Sunday, January 12, 2014
You Are NEVER Out of the Fight
This is gonna be brutal...sorry everyone. I'm hurting, I received very bad news...a good friend continues to hurt along with his wonderful wife and I am hurting about them too.
Humility is not my forte, I assure you. My friends and family will verify this. But over the years of my recovery....I have learned that along with acceptance, it is the critical, MUST HAVE ingredient to getting better: Admitting I am at fault, accepting that I am an alcoholic and I cannot fix my problems or anyone else's and that only GOD Can.
Before I go on I guess I'm gonna spill my guts about something and yes, it is very honest and the subject matter is not very nice or pleasant. Suicide, suicide attempts, thinking about suicide and what people do when they start to feel physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually bankrupt.
There have been a couple of times during the history of Shell Shock Serenade where I have written posts when I was in deep shit all across the board above (Emotionally, Physically, Psychologically and Spiritually) and feeling seriously self-destructive and like it was time to quit on life. I am not proud of that but I have had some serious emotional pit falls in my life (most notably after being sexually assaulted as a pre-teenage boy).
I do not feel that way today but I have learned something from my own experience when I tried to take my own life and from the experiences of others....particularly two friends who succeeded in killing themselves.
The first tragic thing family and friends do is look to blame themselves. Frankly though....I have found that it usually is not someone elses fault. But I will tell you something else I have noticed. People will say: I can't believe he did this...I NEVER knew, he kept it to himself. Really? I know I may be out of line saying this but I doubt it. I suspect he left clues somehow some way. Even if it was just a very subtle change in the way he lived or spoke or drove.
I have learned from my own experience that the best weapon against suicidal thoughts or self-destructive behavior is to talk or write about whats happening to me. That's right people....that is how SHELL SHOCK SERENADE was born. I learned that by not holding back...by being open and honest all the time, I nip any chance of feeling that much despair & pain in the bud.
When I request prayer from my church prayer line, for example....well I hate asking for any kind of help, with a freaking passion...so if I would request help from someone, like with my financial difficulties (I have had nearly $26,000 in OUT OF POCKET in Med bills I have paid or need to pay like A MONTH AGO!) it is because my back is against the wall and I am desperate. Time is critical.
I already feel isolated, like the world has set itself on top of me with it's FULL WEIGHT and I am being crushed. I am not actively thinking about giving up and taking my own life here but I HAVE thought about it several times recently wondering if this wasn't just too much to bear. My life has been on hold for a year now while I suffer, terrible, physical debilitating Pain 24 hours a day, seven days a week with NO END in sight. The psychological, emotional and spiritual side effects of that are devastating to me personally to my friends and family who must then live with this raging, emotionally damaged person they just so happen to love. Even for a person like me, who has a strong relationship with GOD, this kind of pressure is the ultimate test of sanity.
It isn't pretty and it is getting more difficult for me to find any joy in living...it has become a life of surviving. There is no adventure, no fun, no mischif or laughing....just getting through one hellish day after another with NO END in sight!
I am not going to quit and I am not asking for my life to be any different then any body elses life but I would absolutely be lying if I did tell you that I am not being worn down by this Mad Season....more then a year of suffering, the terrible isolation and the fear that in reality, I am never going to heal just totally kicks my ass.
What I am saying here is that as friends and family...we need to listen harder, pay more attention...be a little nosier with those we love...particularly if we suspect they are deeply hurting, covering up that hurt and are in trouble. Don't wait to find out that your love one did the unthinkable...because the unthinkable is now happening at an incredible rate in the United States and it isn't trending back down any time soon. For Cemeteries...particularly Military Cemeteries...Business is GOOD!
I know that I am never in a place too dark or too bad that God cannot save me. He has already rescued me from DEATH on one occasion and from myself on several more. But that doesn't mean that I am not troubled....I'll be honest here. People tell me they want to help me...I don't believe them. The help I need right now is Medical and financial....desperately.I believe what they are really saying is they want someone else to help me...just not them.Or perhaps it isn't that sinister and they really want me to be helped but it is beyond them to do it. Hey...I can understand and accept that.
What I cannot accept are people who pretend they are helping...being very visible on Facebook about praying for me and my family. The moment I try and share my trials with them...they freak and run & hide behind cliches, excuses or decisions made by somebody else like the church, for example.
The Doctors will always follow their own patterns and behaviors....frankly it often seems like they could care less. My current physician on the other hand does care...I really believe that. But I have another infection now and it is serious. It took 3 hospitalizations for a total of 14 days, 6 months and an Ocean of IV and oral Anti-Biotic to finally prevail....and now it has happened all over again.I would be dishonest if I denied that this latest discovery hadn't pushed me further and further out on this ledge I've been standing on.
I asked some folks for help several weeks ago and I have heard nothing back from them...no update, no answer...they must have forgotten about me. it is thr Remember how I just wrote a few minutes ago that time is critical...every day that passes, creditors harass me and my family.
Dealing with my overwhelming medical bills is the toughest part. No matter what your circumstances...people will act as if you were irresponsible...that it's your own fault that you cannot pay your medical bills. They will change the subject, avoid talking to you about it. Everyone thinks you are asking for their help or trying to "guilt" them. I have seen it a lot. I understand their rational. Hell, I have gotten myself in financial trouble before and I wasn't always very understanding when people wanted to talk about their problems with money.But that is NOT The situation here. If I was a child my plight very well could have ended up in the news. But since I am an adult....I some how caused all this and I am avoided like the PLAGUE.
But you know what....sometimes when a person is under an unrelenting, CRUSHING financial burden...complete with phones calls literally every 10 minutes for 7a -10p, threats, name-calling, their family being harassed...it really helps to talk to someone who cares about me....to just be able to get it off my chest....get out from underneath all the pressure even for just a few minutes.
I mentioned before how I hate to ask for help....even more so when it is help with money. It is embarrassing even when it is not your fault. My medical bills for 2014...actually from February 9 until December 31st, 2015 were over $129,000 total with a hair over $28,000 being out of pocket therefore it was expected to be paid immediately. People who have never been there before some how become great at giving debt relief advice...hey tell them all you can pay is $50 a month...they have to take it. WRONG....no they really want a minimum of $300 per month and won't settle for less or it will go to collection and they will make your life a living HELL. And they do...trust me! Oh and then there are 6 other business's that want it that same way plus 4 who will take $100/month and another 3 that will take $50/month.
Needless to say every last bit of savings I once had is gone. I had to sell my beloved Ford F-150 pick up truck for FAR less then it was worth, I've sold antiques, family heirlooms, art work, all of my guns except two shotguns and a .22 rifle. And that did not begin to scratch the surface.
My parents, GOD love them, have helped me tremendously even though they are in their 80's and live on a VERY fixed income. That still didn't scratch the surface. I'm still making ridiculous payments and now a new wave of bills have hit thanks to my latest surgery and hospital stay.
What did I do to make this happen? How was I negligent? I fell on February 9, 2014...that is all I did. I HAVE Medical Insurance so I had surgery....it got infected and the real nightmare began: many more days in hospital, several more surgeries...we discovered my Neuropathy caused my ankle bone to deteriorate and that had to be fixed. My crime folks was trying to pay my bills instead of declaring for bankruptcy.
I was rebuilding my life after divorce and addiction....when this started I had $3800 in the bank, several nice investments and a storage unit full of a house full of furniture and antiques. It is all gone except for a bit of furniture.
What people don't realize is when I am asking for financial help, as I did about a month ago after my minister talked me into seeing it was the right thing to do, I was already in deep trouble. I am already getting harassed, the phone rings off the hook, my family in addition to myself are being verbally threatened. YEA, my 80 year old parents are being called names when some moron calls them at their home on their own phone. I do not use their address or phone....how do these animals get my parents information? And there is nothing I can do but wait for answers. It is de-humanizing, humiliating and almost more then I can stand.
So that is the deal...All I can do right now is basically wait here while all this harassment and threatening is going on. I have not even a dollar I can put toward another payment plan. It affects my faith, my emotions, my relationships. Even though I have never belonged to any political party...I have always been fiscally conservative but it makes me freaking SICK to hear people who are very well off talk about health care and reform like they have a clue. NO, they do what I did when I had a fantastic career and was well off financially. I resisted all change because I had mine and screw everyone else. Hey...it's human nature. I did it myself and I suspect the Good Lord gets a chuckle about it when he wonders if I have finally learned my lesson.
I have...trust me I have...unfortunately it was much too late to help several people I really could and should have when I had the resources.
Please don't blow people off...they might just need to vent. It may just save their life....