Yesterday was World Suicide Prevention Day, and it was the best one I have had yet.
I don't do anything too big for the day. Because of schedules, the kids, no driver's license, I can't go to any events or even get to hang out with the people that helped me through my toughest struggles. But over the past few years I have used social media to try and connect where I can. For the duration of National Suicide Prevention Week, I take the theme and update my status or add a photo that coincides with it, reasons I am going to keep fighting, things that make me strong. This year was no different, and I still have three days of reasons on why I will be here tomorrow to post. Yet yesterday was a great day for me.
See, I don't have thoughts of suicide, not any more, not really since having my son, because that uber rational part of my mind tells me I just couldn't leave him alone. I am lucky to have that part of myself even though it tends to drive my husband crazy. I don't do self-harm any more either, thanks to two kids and two dogs and living in the country, I tend to get hurt enough on a day to day basis that it hits my limit in a day and my thoughts have wondered to the activity only a handful of times over the past eight years. It's not completely gone, but again, I am lucky. My biggest fights are anxiety and depression. And yesterday was a good day; not perfect, but really good.
For me, a tough day is any day that I can't get the energy to move.As the stay-at-home parent it is my job to get Jareth up for school in the morning and make his lunch, and lately I have taken to sitting with him on the porch until the bus comes. I would really love to curl up in bed with my husband and daughter and go back to sleep, but I know I won't get up when she does, the bed is too comfortable, I am too sleepy, my husband is there recovering from the night shift and he always makes everything better. But I get up. And lately I have stayed up. Yesterday was a good day.
After my only cup of coffee, thank you addictive personality that takes away all the good stuff I am too scared to enjoy much of, I actually got to moving around and working! I cleaned the kids' room, cleaned my room, did dishes, did some laundry along the way. Sure I sat down for a little here and there because I am reading a good fanfiction and my feet love a break now and then, but I got stuff done! I fried up some eggs to go on burgers for dinner even though the hot grease kinda makes me freak every single time. I even got some stuff done after dinner when I usually am just done with the day! It was a good day!
Sure, I had one moment where I apparently snappishly told my husband to leave my stuff alone (I thought I said it nicely, was perfectly reasonable in tone of voice, but then we always think that, don't we?). But it was quick, we were quiet for a moment, and I apologized and explained. Of course he understands why I did it. I left the kitchen grinning like a fool because we handled it! No big fight, no screaming, I won't be on edge for days any time someone even looks at my things. Yay! I remained calm(ish).
Then to make a good day even better! I went to bed at 10:30! With insomnia it doesn't matter what I do all day to wear myself out, at the end of the day I am just not tired. I stay up until 2 or 3 reading, rewatching M*A*S*H, writing a little if I am lucky, thinking if I'm not. I have laid down in bed with my eyes sore from keeping them open and still tossed and turned for an hour unable to shut of my mind. On a really bad night there is also a lot of waking in middle of the night. Last night was a good night! Sure I kinda opened my eyes when Tillie (our blue healer) came to bed, and it was kinda a shock when Brewster (our pit/lab) joined since he has taken to sleeping on the couch, but neither time was enough to keep my awake. Of course I slept through Livia ninja-ing her way between Gary and I, that only wakes me on a really bad night. And I only woke up once before my alarm in a mild panic over missing it and making my son late, it was only 6, everything was fine. I slept well!!
But the best parts of yesterday weren't the ones I lay thinking about right before dozing off and realizing that it had been a good day for me and my issues. The best parts were the ones I got so giddy about that I got to enjoy in the moment.
This is the third year I have actively taken part in the campaign, and each year I try to make sure that Jareth knows why it is the day is special. After all, he has had to watch first hand what these issues do to people; I am far from the only one suffering in my circle of friends. This year we decided to give him his own "Love" tattoo to match mine. If you don't know, mine says "One Love" in religious (and one gender equality) symbols, a testament to my greatest struggle and core beliefs. The kids love to ask what means what and to find the same symbols in everyday life. So Jareth decided to go with symbols that stood for his personality too. Video games and Superheros. Of course Liv had to have one too!
I love opening the door for talking about issues with the kids. Before he went to school we had a very brief talk about the subject, mainly so that he could explain it to his teacher if she asked why he had a drawing on his arm. It wasn't much, he is only 8 after all, but it is more than last year, and that's what counts.
They did this. They cuddled with me on the porch waiting for the bus. He stayed home after school so that we could put up his laundry together. He couldn't stop saying "wow, mom." over his room when he saw how clean it was. They joined me on the couch to watch Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (only teared up near the end for Robin, an improvement for me. I miss him.) for some family time during and after dinner. There were plenty of goodnight hugs and kisses. There was surprisingly little fight over actually going to sleep and by 10:30 I was tired and done with the day with no reason to stay up.
Eight years, nine months, and nine days ago I restarted a New Year with a little boy. It didn't hit me like lightening as I held him for the first time that I would never consider suicide again. The drugs were good, but not that good. It was gradual. It was moments like yesterday when Jareth lay on my bed while I folded sheets laughing as I told him all the bad bits of his birth and why he so owes me a hug and kiss when I want one. It was moments like 6 AM when Liv grabbed up my arm and snuggled it, because like me she needs contact to sleep, and nine times out of ten I am better than a Merida baby doll.
I am so incredibly lucky. Yesterday was a great day. And I will see you tomorrow.