Another Year

Twenty Seven years ago, I decided to stop killing myself on a daily basis. I had been in and out, up and down, with one foot in each way of life for about 2 years. Then, I went to a wedding where someone assured me of something that ended up not being quite true.

After that experience, I took responsibility for my own life, and stopped placing my well-being and future in others peoples hands.

Even with all my spiritual experiences and convictions before this time, I was still living with one foot in each world.  To really grow, I had to step over that chasm and stay on one side. I chose the side of life.

This weekend was the anniversary of that decision. I chose to go see some friends who shared my journey for several years, and make an appearance at a venue I typically avoid to show others that they can do it, too.

By taking this path, I’ve been able to fulfill several dreams and achieve many goals.

  • I’ve written and published three books so far.
  • I’ve run a semi-successful (very sucessful in its way) business online.
  • I’ve achieved my Bachelor’s degree.
  • And, I’ve pursued my elusive health issues to a diagnosis and treatment. M
  • y worry and fear are mostly under control. I won’t say they are always under control, because every so often they raise their heads and I have a few uncomfortable hours.

I now believe, which I didn’t when I started, that life is good and worthwhile. I have more dreams today that I want to fulfill.

I also have a strange sense of time these days. I see what would have been had I succeeded in dying young. I see the split, and am grateful that I chose this path.

My current exploration into the Keto way of eating is an expression of that gratitude.  It’s another step in the right direction.

 

unalome-buddhist journey to enlightenment
Unalome- Buddhist symbol of the path to enlightenment

 

My Journey of Change:

It started in Nevada with a wonderful group of people who had been pursuing their own lives for many years. When I met them, I was unhappy and everything was someone else’s fault. I made a start, but I didn’t  really change my lifestyle too much. I continued smoking and drove too fast and expected someone to rescue me all the time. I was a whiney kid in my mid-30s. Not a happy picture. Eventually, I had to face myself and I crashed and burned. Ten years in, I picked up and moved to Tennessee.

When I got here, the crashing landed me in a situation that really shook me. It couldn’t be someone else’s fault, because I’d made all the decisions. I broke down and cried for a week.

When I stopped feeling sorry for myself and the blindfold came off, I picked myself up and figured out where I was. There was no way to make a plan. My only plan was to stop crashing and burning. My plan was to figure out what I’d done wrong and not do it again.  I met a wonderful and understanding woman who helped me look at myself and figure out my thinking.

As I got better at decision making, I created a business and fixed my relationship with money.  I was able to build a house of my own, while I built my business.

About that time, I stopped smoking cigarettes. Another step toward life, instead of death. Also, the suicidal ideation I’d had for many years disappeared. I don’t even know when, exactly, it stopped. I just noticed one day that I hadn’t been that depressed in a while.

Something was missing, so I decided to finish my college education. I felt that was holding me back. So, I moved to another city to be near the college I chose to attend, which is where I live now.

During the last semester of college, a lot of things went wrong, but I finished anyway. I also published my first book. I walked across that stage and got my diploma, live-streaming to family and friends across the country. I was 60 years old.

2014-11-16 00.38.23
Beasley, my Beloved. He passed during my last year in college.

I say a lot of things went wrong, but maybe they went right. If death can be right when one is so loved and grieved. I had a lot of physical and psychic losses at the time. At the lowest point, my body succumbed to the stress. I got the flu and I took to my bed for a week.

What’s Next?

Now, a few years later, I look back with some wisdom at those times in my life and wonder what’s next.

  • I know my cat will leave me one day. She was 10 when I met her.
  • I know I’ll have to either replace my car or start taking the bus because that car isn’t going to last forever.
  • If I stick with my eating plan, by body will feel better and I’ll be able to move more.
  • And if I keep writing, eventually I’ll have a portfolio that has enough pages to publish a chapbook.
  • I may even publish a novel or two.
  • I might go back to school for another degree.

 

Nothing is written in stone. I could step out into traffic tonight and be hit by a car, dying on the way to the hospital.

Life is precious. Don’t waste it.
Live every minute you have.

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