So. It’s been awhile. Partly because it’s been one hell of a year, partly because I’m working. A lot. I even just picked up a second job. So my days are full of trying my darnedest to not be in my head. And then, in my typical perusal of social media I was hit by some things.
I was reading some mental health tweets and there was a woman talking about having survived a suicide attempt over a decade ago. She writes of having survived her mind, having survived her efforts to cease existing, and it reminded me of something I’ve been thinking of in regards to myself: there’s a difference between suicidality and being suicidal. I tend to fall in the first.
I’d be okay being dead, but I’ve yet to attempt to be dead.
That strikes me a lot of being a dry drunk versus being sober. Which I did for many a year.
I didn’t drink for a few years before saying, “My name is…” but there’s been a huge difference in how I approach life since I started saying, “My name is…”
Since that fateful June day there’s been a surprising amount of me that thinks I’m actually okay. Part of that is from the ACT and DBT groups I’ve been going to. Part of it is the Talking Head Shrinks I’ve been seeing, the Med Head Shrinks I’ve been seeing, but a whole heck of a lot have been the people I’ve met in meetings.
If you’ve never been to a meeting there’s a reading that happens at most every meeting, “Acceptance:”
“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed it’s because I find some person, place, or thing, some aspect of my life unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person place or thing as being exactly the way it is supposed to be in this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can happen in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as in what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.”
I need to leave my ego behind. I need to not do things because I think it’s all within my power to improve things. I can follow the Law of Wheaton (“Don’t be a dick”), and that will perhaps keep things within my control from spiraling, but not everything is within my control. I need to forfeit believing that my opinion is the be all/end all in all situations. I need to forfeit thinking, “Well, they can believe what they want, but my opinion is more right.” Sure folks can believe what they want, but my opinion doesn’t have precedence or a greater degree of right than anyone else’s.