Gratitude Cancer and Depression
It is peculiar how hard I fought cancer and how depression leads me to wish I were dead.
This morning I read a blog post titled “Suicide” by a blogger who lives with mental illness. Already 17 comments. It was beautifully painfully written and the thoughts oh so familiar. It is both good to know I’m not alone and sad to realize so many suffer so deeply. The woman is now a grandmother and first was ill as a teenager. It is inspiring to me that she continues to have joy in her life as well as the pain – it is the joy and love that keeps one here.
“Suicide” by brightonbipolar
I was age 7 the first time I remember wishing for my death. At that time I sneaked downstairs two nights in a row and poured iodine from the dark bottle with the skull and crossbones into my glass of water and drank it down. I’ve tried to remember what was so bad that led my 7 year old self to try to die and I can’t remember. I DO remember I wanted my parents to suffer for not loving me. The TRUTH is my parents, mother and stepfather, loved me very much and so did my grandparents. I FELT unloved in my life. There is a distinct difference there.AND depression is an illness. I don’t believe there has to be a reason to feel depressed. My mind was obviously lying to me and I obviously believed what I was thinking. I have had suicide ideation all of my adult life, and perhaps before. My fantasies usually involve pills and my car, sometimes the ocean.
Recently I’ve been wishing I had the courage to “take a long walk off a short pier”. I was deeply in a place of consideration of this thought when Rusty, my 7 year old miniature poodle, was plunked down into my life. To me that is testimony from the Angels that I am wanted here. I am still uncertain as to what is my life purpose but I’ve had a natural ability with words since I learned them so I’m leaning toward writing. Also I just had the insight that as long as I’m having thoughts that include my suicide and a car I may not have another car – I’ve been without one for 3 years.
My dualities are an enigma to some. Even my therapist tells me I cannot feel two ways at one time, but I do. When I am able to lighten up a bit I often say “That is why I was born a Gemini – I can handle the duality.”
I am sensitive to others sensibilities and know some cannot read about topics of Depression and Suicide. I used to carefully keep those thoughts inside me to not affect others. Today I firmly believe those of us who survive and especially those of us who thrive in spite of the illness need to be more open to help others become both more knowledgeable and more understanding. I feel the need to reassure those who love me that I am going to be okay, and I believe this to be true. This illness started in childhood, and I believe it was inherited. I didn’t begin to find treatment until I was in my 30s, and it has been an ongoing uphill/downhill process of “progress not perfection” ever since. I have periods when I am free of depression and live with happiness and joy, and I treasure those.
I will write more about being a cancer survivor later on in my blog posts. I’ve already written one titled “For Love of Our Breasts” that included some of my breast cancer story.
Today in St. Lous, MO is the Susan Komen parade and fundraiser for finding a cure for breast cancer which incidentally affects men as well as women. I’m posting the link here as people can make donations directly to the Foundation if you wish.
2015 Komen St. Louis Race For the Cure –
In 1995 I was diagnosed with my first breast cancer, and in 2000 with my second which led to my choosing a bilateral mastectomy. This makes me a 15 year survivor, and June happens to be the anniversary month of my diagnosis. I worked very hard to fight cancer the first time and thus the second time I was stunned to learn I had breast cancer once again. I participated in every possible recovery option that I deemed to be “right” for me after much research and many consultations. Each recovery was followed by a lengthy episode of severe Recurrent Major Depression.
In 2005 and in 2007 I went through surgery and a type of radiation for a tumor that was pressing my brain stem to one side and which also made me completely deaf in my left ear. The deafness is the only symptom that lead my medical team to find the tumor, by MRI, called an Acoustic Neuroma or a Schwannoma. By the time it was found it was large and was displacing my brain stem in a way that would have made me paralyzed and lose all basic functions had it not been discovered. Thus even though by pathology the tumor was benign it was considered malignant because it was life threatening.
I am grateful to be alive and to experience the incredible beauty of Nature through the 4 seasons on the Maine Coast every year. I am in love with the ocean and with Rosa Rugosa, the wild rosebushes that grow everywhere here by the ocean – they are deep pink, lighter pink or white and their scent is divine. I can’t stop inhaling when I am near them.
I am grateful to my family and many friends who love me. I am grateful to the Higher Universal Beings who surround me and keep me safe. My life is beautiful and I do know joy and love as well as sadness and pain. Thank you, God. Tomorrow is my 64th birthday, 57 years surviving.
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