It’s been 6 months since I closed the door to my retail store in York, SC. During the past six months, I have done a lot of reflecting on life, thought about suicide, moved two times (once to my sister’s apartment then to the house I’m renting right now), spent many nights awake worrying about everything, started a new job, and met a great guy.
What I went through in six months is almost a lifetime for some people. But I’m not like some people. For example, it’s September (yes the last day of the month, but still September), which is Suicide Prevention month and I’m again going to talk about suicide. On top of that, I am not giving up on dreams. Instead of giving up, I’m looking to see how I can refocus and what I can do to fulfill a dream. I started over in life, for the 4th or 5th time in 6 years. There are many people who are afraid of change, but I’m not. I look at change as a way to better myself and learn. Changes are both good and bad, lemons are both good and bad, you have to look at it as a learning experience.
Remember I live life by “Everything happens for a Reason” and “life is worth living.” Sometimes I forget these and luckily, I have friends that remind me.
I may be making the same mistake twice, which would not be unusual for me. September is Suicide prevention month. Last year I posted about this topic and what ensued afterwards was a boycott of my retail business. Parents not wanting their kids to come into the store because I was considered a bad influence since I wrote about suicide and other taboo topics. My business did not recover from that post, but you know what, I am taking that as a lemon that needed juiced. Being silenced is not an option for me. If I can help one person, everything I write about or speak about is worth it.
A year later and suicide is still a topic that is taboo to discuss. People hide their heads in the sand or say it will never happen to them. I met someone recently who personally knew three people who committed suicide in the past two years. I talked to a friend who had gone through suicidal thoughts in the past and felt there was no other option. While I am in a good place in my life now, there was still a time in the past six months when suicide crossed my mind. Luckily, it just crossed my mind and didn’t stay.
I reached some lows over the past six months with the closing of my retail store, moving back to Pennsylvania, feeling I was a huge failure in life, and having some people close to me making me feel like a failure. I will admit there were a couple times in the past six months I thought about suicide, but I’ve had those thoughts before and know how to get out of that mindset. Not everyone is lucky to have a safe place or a friend to go to when these thoughts come into play.
Mental health issues are not talked about or are considered weaknesses. Mental illnesses should get the same attention as other health issues such as blood pressure, cholesterol, sugar, heart, etc. People have doctors they see when they don’t feel well, but mention to anyone that you see a therapist or psychiatrist and you are looked down upon or talked about. I have seen a psychiatrist and therapist throughout my life three different times in my life. Each time I’ve gone it has been beneficial in helping me deal with issues I was trying to tackle on my own. Sometimes you need a little help.
Sometimes all that is needed is someone to listen in a non-judgmental way. There were times in my life when I thought I had that support, but found I did not. Things I had talked about in confidence was discussed among many, it didn’t matter if it was family or friends. I select those I confide in more closely these days.
It seems to me that there are more suicides or suicide attempts over the past few years than there were 30 years ago. I don’t know if they can be prevented by discussing it openly, but to me I would rather take my chance and try to help someone then sit back and watch them suffer.
Life is precious. I know I say that a lot, but it truly is. This summer a friend of mine passed away, he had been sick for a while. About 5 years ago he almost committed suicide. He had it all planned out, then I posted on Facebook about my experiences and we started talking. Thankfully he did not follow through on the suicide. He stuck around until his health started failing. He was my age. Over the years we have lost fellow high school classmates and it really hits hard because it makes you question your own mortality. I have cheated death so many times and I still question why I’m still here and others are not. In some ways, I believe I’m here to show others that it’s ok to talk about life and feelings. In other ways, I believe my purpose for being here has not been revealed yet.
Several people have reached out to me over the past six months wanting to know how I’m doing. Overall, I’m doing well as of today. I struggled up until around end of July emotionally, mentally and physically. July was a turning point in so many ways. I started working back in the corporate world, I was blessed with a company willing to take a chance on me. I am renting a house in a town that a know very well because I spent a lot of my childhood here. I have been dating a sweet guy (that I met online) and we moved in together.
I look back on my life and how it has changed over the past 6 years. I am not kidding when I say in the beginning of this post that I have started over 4 or 5 times. I needed to start over in order to learn new things about myself. It is only through difficult times that you learn who you are and what you can do. I have done things that I would not have imagined doing 20 years ago or heck even 10 years ago.
I left a bad marriage, partook in online dating (good and bad), took a road trip by myself, quit a job (twice), moved to the Carolinas, dated after 40, put my entire life savings into a retail store, lived out a childhood dream, made great friends, lost some good friends (both through my stupidity and through death), discovered a love for writing, moved back to Western PA, found love, and discovered myself.
I’m not done with discovering more about myself. I have learned that I can handle a lot and while my patience has been tested, the most important lesson is that everything happens for a reason.
I was ready to give up on love, but then a couple evenings I decided to try the online thing again and did it without expectations. Found someone who gets me and makes me happy. We have both been through a lot in life and relationships. We have a past and that is ok because our past is what makes us who we are today. I love him for the kind of man he is and I’m proud to have him in my life.
I was so impatient with looking for a job along with extremely depressed that I had to shut down my store in March. The jobs that I am qualified for in corporate finance take a little longer to get. I tried some other job applications but was told I was over qualified so companies wouldn’t talk to me. Finally, after several interviews and hopefulness, I found a company that decided to take a chance on me. I like what I’m doing and I especially lucked out by inheriting a fantastic staff. We have challenges with the projects we are working on, but the staff and my boss make it worth getting up in the morning.
I am happy with my life, but I also keep in mind that things can change so quickly. I need to remember when those changes occur that it is for a reason, I may not understand the reason right away, but eventually it will reveal itself and become clear.
I am happy to be here and I am glad you all are still here too. I appreciate every one of my followers, customers, friends and family.