Tag Archives: crossroads

Surviving Is Not Enough

Writing this blog has set me free in so many ways. Telling my story  has taken me from being a victim of circumstances that were beyond my control, to being a survivor of the loss of a loved one.

When I first started putting my words on paper, ideas were plentiful and it was evident I could write what I wanted at will. I couldn’t hit the keys on my computer fast enough. For once in my life my brain was working faster than my body parts.

My story is a  journey I was reluctant to go on. Taking me away from my normal life, my family, my friends and just about everything associated with the life I once lived.

Within I became a hermit, a recluse living in my own world that was causing me to drift further away from family and friends,while going through the motions of living a life that appeared, at least to me, normal.

Brooding in an inner world where the lights had been turned off,  I would venture out from time to time only to have my eyes blinded by the intensity of the sun’s rays. I would then retreat back into my lonely world as fast as the speed of thought.

Six years later someone decided to turn the light on in my darkened world. I took that as a sign, it was time to come out of hiding and face the world.  I then had this insatiable desire to tell my story. For the first time I wanted to talk about a life lost and its effect on me. It is only then that I realized that there are millions just like me who are going through a similar process and are on a journey in search of healing.

These past months of writing has liberated me and  I have discovered a peace that I hadn’t experienced for as long as I can remember.

I was not only on my way to recovery but I hoped it would take me back to a place I call normal or at least the way it was.

It was working beautifully with my muse working overtime keeping me creatively inspired, each word keyed at the speed of thought, each paragraph edited simply enough to be readable, and spell-check at my beck and call. The wall I had systematically built around my heart was being torn down piece by piece, word by word.

I knew within that I had to finish the ‘book’, as I would refer to telling my story. It had a beginning and therefore it had to have an ending. To me it seemed simple, the ending was becoming a survivor, someone who passed the test and came out the other end beaten and battered but alive.

I had this feeling inside that my job would be complete and I could get back to ‘normal’ when I finished the ‘book’. I just needed to keep writing until there was nothing more to say.

Then the unthinkable happened. I couldn’t finish another paragraph if my life depended on it. It was taking me longer to come up with ideas for my story and unfinished posts were starting to gather dust. I had hit ‘writers block’ at full force.  My muse decides to go on holidays. My fingers were developing cob webs and my mind was drifting back into the old ‘normal’.

I needed to take a deep breath and figure this thing out. It was not time to raise the white flag of surrender. There was a reason that I was becoming stagnant and I refused to believe it was just ‘writers block’.

I wasn’t going to try to write another word until I understood what it was that was blocking me.

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It’s been several days now since writing the above. I had to take a ‘time out’ to sort out my thoughts. I had to come to terms with something that was holding me back but I wasn’t sure what it was.  There was no use in waiting for my muse to come back off of holidays, she wasn’t coming back until I addressed the elephant that was in the room.

Up until this post I had been operating under the impression that surviving the death of a loved one was the main goal, it wasn’t. Then I proclaimed that I was no longer a victim of suicide and not longer trying to survive. Let the world know that I am as survivor. I have reached the summit. I can get back to living my life as a normal human being. I am healed.

So why the ‘all of a sudden’, I can’t put two words together to make a sentence. I wasn’t going to budge until I got an answer and I believe I have. The mental block was only there to slow me down, actually stop me in my tracks. I had come to a crossroads, not in my writing but my life. If I thought that being a survivor of the loss of a loved one was the ultimate goal, I was way off base. It was never meant to be the goal, only a marker in the next step of  my life.

I had a decision to make. Accept my new label of survivor as the be all and end all, try to reconstruct my life and get back to normal or take the next step. I had to come to grips with the fact that this journey will never end no matter how many mountains I climb. What I discovered about myself was a little scary but exciting and exhilarating at the same time.

I realized that I would never be content, happy or even at peace with myself unless I continued to move forward, which meant leaving my old life behind and anything that would hold me back including any excess baggage that I needed to leave behind to move forward.

I had worked very hard over the past years to eliminate the intense grief, guilt, confusion, anger, blame and all the other emotions and labels associated with suicide. Now it was time to give my Aaron a hug and let him go, not for his sake but for mine and those around me.

By continuing to hold onto the past I am effectively making the future non-existent. I know deep down inside Aaron would want that too. He would want the best for me. He doesn’t expect me to sit around and mourn his life as though by allowing myself to move on completely would be nothing short of being a traitor to him, my son.

He would want me to take all the valuable experiences and lessons of life I have accumulated over the last years and turn them into something useful, for others.

But in order to do that there is a price to pay, there is a very important decision that has to be made. I have to let go of the past, I have to forsake what I have been holding onto these past years. I need to let Aaron go so I can move forward. As simple as that.

He is already where he is meant to be. But my desire to keep him alive in my mind and heart, his memories fresh and at my fingertips will not hold him back but keep me from moving forward.

Surviving is not enough, leaving my old life behind is the next step in this wonderful journey that has been given me.

Today, I have made my choice.