Category Archives: love

Suicide is NOT selfish…

I’ve spent the last two days trying to figure out how to say just this. Suicide isn’t about being selfish, or thinking only of yourself. It’s about a depth of pain and despair that most people will (blessedly) never experience. Having been there and come out the other side, I know how it feels. People who commit suicide are, in my opinion, some of the most unselfish people in the world. You can’t possibly know how hard living can be until you’ve faced down that choice.

Deciding to NOT kill yourself is probably one of the most incredibly painful things a person can do in that situation. Let’s talk about selfish. Selfish is smoking when you know that it can make your child, who is forced to sit in the car with you, very ill. Selfish is drinking and then deciding that it’s OK to drive the two blocks to get home. Selfish is eating your Subway 12″ sandwich while staring into the eyes of a homeless person who hasn’t eaten in a couple of days. Selfish people have more money than they could ever spend, and still feel that people on food stamps are “gaming the system.” Selfish is whatever one person does, knowing that someone else is suffering due to that action or for the lack of whatever the benefit is. I’m pretty sure that dying isn’t depriving anyone else of death. Putting an end to pain that you suffer silently is not selfish. Selfish is what the people who know you’re in pain are, when they turn away. Every time you judge someone with an illness – whether it’s mental or physical – you’re the selfish one. People suffer from depression and other mental illnesses suffer in silence and in secret because society as a whole won’t tolerate less than that. Society says “I don’t care how much it hurts. I don’t want to have to see that.” No one cares how hard it is to talk to other people, or get out of bed. Who really gives a crap about how much effort it takes to get to work in the morning, as long as the rent and water bill gets paid? One of the most often asked questions is “What do you have to be depressed about?”

Mental illness requires justification. When it comes to physical illness, there’s no question of justification. No one asks a cancer patient if they really need chemo. The need for Prozac, and Xanax, and Valium is routinely questioned. Visits to a rheumatologist for Lupus are not used during your work review to determine your value to the company. Visits to a therapist or psychiatrist often are. The need to take time off for surgery is understood without question. The need to take time off for depression is looked upon as a personal failing. A person with advanced cancer can choose to discontinue treatment in exchange for a higher quality of life in the final months. A person suffering from mental illness is expected to life a life made infinitely worse by medication, no matter what. There are innumerable research projects searching for better, less debilitating treatments for chronic physical illness. Every effort is made to address medication side effects such as sexual dysfunction, weight gain, mental fog, and dozens of others for people with atrial fibrillation, or high cholesterol, or cancer. Very few studies are going on to address the same side effects of psychiatric drugs, leaving the patients to live lives that would be considered intolerable to someone with a physical illness. Suicide is not the way out of depressions, except in a visceral way. Ending your life doesn’t solve the problem in any way that is meaningful to society. Suicide ends the problem for the one person most intimately involved. It does get everyone else off the hook. The ones left behind can blame the victim by calling him selfish, saying she was weak, and declaring that he gave up. A woman who dies of breast cancer is never decried at her funeral as having given up, though. Where are the people who acknowledge how very brave a suicide is for having struggled for so long through so much pain? Where is the compassion that could have saved that person? person who kills herself declares open season on character assassination. It’s perfectly OK to comment at the funeral on the lack of personal integrity he showed in taking his own life.

I wish there was a way to show you how incredibly difficult depression and mental illness is. There should be some way to put into words just how much strength and fortitude it takes to get out of bed in the morning when your body feels like it weighs tons and has been chained down. How it feels to feel nothing. What it is like to pretend to have feelings of any sort. There are no words to express how much you want to be with people, but how hard it is to listen to them. I watched this video yesterday, and it came close.

Maybe you’ll understand.


It’s not ok.

I love dogs.  Actually I love animals.  Throughout the years I’ve had rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, birds, fish, dogs, and a cat.  I’ve rescued baby squirrels and baby birds.  I’ve gone to great lengths to avoid hitting possum, raccoon, birds, and butterflies.  I think that animals are more real than people.  You know where you stand with a dog or a cat.  Your social status never impresses a pot-belly pig.  A hefty bank account will not encourage a horse to follow you.  Animals know what’s important and what’s not.

I know that everyone doesn’t share my love of animals, and that’s ok.  There are people who leave their cats shut in a small room all day while they’re working.  They tie out their dogs in all kinds of weather.  They forget to feed the hamsters, and expect birds to be happy in a half square foot of space for their entire lives.  I’m not happy about that, but I can’t fix the world.

Other people have a burning hatred for animals.  These people kick dogs out of their way.  They toss cats out of cars on country roads.  They go out of their way to step on bugs.  And some, for reasons that are alien to me, kill animals.  Like dogs.  Like my dog.  Like Buddy.

Buddy and Lucky (another of my dogs) were out in the back yard and discovered a small hole in the fence.  Being the free spirits that they are, out they went.  Lucky came back soon.  Buddy didn’t.

Jeff searched as long as he could.  Galal and I looked for a couple of hours – all over White County from halfway to Monticello to Brookston and along Highway 43.  It got dark, and we had to stop looking.  I was going to continue looking on Saturday morning.  Before we left the house to look on Saturday, we got a phone call.  A woman’s husband had been driving north through town and saw what he thought might be Buddy.  I had placed a couple of notices on Craig’s List with a photo.  Jeff got into the car and drove to the spot.

Buddy was there.  But he was dead.  We don’t know if he was hit by a car or if he was shot.  He still had his collar on with my cell phone number engraved on it.  Jeff and Nate (son-in-law) came back home, got a tarp, and brought Buddy home.  We buried him under the apple trees with his cow toy.

Being the type of person who stops to make sure birds that fly into my windshield are ok, I naively think that other people should stop if they hit an animal.  Had the person who hit Buddy stopped right then, they would have found his tag and could have called me.  Buddy might have lived if he’d gotten medical attention.

If he was shot, which is what it looked like might have happened…why?  Aside from being a large dog (St. Bernard/Collie mix), Buddy was the sweetest, most gentle dog I’ve ever known.  The only thing strangers were to Buddy was friends he had yet to meet.  His tail, all plumey and beautiful, never stopped wagging.  No matter how many table tops he cleared with it.  If you’ve never seen a dog that size plop down into a puppy bow, you don’t know what cute is.  Why shoot a dog – or any animal – and then walk away as if the dog was so much roadside trash?

What makes people do things like this?  The world is such an incredible mess.  There are people dying because the food they need is being used as political currency.  Other people are dying for a religious war that no one can win.  We hate this group because of their skin color.  We hate that group because they have a different opinion of how government should work.  We hate yet another group because they fall in love with the “wrong” people.

And we shoot dogs…just because.

What hope is there for this world, when there is so much wrong, and so few people really doing anything to fix it?

WIPs and FOs

For you non-knitterly people, that’s work(s) in progress and finished objects.  The cold and the snow has meant many knitting hours and I have used them to good measure.  I’m actually considering a FOPM – finished object per month – challenge for myself.  I think I’ve covered all the title acronyms except OK, and that goes without saying!

First, the BSJ turned out incredibly cute, but the recipient insists on growing daily, so it no longer fits.  So, a new KO (knitted object) is in order.  Because the recipient has to be the most happy baby I’ve ever seen, these seem just the thing – Chubbie Wubbles Leg Warmers.

I’m using the recommended fiber in the pictured colorway, appropriately titled “Lollipop.”  Just was a small girl needs to feel pulled together.

The FOs that are awaiting delivery are the Beginner’s Knit Poncho from SweaterBabe, and Spiral Legwarmers from Lilliputian Stitches.  These were by request, and turned out amazingly cute.  Hopefully the recipients will agree with me.

The color isn’t true in the photo.  The poncho is actually a more muted blue.  I used Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky Yarn in the Stormy colorway, just under two balls.  The picture on Hobby Lobby’s website is much more true to the color.  The legwarmers are Caron Simply Soft in Lime Light.  They’re a really vivid neon lime and very soft.  I used less than one skein.

WIP include some rainbow socks and Nancy Bush’s Anniversary Socks from the book Favorite Socks.

The Anniversary Socks have been a WIP for six months.  The Rainbow socks are more recent.  Both are taking entirely too long to make!

Rainbow Socks

The Rainbow Socks are Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in in the Lorikeet colorway, I think.  I lost the ball band but I know I got it from my LYS, River Knits.  Not sure how I like them – the colors are much brighter than in the photo, which I like.  The pooling has a sort of a spiral twist, which it ok, but I’ll see how I feel.  I have to finish them because they were the socks I started on the night my mom went into the hospital for the last time.  She passed away on December 28 – just as I was getting to the heel of the first sock.

Anniversary Socks

Knitpicks supplied the yarn for the Anniversary Socks.  Gloss fingering yarn in the Bordeaux colorway.  I’m hoping to have them finished by the end of February.

Gratuitous Dog Picture

I posted this photo because I just love my dogs.  🙂

Warm Fuzzies

I watched a really good movie today.  The only actors I recognized were Hellen Mirren and Clive Owen, although anyone who knows me will tell you that’s not a surprising revelation.  The budget was not large, I don’t think.  I’m sure it didn’t make much money when or if it was in theaters.  It was still a great movie.  A real feel good movie.

The movie was Greenfingers.  It’s a about a prison inmate in England who is reassigned to a low security prison.  He has to choose a job, and ends up – through a seemingly random action – learning to garden.  He goes on to fall in love, meet the Queen, and ultimately win some gardening competitions.  It’s based on a true story.

My friend Cheryl will really love this movie.  She’s a Master Gardener, and is all about digging in the dirt and growing amazing things.  She is currently working on The Children’s Garden at the Purdue Extension Demonstration Garden.  I wanted to post a picture of her work, but she hasn’t posted any and I don’t have any.  Hint, hint…Cheryl!

Back to the movie.  I was feeling particularly down today, what with the weather being freezing and me still being a little sick and work being slow.  I was getting more than a bit antsy from listening to The Traveler trilogy and needed some other diversion.  Netflix has movies you can watch instantly, and there it was.  It made me happy.  It actually made me hug myself.  That doesn’t happen often any more.

I loved it.  Watch it.

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