View Full Version : A Reason to Live
This is something I've been wanting to talk about here for awhile. The fog isn't bad today, and I have a clear head for writing, so here it goes-
We all are familar with the terrible things Lupus can do to our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. I know that some people with Lupus contemplate suicide. And unfortunately, a few do more than just contemplate it. I want to tell my story, in hopes that someone contemplating hastening their own end, can read it and, maybe be persuaded to not give up.
Most of you know about the things that occured after my diagnosis. I lost my fiance who I had been with for six years. I also had achieved my dream job that I had aspired to, and worked very hard for all my life, and I had to quit, and sell the business. Most of my friends stopped coming around, and even some of my family members thought Lupus was some B.S. excuse to get out of, well, what ever they thought I didn't want to do. I was devastated, alone, and hopeless. I reached a point where I didn't want to live any more. The quick pain of death was more appealing than the despair and utter misery my life had become.
One morning, after being awake for a couple of night straight, I decided to commit suicide. I had a full prescription of 30 1mg Xanax tablets. I took all 30 in one big shot followed by a pint of 100 proof vodka. I sat down and waited. I became impatient, it wasn't happening fast enough. So I got into my car, a small Nissan 4 door, drove down the main street in town, and promptly made a left turn in front of the first big vehicle I saw. That vehicle happened to be a 10 wheel Dump Truck. The last memory I have of that day was seeing the "Kenworth" logo on the grill of the truck coming through the passenger side window. That was it, I was free, the unbearable pain was gone forever.
Well, it was almost gone forever. I woke up in the hospital several days later, in bad shape. I had 4 broken ribs, multiple fractures in my right ankle, a concussion, and cuts/bruises/broken glass all over and in my body. On top of that, I had to be treated for the drug/alchohol overdose. I was unconscious for 3 or 4 days, that part is blurry. My family was devastated by what I had done. The car was obliterated with the front half on the side of the road, and the rear underneath the truck. I saw the pictures, it was awful. And the man driving the truck, he was emotionally devastated thinking it was an accident, and that he may have killed or maimed someone.
Fast forward one year. Broken bones healed. Cuts and bruises gone. In decent physical shape enough to get on with my life. But before I could do anything for myself, I had to do some very important things for other people. Firstly, paying the fine and doing the community service that was punshment for driving drunk/intoxicated. And no license for a year. That was the easy part. The difficult part was making amends to my family for the pain I had put them through. That took alot of work, but we got it behind us. Next came the most difficult task, I had to meet the man who was driving the dump truck. In an attempt to calm his nerves that day, he was told it was a drunk driving accident, and he had no fault whatsoever. Technically this was true, but I knew in my heart I had to tell him, I had to tell him I used him as an instrument to kill myself with. Without any thought for him, his safety, or his livelihood. I had to ask him if he could forgive me, even though I didn't think I deserved it. This man, this nice, sincere elderly man, and his wife, had me over to their house to talk. People any of us would be proud to call Grandma or Grandpa. They made me lunch, I just stopped during the meal and told them that yes I was driving under the influence, but the true reason for the "accident" was me attempting suicide. I asked them if they could ever forgive me for the hell I had so randomly brought into their lives. The man, Ed was his name, got up walked over to me put his hand on my shoulder, and said don't worry son, we already have.
So, the things I learned were this-
That there were still good people in this world who cared. I learned that the suicide of one person can affect literally dozens of people in your life. And most importantly, since the Lupus diagnosis and that awful day, I have had so many good things happen. I've seen things and been places I never would have seen if i had died that day. I've met new people, and I've made new friends. I adopted 3 cats whom I love very much. I got to see my 20 old nephew graduate at the top of his class at Fort Bragg, earning the shoulder tab "Special Forces", and having the coveted Green Beret placed upon his head at graduation. Yes I have Lupus, and yes I have bad days. But they're not all bad, many are really good. I think about all those wonderful things I would have missed had I died that day. Sometimes the good days are far off on the horizon. Some days they are right there, just begging to be lived and enjoyed for that day.
Don't give up. Think about the things you would miss. And on those long dark nights, remember that a good day may be right there waiting for you in the morning sun.
03-21-2008, 01:08 AM
Thanks for sharing that, I know it couldn't have been easy. I can't speak for others, but for myself I have had some very dark moments. Fortunately they pass. I cant imagine going day after day night after night with those thoughts in my head.
I'm glad you have made peace with yourself and the people in your life. Mostly that you have opened your life to them again.
There are alot of good people out there. There is also alot joy left for all of us to experiance. Fear and pain is there too, but we can move past that eventually. I like to think there is more of the goodstuff left to come.
Glad you came to this board and thank you for sharing what you went through. It means alot :)
My mom's favorit saying was, "When God closes a door ... somewhere he opens a window." Always look for the window :)
I had to edit at least one of my typos....oops I mean brain fog...yah that's it brain fog :D
03-21-2008, 07:33 AM
Rob, I can't thank you enough for sharing that story. There is nothing that has impact on others like sharing your own experience. You are so generous - like SITC said, that can't have been easy to do. I'm so glad you were unsuccessful in your attempt. And glad you've made your peace with people who matter to you. That's a wonderful outcome.
I guess we all face fear, anger, disappointment, bitterness, sadness and loss - and we all deal with it differently. But you've pointed out something so important - there are days that are so sweet, so full, that they make it all worthwhile. We just have to remember that those days are out there. I try to remember the one's I've had and look forward to one's to come, I guess.
Thanks again Rob. I'm really glad you found this board - you've added so much!
03-21-2008, 09:23 PM
Thank you, Rob, for sharing that story. I was half-way in tears reading that knowing that you were in so much pain and sadness from this disease. I am very glad you made it, and that things are going much, much better for you. You are a very strong person, and it means a lot that you were able to share this personal story with us. Keep well!
Thank you for your kind compliments! I don't believe we've been properly introduced. I'm Rob, a 40 yo guy from Maine. I was diagnosed with SLE in 2004. Like most of us, I have good days, and bad. I read your other post, I'm glad your treatment plan is working. A total 180 is great. At this point I'll take just a 90, or even a 45!. I gather that you are a Senior in High School who has done home study for awhile? Very cool. Thanks again for your comments. I know how busy the senior year can be. I hope you do well. Don't be a stranger.
Pretti in Pink
03-22-2008, 07:48 AM
Just by you sharing that story shows how courageous and caring you are, enough not be be afraid to share and caring enough to reach out and save someone else. If even by just changing the way we view our illness and our lives. I am so glad to see how you have opened and shared with us. You have so much to offer and I encourage you to continue to let it flow.
I'm sure I said this to you before, but I am glad you joined our family.
03-25-2008, 02:08 PM
What happened to my reply or did I just think I did and didn't. In the midst of my broken cog, I don't remember what I wrote but I remember reading your post ROB...yesterday was it? Or was it today, whoa I just got the puter spins...
I wish I knew you then. I wish we found this forum then. Many days, months with so much pain, what a fight in the mind... to live, to die...if I had read it last week maybe a cog wouldn't have broken inside of me.
Rob, thank you for feeling safe with us. To entrust us with such past pain you had experienced. I am sorry for all those days and nights of despair you had felt.
Sometimes we have to hit bottom to come back up and be grateful for all what is and what will be. I am sorry how you had to find your way up..the drugs, vodka, dump truck, healing, the forgiving family..the dear forgiving Ed. Since it happened I am glad it was with Ed...he was you the person that you were meant to meet. I believe that...
I am happy you are alive. Hugs.
Times I forget to see past the pain, still.
03-25-2008, 03:51 PM
I was completely brought to tears by your story and your emotions were so very familiar. You see, I was where you were after the death of my daughter and I even found myself, several times, sitting on my bed with a loaded gun in my hand; trying to decide if I should put it in my mouth or put it to my temple.
When you are in that very dark place, you cannot think about the other lives that will be affected. It is too hard to see past your own misery and pain. I know...............
Working as a Probation Officer, I had to write reports to the court on many heinous crimes (mostly murder cases). What struck me, when gathering statements from the victim's family, was how many lives we touch that we are not aware of. I remember, vividly, a young man who was murdered and receiving victim statements from people all over the globe who had met him (he was in the air force), from distant relatives all over the world who remembered him as a child, from teachers, from air force officers & peers, from co-workers, from the people who rode the bus with him every day to and from work; it was an amazing array of people! It broke my heart that this young man had touched so many lives and that he, himself, had no idea what an impact he had made in this world and in the lives of so many others.
You, Rob, have touched lives that you don't even remember - more than just your friends and family. You can believe that you have made an incredible impact on the life of that elderly truck driver and his wife. They've probably learned how to appreciate each day and how to cherish each person...YOU TAUGHT THEM THAT!! They now know that each day can be a day filled with something to cherish and remember...YOU TAUGHT THEM THAT! You've taught ALL OF US that!
You are very brave and selfless to share this with us here. I am in great admiration of you and knowing you tells me to never lose hope, to always see the good in everyone and to know that there is beauty...in every person and in everything!
Peace and Blessings
sick n tired
03-25-2008, 05:03 PM
Thank God that you are still alive, Rob.
I had tears in my eyes when I read that story....the pain was palatable...I am thankful that you are here and I have had the privilege to meet you.
03-27-2008, 10:25 PM
Thank you so much for sharing your story. It brought back some very familar feeling within myself. I too have attempted and failed twice trying to put an end to everything in life. The first time was last November a few months after I was diagnosed. I took 17 loratab within a 3 hour period, my dad happened to call, and felt something was wrong, and called EMSA. I tried again after bills and money, and lonleiness, and work stress, and everything just hit all again in February. This time I downed close to 30 loratab 750mg tablets. My grandma found me in her back bed room semi-unconcious. SO .... I can understand the feelings of hurt and despair that you've been through.
I'm like you though, after all the rain has stopped, I've come to see each day as a blessing. Thankful each day that I can wake up. Thankful each day that I have wonderful friends, good job, food to eat, a wonderful boyfriends, an awesome family, and a GOD that loves me no matter what.
I've gotten a journal, and when I'm lonley, or depressed feeling I write in it. It makes me feel more alive, and filters those feelings in a less dangerous way.
I'm glad your here, thankful that your alive, and I'll pray for you everyday Rob!
I was hoping you would read my story. You are part of the reason I decided to write it. I read your post "Just need to vent....", and I knew that you had attempted suicide by overdosing on Lortabs. Your frank, and honest disclosure of that painful fact gave me the courage to sit down and tell my story here. I also wanted you to know that you are not alone, and you certainly have nothing to be ashamed of. I lived under the heavy yoke of shame for a long time. Ashamed and embarassed at what I'd done, of the pathetic spectacle I thought I had become. For the longest time, the only people who knew my story, were the ones directly involved. I did not speak of it, ever. But it got to be like a 100 pound box of rocks riding on my back. Each time I would open up and talk about it, that box of rocks got a little lighter. And I hope, each time I tell my story, that the forces pushing someone else to the brink, may let up just long enough for them to realize what they are doing, and know that they are not alone. So thank you Robin, for having the courage to tell your story.
03-28-2008, 09:41 AM
Hey you..there really are no words to say. To know of such pain in you creates an enormous amount of empathy within me...head hug.
To have such a beautiful heart, to be so beautiful and feel so broken...I envision you on the edge of your bed with the chunk of iron in hand. I am so sorry Saysusie your heart knew such pain...
It saddens me to know how many of us to varying degrees thought and still think to end our lives. We toy with it, we dimiss it,sometimes we keep it pending in our thoughts. Knowing the anguished feeling, we can encourage, understand and give love in hopes to prevent it happening in any one of us...
You give me the hope and strength. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Hugs full of love,
Before I decided to use drugs/alchohol and my car to end everything, I too sat on the edge of my bed, with a handgun. I had a round in the chamber, hammer cocked, safety off, and my finger on the trigger. It's ironic that my career in the firearms industry/law enforcement is what stopped me from using that method. I've done some expert witness work in the past, and have seen up close what a close range gunshot wound to the head looks like. I'm sure you've seen similar photos. I didn't want to have my family, or anyone, find me that way. Looking back, not using the gun, and opting for a different method, saved my life. Around 98% of contact gunshot wounds to the head, are fatal. I would have had no chance of survival. I'm thankful for every single day now. And I'm thankful you didn't go through with your plans. The world is a much better, and brighter place, with you in it.
03-28-2008, 05:25 PM
I'm too fearful to every try anything like that. Fraid I'ld fail and be worse off than I am now.
I do get depressed and deeply saddened. It's hard to shake off sometimes. I read the paper and there's always a story about an innocent who's life was taken too soon....and it rips me apart. I wish I could change places with them...give them a chance to reach their potential.
I cant avoid the news...it's part of my job to skim the news everyday. There's not getting away from it.
I'm scared about what the future holds that sometimes I forget to enjoy the present. It paralizes me.
Pretti in Pink
03-28-2008, 05:26 PM
I am thankful for GOD for all of you that hung in there with a fight that was to the point that some of us can't imagine. You are a testimony, you are a ray of hope for anyone who enters a dark place and feel there is no end. I am so touched by your stories that I just can't but it into words other than saying I truly thank GOD for each and every one of you- Rob, Saysusie, Robin, and the many others that have been where you've been, stuck it out, survived and are here to see others through.
Keep believing, keep fighting, and please keep sharing.
I hope you know that since you've found us, you always have someone here with a listening hear and BIG Cyber HUGS. Journaling is great too :D
03-28-2008, 08:15 PM
I can feel your hug and, OMG, did I need it. With the help and love of my family, my minister, and my dearest friends (and 4 yrs of intensive therapy - lol), I am no longer in that dark place. I remember it well, and I actually am grateful for what it has taught me. Thank you, Oluwa Angel, for your compassion.
Like you, I was in the field of law enforcement and knew my way around a gun. I never gave one thought to how I'd look, after a gunshot to my head, to my family. I'm sorry to say that I never really thought about most of my family at all while holding that gun. I thought about GOD and I thought about my sweet daughter. Mostly, I thought about my son and what losing his sister and his mother would do to him; about how unfair it was for me to think only about myself and my misery; about what would become of my precious, most-loved son. I've never even told him about the gun or about the fact that HE was what saved my life, he and GOD. Isn't that odd? I thought long and hard about my son and how much I loved him and I put the safety back on, put the gun back in the box and locked it, sat on my bed and cried!! I'm not sure what the tears were for, but they came, like a torrent of rain, for several hours. :cry:
For you and me....I am happy that we are here today!
Such an experience has taught me that there is ALWAYS HOPE!! There is always something, just around the corner, that we are meant to do and that something will define us. There is always some good and some beauty that we are meant to see, feel, partake of and share!!!
Robin; You said it so eloquently: "I'm like you though, after all the rain has stopped, I've come to see each day as a blessing. Thankful each day that I can wake up. Thankful each day that I have wonderful friends, good job, food to eat, a wonderful boyfriends, an awesome family, and a GOD that loves me no matter what."
Peace and Blessings
I just realized, that this is the most I've talked about this since it happened a couple of years ago. It's a hard subject to breach, but it seems to have opened up a lot of feelings, in alot of people here. It's heavy, heavy stuff. I think I've made my peace with it. The box of rocks on my back, is getting lighter, finally.
03-29-2008, 06:06 AM
These stories are so important to share - you are so brave and kind to open up about them, Rob and Saysusie. And we are the fortunate ones to benefit from your kindness. I'm so glad you are both with us. Crossing paths with people like you (and so very many others on this board) has made a life-changing different for me. I was terrified when I first got sick - and wondered if there was anything left for me. But here - in this group - There is HOPE evident, and FAITH, and COURAGE, and more understanding that I could ever have imagined. Thank you, Saysusie, for your strength and for laying the goundwork for our little family; thank you Rob for making the choice to travel the long road back. We're all the better for it!
sick n tired
03-29-2008, 07:25 AM
Eleven years ago when my son, Christopher died, I was very close to committing suicide....everything anything stressful happened it was like a voice would be saying, "why are you alive, you should be dead" (we were both in an accident and he died)
Saysusie, one of the two things that kept me from committing suicide were my kids and husband. I realized that I couldn't do that to them.
The other thing was God. I know that is the first face that I will see when I get to heaven and I do not want it to be an angry or disappointed one.
Rob, your transparency is very refreshing.
03-29-2008, 12:54 PM
Thank you all for this post - for your heartfelt sharing. It is a beacon of light. Thank you....
03-29-2008, 02:53 PM
unfortunately im still holding out to discover my reason for living. i dnt think i have one. well, actually... my fear of the unknown, the other side. i dnt think im ready to discover that.
plus i have three like persons, i consider friends, but one even more than the other 2. he has been by my side as often as he can. he checks up on me, goes with me to docs/ hospitals. he actually gets upset when he knows im doing myself harm. i can talk to him, we confide in each other. i love him dearly and believe he really cares for me. if only he were single. if GF of many years is now making an issue of the time he spends with me. and that hurts me. i confide in no-one else as i do him. he has been so helpful. but because i respect him so much, i dont want to disappoint or hurt him.
he really is my reason for living i think. but that feels wrong to me, since he has a serious relationship, and she already believes that we are illegitimately involved. sometimes i avoid him for that very reason. im afraid of being the cause of his relationship failing.
but for now, he is my motivation to at least consider trying
03-30-2008, 03:30 PM
Rachie, I can read the pain in your post. I don't have any answers for you about your relationship with your friend. But, I can tell you that lupus - even with it's challenges - doesn't have to be an 'end' for us. There are so many wonderful things to live for in this world. You only have to read some of the posts on this board to know that there are people with major health challenges here who have found great meaning in their lives. I hope that you will find that, too, Rachie. Please come here often; read the posts - vent if you need to and ask all the questions you need to. It's been a great resource for me; I hope it is for you, too.
03-30-2008, 09:10 PM
I know it is a struggle, sometimes, to hold on to faith. We are here to help you to do that, to remind you that you are valuable, and to be there when you are at your lowest. As I said before, you may feel lonely...but you are never alone!!
Tell your dear friend how important he is to you and also let him know how much you value his relationship with his girlfriend, and how much his friendship means to you. Let him know how you feel and then, you and he can make a decision about how to continue your friendship in a way that is helpful for everyone. It might be time for his girlfriend to know that your friendship with him is not a threat to her relationship with him. I don't think that you could hurt or disappoint him!
The loss of a child can truly make our worlds feel uninhabitable. It is mostly our faith, and our love for those persons important in our lives, that brings us back to the light! We miss our children terribly, but I agree totally that ...when we see them again, we want to do so without any regrets :lol:
Peace and Blessings
04-02-2008, 04:03 PM
The honesty and bravery of the people that post here never ceases to amaze me.
Whether you have comes through the depths of darkness into the light or are still feeling your way through it, to discuss it, come here for support, and spur others to continue on is a wonderful gift this place and you all offer.
04-03-2008, 08:14 AM
Thank You So Much, Missy. :lol:
Peace and Blessings