July 26, 2010

Second Chances

The Nutter's Club talked about second chances this evening. Well, they talked predominately about suicide and what some people would have done if they'd had their time over again - would they have helped saving that person, reached out, or if you were the person who attempted suicide, what you would have done differently. And I don't mean the latter as in what a person would have done to have successfully killed themselves. I mean, what would they have done differently that would have eliminated them even having those thoughts in the first place. I'm not sure but I think that at some stage everyone feels slightly suicidal. 

My first so-called real attempt was when I was about 18. I'd started reading positive self-help books. One was called, "You Can Heal Your Life," by Louise Hay. It ought to go without saying that anyone reading a book with a title like that thinks there is something seriously amiss in their life. I was no different. However, I took two main things from this book. One was the author claiming that we, that's you and me, choose our life and therefore, by default, all that happens in it. My first reaction, as a survivor of child sex abuse, was how on earth would I have chosen this life? This woman must be mad! The second thing I took from the book was the power of positive thinking. For months I would sit, meditate, and try to put pink bubbles around all the things I needed in my life - let the thought go out into the Universe, as you do, and well... I'm still waiting for some of those things to manifest. The point is, I truly believed what I wished for would happen and one night, when things were at their darkest, I laid back on my bed, pulled the blankets up all neat and tidy, closed my eyes, and put a beautiful pink bubble around the thought of people finding me the very next day, stone dead. 

I woke the next morning terrified I was dead. 

In hindsight, I know I was never quite ready for suicide. Obviously it takes more than just wishful thinking. It wouldn't be until decades later that I would truly experience the insane desire to end my life and what scared me the most was I just couldn't find it in myself to feel afraid. Not even the typical fantasy of having family members stumbling across my dead carcass and living their lives in tormented guilt never really gave me a buzz any more. I simply didn't care. They say that people who come off alcohol who still act vile, repugnant and abusive are called 'dry drunks.' Still acting pissed just without the alcohol. I think the same applies to how I felt about suicide - the kind of living dead really or, at the very least, a person who felt dead on the inside. 

Well I'm obviously still alive and the second chance I think I would have liked to have given myself during those times was/is what is saving my life right now. No, it's not dwelling over those family members who are no longer in my life (through my choice) or even looking at my daughter and buying into those accusations some people have thrown up at me - useless mother, waste of space etc. 

It's looking back to the three-year-old child I knew I once was, holding out my hand to her and saying...sure, it may be only me and you right now but in a funny way, it always was. Only now, this time, every decision, every choice, is made with a small child's hand in my hand and a promise to never let go. This is not only my second chance but my last chance. 

For some, maybe the answers to the future really do lay in the past.

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