It’s interesting, that as we get older, it is expected that we get wiser. Not so, for me. At 45 years of age, depression descended on me, yet I couldn’t see the wisdom in getting help. In my teens, there was depression, and the thought of ending it all was to me the norm. This time, however, it took me down. I was blindsided by a hurricane with my heart, mind, and soul caught in a whirlwind.
You would figure that by my age, I should have at least been able to see things coming. Not so. I had moved from the point of logic to the point of total confusion and denial. Thank goodness that a good friend, Liz, refused to let me sit in my sorrow alone. In a less than polite way, I accepted help and, in fact felt a load taken off my shoulders. I am beginning to learn that the road blocks I have had to face in my later years are of a much higher calibre than when younger. Over a two year period, I was privy to traveling the road of cancer with a dear friend, Susie. I never thought that this road would have been dealt to me so that I would be able to find my own path of rediscovery. Susie died, November 19, 2007, and with that, a part of me died. At the same time a part of me, for some unknown reason, fought hard to find reason to live: leading me to believe that, in effect, these more difficult trials had offered greater opportunity for growth.
Growing up, we hope to have friendships that will help us grow. Ironically, the friendships that offer the most growth, are those where we have been hurt to varying degrees. I was both hurt, and hurting after Susie’s death. My first memorable experience with the death of a friend was the loss of my cat, Ming Chu. She was at the door waiting every night for me to come home, no matter what the hour; slept with me, gave me comfort and listened to me cry. Then came the dreaded, final trip, to the vet. It was my responsibility to take her; a moment never to be forgotten.
The learning and work to battle suicidal thoughts never really end for some of us. Right when things seemed to be turning around for me, another set of trials and loss interrupted, turning my thoughts into action. On July 7, 2010 I attempted suicide. Life-experience is wisdom in the making, and I am thankful to have lived.
I still struggle with the threat of suicidal thoughts, but I am driven to go on despite them. Without these many years of trials and tribulations, I would not have been blessed with the determination and passion to get my Masters degree in Counselling, while learning from others as I walk with them through their own crisis.