I know this isn’t one of my typical topics, but please be patient: this is important. Someone you know may be in trouble and you don’t even know it. PLEASE feel free to pass this on. -KWC
A moment frozen in time…
Almost 50 years ago she sat next to me and chided me for something she had found out had happened. She thought I tried to kill myself because she broke up with me. I told her, “If it helps, it really wasn’t about you.” And it wasn’t.
Holidays can be joyful. It can also lead those marginalized, mocked, ignored, to do what those who care for them can’t imagine they would do. There’s no single reason people decide to sink into the dark depths of that final darkness. No single person makes you decide to do the unthinkable.
Zoroastrians believe our bad deeds weigh us down in life. I’m not a Zoroastrian, but life is like that. Why are we surprised when someone ends it all? It’s not as if life can’t lead us here: especially when the young don’t recognize the rises and falls in life are normal.
Too often we dismiss those who commit suicide as mentally ill. Do you really think life is so perfect someone would have to be clinically depressed to even consider suicide? Certainly you know better than that.
Why do people think berating, insulting, looking down on someone will straighten anyone out? Often just the opposite. A pattern passed on from father to son, to those around us, like a virus. Self-hate is toxic. Too many times I’ve seen the sister, brother or parent insulting family members for not living up to standards they can’t live up to. Piling on abuse becomes a family sport.
Family, or not, we fool ourselves into thinking mental illness has to be the only cause; making sure the blame falls only on them. So we can just walk away. As if we could. Suicide is the ghost that haunts survivors. These are hard truths, I know. Especially when the young end their lives.
We may feel frozen out; like we’re walking beside some sea on the shore all alone, but we’re not.
If you are thinking about it, I don’t know what your reasons may be, but if I had to list a major one it would be the nature of life. Life is climbing higher, maybe even higher, then often incredible, drastic falls. Why no one tells youth that this is a natural part of life is a good question. When your bordering 20 you take it all so personal. Maybe you were told if you fail it must be your fault. As a kid I was told: if I was ever fired, I had to have done something horribly wrong. I was told: if a relationship fell apart, had to be my fault. Not true. No one wants to come home to that.
When people say, “He had so many friends, everyone loved him!” …do they really know? Sometimes we don’t.
It’s natural to review your life this time of year. Do you see failure after failure? Have you felt the joy of climbing upwards, only to fall once again? Warm weather friends vanish, those who said they cared abandoned you: or worse hang around to humiliate you. I’ve been there.
The young see years of climbing and bad falls and wonder, “I’m about a quarter through with my life, why should I hang around for repeat performances?”
Yes, a sea of disappointments may await you, as can they await us all. Life is no sugar plum. Nothing is a sugar plum. There are no sugar plum trees. We MAKE sugar plums. That’s good news. Like life, they are what you make them. Use the best ingredients you can. Be creative.
You can make your “sun come round again.” Just by being here, finding lessons in the failure, you will see that sun again. Or, as a priest told me back then, “Live despite them.”
No one is worthless. The more you take their words to heart the more your world grows dark, all the blame seems to fall on you. But it doesn’t have to.
The winter may surround you now, but your sun will come round again.
It’s Almost Time
Just across the sea on this world so round the sun’s shining hot right now
And even though the winter still surrounds this town I can still feel that sun somehow
And I know that my sun will shine just as sure as this world can spin
I can hold on fine, cause it almost time, for that sun to come ’round again
So I’ll walk beside the sea on this frozen ground where there once was a warm weather crowd
Even though that summer’s been a long time gone, I can still feel that sun somehow
When your love grows cold and your heart grows dark and the blame seems to fall on you
Look how seasons must change and don’t think it so strange that your love goes in circles too
CHORUS (And just know…)
We can hold on fine, cause it almost time, for that love to come ’round again
Songwriter: David Patrick Wilcox
“Inspection” is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 50 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
It’s Almost Time ©Copyright David Wilcox
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However, as long as credited to Ken Carman, permission to reprint this edition is granted.