16 November 2018
Gratitude Stories ~ Three Nights on the Edge
Greetings Dear Reader,
One of the things I have worked toward all my life is being sure that every life matters to me. Since we live in a death-based echo system, the value of life must become obvious for us to understand our world. Whilst there is life there is hope whether we admit it or not.
I have also mentioned that one of my great fears has been being alone. In addition, when I confessed this fear to some close to me, I found myself left in just that state. There was advice from friends to spend time with them when what they could not see was how out of resources I was. This drove me to an edge which I have not faced in over two decades.
A few years ago, whilst on vacation I developed a physical problem that effected my shoulder and neck muscles. My physician prescribed Cyclobenzaprine in ten milligram tablets as a relaxant for my inability to sleep. It is important to this gratitude story that one know that I do not get along well with opiates. The strength of Tylenol 3 is enough to send me to the moon. Cough medicines with opiates knock me out. I found that taking just one of the Cyclobenzaprine tablets put me out for at least an entire day.
We come to the heart of the tale. Out of thirty tablets, I had taken only three over the period of a year. When I found myself sitting alone in my isolation, I determined to take them all. For three nights I sat in the dark holding the bottle of tablets and considering my options.
The first night, as the choice to die grew easier in my mind, a friend contacted me wanting to talk about some help he needed. The distraction was enough to chase away my resolve. The second night, after someone dear to me had promised to see me and instead given me silence, I sat there again weeping, fearful, and alone. I had filled my favorite rocks glass with Southern Comfort and had the top off the bottle of tablets. A neighbor knocked on my door. We had often interacted in passing. This night, she had brought me some cookies and a hug. I ate the cookies, drank the Southern Comfort, and went to sleep.
The third night I was alone again and the day was an important one to me. It marked a remembrance that should be beautiful but was now quite sour. I was out of Southern and any other kind of comfort. I filled the same rocks glass with water and sat down to die. Someone I love called me because she was worried about me. I lied and said that I was fine. In my mind though I realized that I was not fine. I was not OK.
On the fourth day I reached out to someone who had offered me refuge and began to make the transition to this part of the journey. I realize that I told many people I was fine when I was not. In those days on the edge of death I did not think that anyone would care enough to act. I apologize for not being genuine with you. Those that were nearby and say they do care were in the midst of their own struggles or acting in ways that betrayed their words.
I still see now, as I withdraw from that edge and am being stripped down for reset, that I am grateful for the Father sending people to interrupt my plans. They will not know unless they read this that they had a part in preserving my life. They helped turn death into a fighting chance to live. My gratitude story is two-fold.
The first is for life itself. It is true that whilst there is life there is hope. I have much more hope today than I had on this day three months ago. Life is not easy but it is daily worth living. My failure to focus on Christ and following him took me to this edge and once there the final step seems reasonable and easy.
My second gratitude story is for those who act on those uncertain impulses to check on those who seem fine but you are not certain. Had I chosen to die, many would have been shocked at the news. They would have remarked that I always seemed so happy. The truth is that most of the time I mitigate my pain by showing love to others. When you feel the urge to reach out to someone, support him, or ask for his help, do not dismiss it Dear Reader. It just might be the Father using you to pull someone back from the edge for one more day.
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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