AP PHOTO (Lucian Reed)
I started riffing on forgiveness and pretty much left the line of thinking I was originally on and I think there is some really value in picking back up on that.
As any regular reader of SSS will recognize, I had some awful experiences occur in my life before I found recovery and started trying to live a life based more on giving then taking as well as sobriety/abstinence from booze/drugs. Rape, a suicide attempt, extreme guilt for not being there for my friends when they were killed in a car accident in 1981...those memories carried and carry with them some really heavy emotions and feelings, that are still very much alive and well inside of me to this very day.
What do I do about them? I really wish they would go away, the memories in particular but the feelings and emotions too...it's so hard to still have to deal with them today and they still make me feel hurt, lost and inadequate. I wish I could purge the whole bunch of them right out of me and never have to remember again what happened to me back then and how I I didn't handle very well.
Then it occurs to me that so much of what is good in my life today has to do with how I have lived and responded to that stuff. This sounds totally CRAZY but I started to look at those memories and their accompanying feelings as a GIFT. Yep, you read that correctly, a GIFT.
Because of that gift I have a rare (GOD given) ability to relate to people that are really hurting inside. When I was hurting and feeling lost, hopeless and wanted to die...I could think of NO ONE I could turn to who would not freak out when I told them what I felt. That doesn't mean that person didn't exist, I just had no idea who they were or where to find them...So I was on my own. It is my deepest, most humble wish that NO ONE has to go through that experience ALONE ever again, if I can do anything about it!
So not only is it important for me to never forget where I came from and how desperate and alone I felt but it's critical that I am open and honest about those experiences and yes, feelings I had during those terrible times of trouble. That way, if someone...anyone is hurting inside perhaps they just might think of that "Crazy F**king Shell Shock" guy and email or call me.
I can't make problems go away, believe me I would if I could but it just doesn't work that way. But I can listen, I do understand and I really care about folks who are hurting inside. And I'm not the only one, nope..not even close.
In closing that is a point I want to make. There is a lot of stuff in this life that I DO NOT UNDERSTAND but I do know this: No problem, feeling, experience is so BAD that you or anyone should consider themselves worthless and try to end their life. NOTHING is that bad, trust me...I know. Fight your ASS off for yourself one more time. You can do this...Deep down our greatest human instinct is SURVIVAL, use it! You really don't want to give up, don't let the BASTARD convince you otherwise! Don't be embarrassed or afraid to ask someone for help. A friend, family member, clergy...ANYONE, it doesn't matter just ask and start the ball rolling back into your court. Life is worth it, I really believe that.
I can always be reached here if anyone ever has a question about addiction/alcoholism or suicide or loneliness or being afraid.....get the picture?! I think you do...
firstname.lastname@example.org (Plus all comments on Shell Shock Serenade are monitored by me before being released to the site. I will keep any/all personal inquiries confidential-T)