FEBRUARY 12, 2021: “Do You Need Help?” …

HELP!

I THINK I NEED HELP! I’m drowning in myself. Did someone turn the lights out, or is it just another dark cloud in my head? ‘Cause I’m cut deep. My heart won’t beat. Deep down low it’s killing me. If I wanna scratch out yesterday, I’ve got so much I need to say. I THINK I NEED HELP! ‘Cause I’m drowning in myself. It’s sinking in. I can’t pretend that I ain’t been through hell. I THINK I NEED HELP! I’m drowning in myself. They’re preying on my weakness. Believe it. I’m thinking to myself: “No, not again!”, and I won’t keep listening when temptation’s creeping in. If I wanna make it another day, I’ve got so much I need to say. I THINK I NEED HELP! {Papa Roach}

NOVEMBER 20, 2019: “Because Suicide Is ALWAYS Dead Serious!” …

… that moment you get this call from a friend who’s son has been openly and actively talking about suicide …

Cat, someone just basically told me that I shouldn’t take him seriously … I need to toughen up with him … he’s probably NOT really going to do it. In your opinion and based upon your own personal experiences of having both tried it and survived it with Zack, do you think I should believe her?

REALLY? WHAT IN THE ACTUAL HELL? I am just beside myself right now. I need to digest what I just heard and surely there’s rant to follow because SUICIDE IS ALWAYS DEAD SERIOUS!

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OCTOBER 24, 2019: “No Easy Way Out” …

no easy

Yesterday I ran across a post that really struck me (and yes, that pun was very much intended, lol). It was a super cool canvas rendition of the fight between Rocky and Ivan Drago, and after having thought about it literally all day and night, this is what I’ve come up with …

Gia and I are huge Rocky fans, as was Zack. Rocky IV in particular is my favorite, because in my mind I have always felt it’s been “me against the Devil” in both the brightest and darkest moments of my life, and he’s the one always saying to me, “I MUST BREAK YOU”! Yet I absolutely refuse to let him take me down! Consequently, one of my favorite songs, No Easy Way Out, is from the Rocky IV soundtrack. The Sunday night before he killed himself, it was playing in the car on our way home from the gym and he was crying as he squeezed my hand three times (“I-Love-You”). Five nights later he was gone. I’ve listened to it over and over the last 62 days, just thinking, reflecting, remembering and “wanting to know why”. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. Zack’s fighting days are done. He lost. Went down. Tapped out. IT’S OVER! But mine are not, because I’M STILL HERE, and quite clearly, I’m still standing. Am I bruised? Sure. Fat lip? Bloody nose? Black eye and some scars here and there? Absolutely!

There have been so many days this last twenty years, even in my most broken, lost, bent out of shape, completely incoherent, mangled and twisted of mindsets, that I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and said,

Good grief woman, how in the HELL are you still standing? Why HAVEN’T you given up yet? WHY HASN’T THAT MISERABLE DEVIL BROKEN YOU?”

The only answer I ever come up with is this:

It’s Him. Not me!

Please understand that in no way do I believe that I am more special, gifted, blessed or talented than anyone else. It’s God. I just know it. There is NO other explanation as to why I haven’t taken the “easy way out”, other than: IT’S HIM! I just feel it. In my heart. In my bones. In my soul. All around me, everywhere, all the time. When I’m happy. When I’m sad. When I’m angry. When I’m grieving. When I’m crying, smiling, laughing, screaming or just feeling like punching someone in the face.

It’s. Just. Him!

God handed me this heavyweight belt I wear, for what reason I will never understand. Zero did I earn it. Zero do I deserve it. But damn am I honored to have it! It’s the most valuable thing I possess, that cost Him everything and me NOTHING, other than my completely blind faith in “the process”. I realize, of course, that some don’t understand this, and, in fact, may think its lunacy to believe in something you cannot touch or see. But you can’t touch or see the wind, can you? Nope, you sure can’t! But it’s real just the same, and we CAN see the effects of it. I mean, hello? We KNOW what a strong windstorm can do, do we not? So, with that, I am Rocky. The Devil is Ivan Drago. The God I serve is the referee. And I … AM …

Winning!

(Even when I’m losing.)

OCTOBER 9, 2019: “SOLITARY: Life Behind A Mask” …

ArthurSo, here’s what’s on my mind today. After my sister’s birthday dinner last night, she wanted to go see The Joker. We’d both assumed it was just a Batman prequel, and in a roundabout way it was, inasmuch as it was set in Gotham City and the Wayne’s were front and present. I haven’t been to the movies much lately and was completely uninformed as to the plot, but I’m a “Batgirl” so we went with it.

This was no superhero commentary. Was there a connection? Absolutely. But within seconds of the opening scene I began to wonder, “Do I stay, or do I go?” Every alarm in my psyche was honing in on the fact that it could potentially level me. He was painting on a mask, but behind his eyes you could clearly see that the road he’d walked until that moment had cost him the connection to both the outside world and himself. Yet, I was still compelled to sit and watch this six degrees separated version of not only Zack’s story, but at times mine and SO many others I’ve known. As we cringed our way through Joker’s “Hell on Earth”, I watched him bring a gun to his head six times, and if that weren’t bad enough, though we’d all anticipated him blowing his own brains out in the end, brains indeed were blown on the screen. And I just sat there like an iron wall. I could see my sister panic every time the gun went to his head and she’d lean over and ask if we needed to leave, but I kept assuring her I was okay, because, I WAS! I don’t know what in my own “Hell on Earth” this says about me, but actually, I think I do …

darkness

I AM ONE STRONG BIOTCH! “Warrior. Motivator. SURVIVOR!” The longer I sat there, the LESS I wanted to cry and shake my fists up to Heaven screaming “WHY?” I know why ALL too well, and no amount of screaming or fist shaking will change this plot line or erase the things I’ve “gotten to learn” so far. Do I still cry? Every. Day. I’m only human after all. But I believe that every single tear I shed is being counted by a Power INFINITELY higher than me and I trust it. So, I welcome them, then let them go, as my most effective form of therapy.

Here’s my takeaway from both the show and my reaction to it: Much like my husband, who often felt isolated in even the most crowded spaces, The Joker eventually lost connection with not only himself but humanity as well. He’d been stepped on, overlooked and bullied by life in general, all of which led him to an psychological madness that most people couldn’t fathom. Like The Joker (and many of us), my husband wore two faces: The very happy “I’m okay” mask he dawned each day while secretly living inside the invisible prison where he wore the other “sick, dark, tragic one” that led him to his fate.

One of the most poignant scenes in the movie found the mentally ill Joker sitting in front of “a system” letting him down, just as pretty much everything and one he’d ever known had done, and he said something to the effect of …

Have you even listened to a SINGLE thing I’ve said? All these times I’ve sat in front of you – have you EVER really seen or heard me?”

Such is the story of so many of our lives and then we too “slip through the void” into our own darkness. Which is why I think I could NOT bring myself to leave the one movie I probably should NOT have seen in the first place. Last night, sitting through that show like the ROCK I know I’ve become? I did NOT crumble. I did NOT cry. I only became further convicted in my desperate need to touch as many “Joker’s” lives as possible with what time I have left here on Earth. Self-pity, sorrow, screaming and “fist shaking” will accomplish ZERO but “reaching the unreachable” just might.

https://www.turrentinejacksonmorrow.com/obituaries/zachariah_williamson

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SEPTEMBER 20, 2019: “Lullabye” …

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LULLABYE

I know the feeling of finding yourself stuck out on the ledge. And there ain’t no healing from cuttin’ yourself with the jagged edge. I’m tellin’ you that it’s never that bad, and take it from someone who’s been where your at. You’re laid out on the floor and you’re not sure you can take this anymore. So just give it one more try with a lullaby and turn this up on the radio. If you can hear me now I’m reachin’ out to let you know that you’re not alone. And you can’t tell I’m scared as hell ’cause I can’t get you on the telephone. So just close your eyes … Well honey here comes a lullaby. Your very own lullaby. Please let me take you out of the darkness and into The Light. ‘Cause I have faith in you that you’re gonna make it through another night. Stop thinkin’ about the easy way out. There’s no need to go and blow the candle out. Because you’re not done, you’re far too young and the best is yet to come. Well everybody’s hit the bottom. And everybody’s been forgotten. Well everybody’s tired of being alone. Yeah everybody’s been abandoned. And left a little empty handed. So if you’re out there barely hangin’ on … just give it one more try with a lullaby and turn this up on the radio. {Nickelback}

… that fourth Friday night in eleven years without him and “God only knows how many Friday nights” since November 8, 1996 when I attempted suicide myself. There’s no telling “how many more Fridays” will have to pass by before my baby girl will be out of the danger zone with “ideations” of her own after the virtual Hell she is still living through for reasons I cannot say! From this point forward, I will be here for as many nights as I’m allowed to live to faithfully remind the masses THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE TO LISTEN by doing exactly as Zack would say:

Catherine, USE YOUR WORDS!

AUGUST 22, 2019 (Quarter ‘Til Midnight): “Dear Agony” …

"And Then It Was Done"
~ by The Phoenix Collaborative Project ~

DEAR AGONY …

I have nothing left to give. I have found the perfect end. You were made to make it hurt. Disappear into the dirt. Carry me to heaven’s arms. Light the way and let me go. Take the time to take my breath. I will end where I began. And I will find the enemy within ’cause I can feel it crawl beneath my skin. Dear Agony: Just let go of me. Suffer slowly. Is this the way it’s got to be? Dear Agony. Suddenly the lights go out. Let forever drag me down. I will fight for one last breath. I will fight until the end. And I will find the enemy within ’cause I can feel it crawl beneath my skin. Dear Agony: Just let go of me. Suffer slowly. Is this the way it’s got to be? Don’t bury me faceless enemy. I’m so sorry. Is this the way it’s gotta be? Dear Agony: Leave me alone. God let me go. I’m blue and cold. Black sky will burn. Love pull me down. Hate lift me up. Just turn around. There’s nothing left. Somewhere far beyond this world. I feel nothing anymore.

~ Breaking Benjamin

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NOTE: Although his death certificate says “FOUND AUGUST 23, 2019”, I physically “felt him leave” at just before midnight on August 22, 2019, when in that moment I became physically ill, felt a sharp pain in my stomach, and literally could, not, breathe. When the police captain notified me the next morning that they had indeed found his body at around 8:30am that day, he indeed confirmed that my physical manifestation of his death the prior night was correct: The coroner estimated that he’d been dead approximately 8 to 10 hours. Someday I’ll go back and explain the correlation between this song and “Seven Pounds”, the movie that is featured in this video. It was his favorite of all times.

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