Its the 4th of July. Yahoo! (that was sarcastic.) This used to be one of my favorite holidays. Our neighborhood puts on this big party. They serve a big catered lunch always from the same bar-b-que joint (which is very good), there are midway-style games for the kids (which Maggie is now too old for, but Mic, who is two years older, still wants to play.) And then there are **Adult Games**, which is a team competition and involves silly little games at several stations for points. The over all points leader at the end is “the winner” (which sort of stinks because you have to host the games the next year.) Oh, and did I mention that this part of the day involves LOTS of beer?
Since I decided in 2001 that alcohol is an evil which makes my depression spike, July 4th just hasn’t had the same luster. I remember, as a kid in Arkansas, buying fireworks and playing with them for the whole week around July 4th. These were REAL fireworks (bottle rockets, fire crackers, M80s, Roman candles, things that soar into the air and things that explode.) In Colorado, nothing that leaves the ground or explodes is legal (which leaves sparklers.)
Maybe it’s the stress of the move and packing and the disorder and chaos (all fueled by this obsessive NEED to get this damned move done), but I just don’t feel like being around people today. It’s a very people intensive day. All pf the neighborhood will be at this party today, and I'm just not in a "mingling" mood. Instead of eating the great bar-b-que, we are sharing lunch with some friends (because the bar-b-que tickets are too expensive.) Then, we are going to a cookout at some other peoples’ house tonight. I don’t know if I can put on my smiley face all day today. Plus, I know that everyone I talk to will ask me “Any nibbles on your house yet?” “NO! No one has bought our house yet!” Maybe I should have had a t-shirt made so I could avoid answering that damned question over and over. It is amazing how, just less than a week ago, i was consumed by the stress of this $100,000 lien against the house and, suddenly, with that stress resolved, the joy of that resolution has vanished and the stress of selling the house has come right back. I just want this chapter of life to be over, and to get out of Colorado and out from under the pressures and expectations (which I’m sure I create in my own head) that my community holds for me, and start over, fresh. Free from the big **Mental Illness** banner that I carry around, free to work in a liquor store or at Wal-mart or whatever without the people we used to consider friends (back when July 4th was a fun day) snickering behind my back that the once high flying lawyer is now working an hourly job. I look forward to the new context that the move should provide.
I noticed, again today, something about suicide. I’m not depressed. I don’t feel that desire to hide or the hopelessness and contempt for life that once filled every day. I’m not sad or feeling worthless or any of that. I’m stressed, and I’m tired of it. I’m like anyone would be with the constant stress of the last eight weeks surrounding this move and the changes it brings. Like other people would be, with an exception. Once you’ve allowed suicide to be an acceptable solution to the things that trouble you, once you’ve stood on that ledge and looked into the abyss, into the eyes of the Beast, and come to the conclusion that death was better than life, you are a changed person. The threshold at which suicide returns to mind as an option, even if not an option that I would consider at this point, is infinately lower. Melissa doesn't understand how anyone could consiuder suicide. I don't understand how anyone could NOT consider it in some situations. Now, when things get tough, the thought always crosses my mind. Since my last treatment, and for many weeks before that, I haven’t considered suicide as a viable option, but it always presents itself in times of even the slightest doubt. I’m pretty sure that that isn’t true for most people. I’m pretty sure that most people never even think of killing themselves when things get tough. Those of us that have been to that ledge have to walk the ledge carefully. Once you’ve been there, you never get very far from that ledge again, and the danger of falling in, even if jumping into the abyss isn’t your intent, is very great.
Beyond the philosophical bullshit, there have, at least, come some answers and solidifications to our life situation over the last couple of weeks. We have decided to rent a nice house in Arkansas for 6-9 months until we decide where we want to buy and what our current house will provide in the way of equity and while we establish an employment base and income base which will facilitate getting a mortgage (we know where to send the movers now.) The title issue has been resolved and the proper documents have been signed and filed to remove that nasty lien. Melissa has found a full-time, real job in Arkansas which, with a little help from me either through SSDI or part-time work, should (at minimum) make ends meet. And I have planted the seed in the mind of a guy for whom I would like to work (I’ll follow-up with him, a friend of the family, when we get moved.) Positives, positives…focus on the positives.
Happy Independence Day!