A Typical SOS Group Summary:
Last night was a small session, four counting me, gathered in the Library as has been our custom. We were nearing the start of year four for this survivor group.
Everyone arrives questions, some urgent and others abiding just below our awareness, others consciously and permanently tucked away and those unable to express themselves.
In the early aftermath of suicide, the questions seem unbounded. As time moves along, if we are diligent in working through the emotional debris, the list can dwindle away to those unanswerable few.
Over the years I have come to have a huge respect for those that share their struggles with various aspects of what has happened to them; before, surrounding the suicide and the endless trail of situations that follow.
Last night was no exception.
Expectations about how life will be in the aftermath seem to be such a challenge to formulate, since whatever dreams we might have harbored beforehand are now lost. There is that ambient level of pain ready to boil over the container it simmers in. We all feel it.
It is mandatory for us to change our expectations otherwise we have locked ourselves away in a permanent state of disappointment. It is as though, in an instant, we are required to stop all that we have worked and dreamed for and start anew. That was easy sentence to roll out in a couple dozen words – but, not a thought we are willing to entertain, (should we have a choice in this matter.) In the end, we are not offered a choice.
None-the-less, we have to rediscover a new “ME.” You, you are no longer who you once were. That “me” vanished in that instant.
While suicide of a loved one represents the pinnacle of despair I have experienced, I see tragic examples all around me. The media constantly feeds us a stream of examples. Like soldiers coming home disfigured physically that we can see. Then those, like us, emotional disfigured that cannot be seen. Soldiers are required to discover “a NEW ME,” as well.
I am emotionally disfigured and the only one that can see it in old photographs. Others, unaware of suicide probably just think I have “an attitude.” I am now a stoic character on the outside. However: on the inside I vigorously struggle = not to be.
In whatever manner, you assess this for yourselves, only you can decide if you are going to move ahead with life. It is a huge effort to discover an approach and a lot of stamina to continue the pursuit. If you don’t the default is choosing to “stay stuck,” right where you are. No one can budge you from this position, really. This is a choice that only “YOU” can make. It cannot be made and then administered for you.
Moving ahead is about three things:
First, settling as many of the residual issues of the suicide (from the past) and this is a painful but necessary process.
Second, adjusting, as best you are able, your attitude about the present situation.
[Note: There are some similar to us, but then others endure more painful circumstances.]
Third, is watching out for situations you are yet to encounter.) This is the essence of the role we jointly share in a Survivor Of Suicide support group.
This is all HARD work. I was personally helped others with strong oversight. I really, I don’t think I would have ever even started the task any other way?
AND . . . I have never known anyone doing any one of these things well, on their own.
This was written after an SOS session that concluded the YEAR 2011. The message is still the same. I hope you are moving ahead.
blessings aa, douglas