A long time ago, my best friend made these compilation cd's from the 80's and 90's when we were in Middle School and went to teen dances. Well, I pulled them out, and what a walk through memory lane. Some songs have struck home harder now, than they did when I thought they said it all. 'Long December' by the counting crows is one example. 'Losing My Religion' and 'Everybody hurts' by REM. Although I was never a fan of this band or this song, it had me in tears:
He said of lot things I think I needed to hear. What I can appreciate about his pleas to his friend are his promise of understanding, sympathy, but assurance that the past (not Myles, but everything I've fucked up since losing Myles) can be left behind, along with the lies I've been living.
The suicidal ideation has passed for the most part. It's tempting, but inadequate. I have a suicide letter I'll post. I read it today when I was sitting on the toilet (don't ask) and it said everything I wanted to say, so I was surprised. It still wasn't enough though, you can never say enough, as you have all pointed out. Everyone would walk away from my death, wounded as badly or worse than when we lost Myles. Everyone except me, I guess.
I've been reading through old blogs. Actually I went back to the beginning after I got an email from a new atheist reader and a new November 2008 addition to our sad club of child loss.
I guess what I've read has really revealed many things at this moment. First, my typos are much worse the more in the pit I am. The alcohol was the worst answer to my terrible days. No matter how many rules I created, it still managed to engulf me, though I thought I was immune.
Having the bipolar diagnosis makes more sense than I'd like to admit. Bipolar isn't inherently bad however, as my Psychiatrist said today (and as I've read) many very creative successful people have bipolar. The times of mania, prior to losing Myles were actually times of high productivity, I was supermom, supergrad student, super housewife. I juggled 50 things, seemlessly, and now I look back, and I could only be manic to believe that I could do all those things, and then actually find that 'crazy' energy to actually pull them off.
So the deep depression after losing Myles lead to a much more volatile mania, the two extremes became much more extreme than they had in my life up until that point. Though I would argue in my adolescents that I was definitely on this teeter totter of periods of deep depression, then manic episodes accompanied by major risk taking. On days I felt 'good' it wasn't the real 'good', it was the scary 'good'. The kind of feeling that makes you act impulsively, so sure of yourself in an instant. But at the time, sure of what? Sure of nothing except my life had no meaning anymore, my values were not so valuable, I was invincible to alcohol, invincible to grief, all of which is utter bullshit. It's a very powerful feeling, indifference, don't let anyone fool you. It's so much easier to not care anymore.
Part of me would like to find myself, mentally, in the same place I was a few months after Myles death. Certainly miserable, but at least a clear miserable, not one hazed over by alcohol, drugs, and gardening (I was a MAD gardener, crazy). I had some insight then, insights that are even clearer to me now if I were to just write them out. Gifts from my Myles, secrets to this life that no one can know until it's 'too late' (but it's never too late). I so wanted to know these secrets in the months leading up to Myles death, if I had known them, maybe I would've cherished him more when I had him. But you can't go back. So I have to use those lessons now. It's not just Myles I need to appreciate, it's Simone, and my nieces and nephews, brother and sisters, Mom and Dad.
To commit suicide would be to not apply that knowledge Myles has given me, and that would be the biggest tragedy. Because his short life was not short of radiant, and full of so much meaning, I wouldn't change anything today. Because I know that if he had lived, there would still be no guarantee he'd be in my arms now, or forever. Same with Simone. So I've got to cherish what I have, and mourn what I don't have, but do it in away that isn't sooooo harmful to my own conception of self.
I thought the hardest days would be then, I didn't know that the hardest days were ahead. Now I know that you can never know whether they are in front of you or behind you. They are both, they were always both. Can you prepare for them? Not really. But you can accept that having a terrrrrrrible day, isn't the end of the world. For tomorrow maybe less terrible, the day after, perhaps one filled with meaning, peace, or healing (as was this Tuesday when I got Myles birth certificate).
So, I'm not a failure yet. I might have failed here or there in the past, succeeded too, and in the future, I'll add to both tallies. And if I take what my son's life has shown me, and I apply it, then that means I go on. No matter what, I must go on. Because I was given a gift, and it would be a terrible thing to waste. And killing myself would've been throwing that gift in the garbage, perhaps. And that's not fair to anyone. Suicide may not be 'selfish' but it certainly isn't just; to me, or Simone, or Myles, or anyone who loves me. It doesn't do justice to the meaning of my son's life, and that perhaps would've been the biggest tragedy. For if he lives on in our hearts, then a piece of him would've died with me. It wouldn't have been fair to him.
So, I will go on, I will continue becoming, and I will continue to try to find hope in the future, no matter how forlorn I may feel at the moment. For there is still time, time to err, and time to succeed.