Saturday, September 29, 2018

Birthday Blues

Five years and eight days ago, I stood at the edge of a precipice over the Housatonic River in Connecticut's Lovers Leap State Park, and for ten minutes or so I pondered joining the mythical leapers at the bottom. Melodramatic, I know, but that was my frame of mind. It was what was supposed to have been my wedding day, before my ex- called off the engagement and then the relationship itself a few months earlier. It was also a few days before my birthday, which I hadn't been expecting to be spending alone.

Anyway (SPOILER ALERT!), I didn't jump. I didn't head out there intending to jump, but yeah, I knew I was unhappy and I didn't know if I could deal with it anymore. I've never made a suicide attempt, never made up my mind to make one, but I think it's safe to say that that day was the closest I've ever been.

Eight days ago, I went back. Guess you could call it another antiversary. I stood near the edge for a while, but although I was not feeling especially happy, I was also not considering jumping this time. I brought a notebook and a pen with me and started writing the lyrics to a song that's been itching in the back of my mind for a while now, and I sat and relished the trees and the squirrels and the birds and the spiders for a good hour. 

Today's my birthday. Go on, sing it, I'll wait... While I believe I'm over the loss of that relationship, I'm still not especially happy. Feeling alone doesn't help, but I suppose it's likely that I suffer from some sort of something. Depression has paid multiple visits throughout my life, though whatever I am, I guess you'd call me "high-functioning." I don't, can't, lock myself away for days at a time. I do get out, I do catch up with friends, I do visit places on my own. I go to work every day and get some complex stuff done. I've certainly had some great times in the past five years, and I expect I've still got more coming. I can genuinely smile and laugh sometimes. I know that I've got family and friends that love me. Doesn't fully chase the blues away, though. I used to have a kind of zen, and it's been largely gone lo these past five years.

Regardless, this is who and what I am. As is all the rage on Facebook these days, I decided to start a little charity fundraiser for my birthday, and chose the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline as the recipient of the hoped-for $200. I'm pleased and grateful that several of my friends donated and put me over that goal ahead of schedule. Thank you, ladies, and thank you all for the birthday wishes, and for reading this far.


  1. I admire your honest about these personal and difficult topics. Wishing you a relatively happy birthday ❤️

    1. Thanks, Carla. Not something I've really talked about at length before, but once I'd decided to raise money for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, I figured I'd explain one of the reasons I chose that organization.