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Thread: A Reason to Live

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    rob is offline Super Moderator Super ModeratorEmperor of the World
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    Default 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.

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    Rob

    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

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    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!

    Jody
    "If you trust Google more than you trust your doctor than maybe it's time to switch doctors."

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    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!

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    rob is offline Super Moderator Super ModeratorEmperor of the World
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    Hi Gisele,

    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.

    Rob

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    Rob,

    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.

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    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.
    Oluwa

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    Saysusie is offline Super Moderator Super ModeratorEmperor of the Universe
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    Rob;
    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!
    Thank You
    Peace and Blessings
    Saysusie
    Look For The Good and Praise It!

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    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.

    Karen
    I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.......Robert Frost

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    Rob -

    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!

    Robin
    Robin Lynn Byler
    Live, Laugh and Learn....you never know which one someone else is going to benefit from....!
    Newalla, Oklahoma
    robin.byler@hotmail.com

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