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[personal profile] ktlovely
So this afternoon, it felt like I was having a catastrophically bad day. Within two hours, I had seemingly screwed up my entire case load (three hundred and five people, if you must know) and somebody wouldn't leave me alone about calling the doctor because I have some extremely undesirable symptoms involving my GI tract going on right now. In short, it sucked.

However, there's nothing like a little perspective to really focus you. That's why, tonight, I am celebrating.

Rewind one year. It's a Monday night, late. Gwendolyn and I drove back from Fort Erie yesterday, six hours in the car, and we were both ill. I'd managed to piss Tyler off with my lack of response to all his efforts to make sure I had a good time, without even knowing that I had done so. Gwendolyn and I had been fighting on and off since May. I didn't take time off on Monday, so I worked a full day on nowhere near enough sleep. My great aunt's funeral was earlier that day and I couldn't go, so I drove to Lansing to visit my grandparents for dinner. After that, I stopped by Mike's house to drop off some Civil War gear from Tyler. I left around eleven. I was tired, upset, hollow. I cried. I called Tyler; he was still upset with me, and we had a terse, awkward conversation that was pretty much my fault, except I couldn't tell what was going on. I hung up. I drove.

And then I tried to commit suicide.

It was just for a few seconds. I looked out at the road, a splash of incandescent light from my car angling eerily over a curve in the road, showing up stark shadows in the trees across the other lane of freeway. It was far. I was moving fast. I let go of the wheel.

When I say I "tried" to kill myself, I use the term delicately. I obviously didn't try very hard; I'm still here, and I didn't even make it into the median before I came to my senses and grabbed hold of the wheel again. I'm told that makes no difference; the key is that I made the instantaneous decision that my life was no longer worth living and that I wanted out--and then I acted on it, however briefly.

That few seconds where my hands were off the wheel threw my whole life off-kilter for eight months. I had a few more scares and a lot more unpleasantness, and I pushed some of my friends right to the edge before I finally got help. I spent the whole time not frightened for myself, but scaring everyone around me. My mother described my deteriorating demeanor like I was struggling to stand in the middle of a violent rapids, teeth gritted, afraid I'd be swept away at any moment and fighting to hang on. I was wildly out of control and something malignant seethed around me every minute of every day, some inexorable force, never at peace, never still.

In the end, it was Tyler. I made some serious, hurtful mistakes and he rounded on me with an ultimatum. Get help, or stop talking about it. "I am not available to talk about this with you until you get help." It was stunning in its blunt simplicity, and from anyone else I might have balked, fought, argued...it had to be him.

Tyler was the last person I talked to before I tried to kill myself, and he was the last person I talked to before I called and made a doctor's appointment for myself at last. We came full circle. Within two days of seeing the doctor and getting a prescription for a low-dose SSRI, everything just...stopped.

Peace. That's what came next. There was almost a week of serene, full, happy stillness. I felt like I was shining from the inside. That, of course, is not a normal state of being and since March, it's been constant progress toward "normal." And today, I feel like I'm...there. Yeah, the afternoon sucked, but considering where I was a year ago today, it was a pretty damn fine day. I visited my family. I laughed and joked with my coworkers and puttered around the house a little. I have become a whole person again. The pieces are all back together and I'm the practical, cynical, affectionate, happy, caring person I was before. And I'm overjoyed about that.

So, really, I guess, thank you. You know who you are. And see, look how far I've come. Thank you for not letting me do it alone. You've been amazing. You saved my life; never forget that.

Date: 2010-08-10 06:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ithilwyn.livejournal.com
Thank you for sharing this. Being so far away and only really connected through LJ, I've only sort of been on the periphery of your struggles. I'm so thankful that you are still here with us and that you are back to your beautiful self. I celebrate with you and pray that your life continues to grow and change and that you live it to the fullest.

Date: 2010-08-11 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ktlovely.livejournal.com
I'm glad to share what I went through. Talking about it here when it was all happening kept me accountable for my own safety, but it also exposed some of my dearest friends to the darkest parts of me. It's a privilege to be able to share the good things too! *hugs*

Date: 2010-08-10 07:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] suededsilk.livejournal.com
**HUGS** I am so, so glad you're here writing this today. It's been a roller coaster year for you, but I thank God that you've been able to come through it all, and especially that you're feeling like a whole person again. That is truly wonderful.

May I throw some virtual confetti and about a dozen hugs your way? :)

Date: 2010-08-11 02:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ktlovely.livejournal.com
Yay confetti! And hugs! :) Looking back, it was scary--worse than I thought at the time, but it's shaped me so much and helped me see so many good things about myself and my friends & family. I don't know if anyone else feels the same way, but I wouldn't trade it, not having come out the other side and knowing what I know now.

Date: 2010-08-10 10:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mlsdesigns.livejournal.com
*hugs* you should absolutely celebrate your being alive, as do we :)

Date: 2010-08-11 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ktlovely.livejournal.com
Thank you. I'm really happy for what I came out of it knowing, about myself and my friends & family. Everybody was amazing. *hugs*

Date: 2010-08-10 10:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nuranar.livejournal.com
(((HUGS))) Here's for perspective and God's grace! :)

Date: 2010-08-11 02:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ktlovely.livejournal.com
God's grace, indeed! Thank you for everything, Ginger. You were a big part of this.

Date: 2010-08-10 01:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenthompson.livejournal.com
This made me cry - both from sadness and joy for you. Thank-you for sharing. I've been there too.

Date: 2010-08-11 02:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ktlovely.livejournal.com
Thank you. I'm sorry you had to go through anything like this, ever...but like I said above, I wouldn't trade it for anything, because it showed me so much about myself and the people I love.

Date: 2010-08-11 02:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ktlovely.livejournal.com

Date: 2010-08-10 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] padawansguide.livejournal.com
I'm sorry you've had such a rough year.

I just finished the book "Eat, Pray, Love" and I think you might enjoy it. The author went through some serious struggles with depression which reminded me of some of things you've described. You're definitely not alone in your struggles - and I'm glad you have such good friends there to help you! I hope you continue to stay in a good place and not have to go through that again. Actually, you won't, I don't think - because even if you have depressive episodes, at least now you know what they are, and you've gotten help once, and it'll be easier to do it again if you need to. Taking the first step was likely the hardest part. *hugs*

Date: 2010-08-11 02:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ktlovely.livejournal.com
Thank you, Maggie. I was--and still am--amazed by my friends through all of this...including you. I don't know if you know this, but I consider you to be a big part of helping me with what I went through. Thank you for your kindness and support. It's not something I'll forget. :)

Date: 2010-08-11 02:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] padawansguide.livejournal.com
Aw, thanks. I'm glad I could be there for you. :-)

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