When I was little, my mother told me the story of ‘the boy who cried wolf,’ the essence being that so many times after awhile his pleas would reach thin air, a world of walls around him that would not be penetrated by his quiet fears. That story has always stayed with me in the back of my mind, so whenever I feel like I am in a whine, or feeling sorry for myself, I do reflect back on the famous story that has been with me since a child.
This week I was that little boy. I reached out, I plead, I sought out the person I felt most compelled to be there. I’m in a funny state because I’m going through a very difficult time. My wife of 30 years recently left me and we are in the process of a divorce. Some of my readers will know this has been a long time coming, but everyone needs to know, no wonder the time or circumstance, there is no easy process when placed in the hands of divorce. I have felt a loneliness that moves far beyond the surface level of not being wanted. I have been played by my society, and left to bask in the quiet of my own misgivings. As I write this when I think about reaching out to someone in a moment of frailty, a moment of weakness, that person regrettably is not my wife, and that does give reason to the position we are facing today. We are friends, hurt, isolated people with hearts that share both the importance of moving forward and recognizing the past yet sadly this parting has allowed us to realize that our intimacy has been gone for decades..
Yet, inside all of that philosophy is still the mind of a lonely man. I took a frightening journey the other night, I imagined a process for taking my own life. Oh I have fantasized the idea for more than five decades I suppose right around the time I came of an age to really think about the act – I suppose it was when or around the time when Anne Sexton or Sylvia Plath took their own lives. I might have been too young to realize the consequence, and more fascinated by the act itself. Whatever the case, I have experienced many suicides over the course of my life. and I have only been able to justify one. That was a friend in late stages of cancer that made his own choice with a shotgun one night when I lived close enough to hear the round go off in the middle of the night, and for a moment I wondered, ‘Charlie’ and a couple of days later I was told I was correct. I guess the reason I talk so candidly about losing people is that nearly every day of my life I contemplate my own. There is only one person in my life that knows how dire my state of mind can be, and I am grateful that though I cannot be with, she knows.
So the other evening, I got so close it scared me. I did the right thing, I reached out when no one was able to respond, and I contacted a reliable source, and there though I didn’t know the person on the other line, there I did decide that my actions would be foolish, but as they indicated as well in the conversation, the actual feeling around the idea is very real, do not ever discount it. That gave validation, much like it did the next morning when I saw my primary doctor to talk about depression, and then today when I spoke with my therapist about the same and the week’s main focus. I haven’t been to work for three days, and having just returned from a four week leave of absence, there are a lot of people wondering if I am ever going to pull my ass together. I am one of those people. I am scared.
Tonight, I don’t write this to make any sense, I only write it to get the words out of my head. It offers me a little peace of mind to know that despite my unhappiness, this action would only be my own and no one else is responsible for my poor choices.
I am responsible for my own happiness, and you, yes, you are not. Though you have brought nothing but happiness to my life, it is up to me to appreciate and not layer upon you the expectation that your actions maintain my happiness. You gave me a strand and I hung on and I still do today.
I say love one another every day – it is worth knowing a beautiful moment will be shared.
© Scott F Savage 3/2020