It’s Ok Not To Be Ok
|This is about Chris Cornell.
And it’s about me; and it’s about you.
Chris Cornell left this world too soon, of his own accord, leaving more questions than answers for his family, band mates, friends and fans. He was an idol and a legend, but more importantly, he was a husband and a father. He will be missed by many.
I’m going to keep this short, and hopefully it will help anyone who stumbles across it who happens to need it.
This is hard to tell, but I think it’s of critical importance to share it. This is my suicide story…
Several years ago, when my kids were in preschool, I went through a period in my life that led me to ideating, then planning, then damned near carrying out my own death.
The day was quiet. My kids were at school. Their dad was at work.
I was home, completely alone and of the mind that my present circumstances would never improve and that I couldn’t “do it” for one more day.
The actual circumstances are inconsequential, because anyone who is feeling like they want to take their own life has their reasons, and whatever they are, they feel insurmountable.
I’m here — quite literally HERE — to tell you that you can and should keep going, and that there are people out there who will help.
That day, instead of stopping, something made me pause instead.
I took a picture of my kids into my hands and I held it. I looked into their little faces. I tried to picture them as adults. I couldn’t see myself beside them, but I still held that picture, and I looked into their eyes. I stayed like that until their dad got home, and I told him, “I need to go to the hospital.”
For a week, I paused.
For a week, I questioned everything.
And throughout that week, I stayed safe, and I found the foothold I needed to keep going.
That was over 10 years ago. Since then, I’ve managed to continually improve myself and my life. At this point, I can tell you that even through the clinical depression, and even through divorce, and even through learning to cope with anxiety and PTSD… I’m okay.
In fact, I’m better than okay. I’m genuinely happy.
I could write novels on the experiences I’ve enjoyed with my kids that I would have missed, had I followed through with my plan a decade ago. Or maybe I wouldn’t have missed those experiences, because that action could have changed them in irreparable ways.
I HAVE written a novel since then… something that I’d always wanted to do, but never had the courage to start — let alone finish.
I’ve changed careers, found my passion, and I have a good marriage and a happy home.
I can honestly say that the circumstances that led me to think that taking my own life was a good idea DO NOT MATTER now. They just don’t. I know what they were, but I wouldn’t even accurately articulate everything that led up to that moment… I’ve rewritten my story.
Richard Bach says, in Illusions, “You are always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.”
For much of my life, that quote didn’t make sense to me.
A decade after deciding to pause, rather than stop, I can tell you with authority… it makes perfect sense. It’s not that I’ve closed my eyes to the circumstances that led me down that dark path of thinking… it’s that I’ve made a conscious, mindful decision to move past them. I’ve taken what I’ve learned from them and applied those lessons moving forward. I’ve forgiven others, and myself, and I’ve dedicated myself to not repeating destructive cycles. I’ve learned to love who I am, not despite what I’ve come through, but because of the person it made me today.
Richard Bach also says, in the same book, “Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.
My dear friend… please… if you see this and you’re feeling like you want to stop, try pausing instead. Reach out. Grasp whatever makes you stay your own hand, fix your sight on it, and make a phone call.
I’m here to tell you that you’ll be glad you made the choice to pause.
It’s Ok Not To Be Ok