept at bay for the most part. But as we age, it gets harder to ignore the ticking clock.
Her depression remains a concern. For the most part, she is happy and stays busy. But then there are the quiet days in which I know instinctively that she is depressed. Alcoholism and depression are so often companions in destruction.
Occurrences like the suicidal deaths of Robin Williams yesterday and so many others, including friends of mine, remind me of just how fragile our psyche is. When my friend, K., decided to end her life a few years ago, I was distraught. She had 26 years of sobriety, died sober, but had suffered terribly over the past year with severe depression which had occurred on and off throughout her life.
People are taken to the depths of despair by depression. I watched my own mother struggle with deep depression. There is no way to know when a person has run out of options and has decided to make the final decision to end their life. Most of us wonder if there was something that we could have done. If any one of the people who decide to end their life had reached out, a dozen or more hands would have been there ready to grasp theirs. But would that make any difference? I don't know.
Lots to think about today. A full life, a life gone, and the circle repeats again and again. Hope that you are all in an okay place today.