POS-FFOS Retreat - Columbia, Tennessee "Mule Town" USA

Personal (situational) difficulties are unavoidable and ubiquitous.  These pitfalls can snuff the light out of you.  At best, this can leave victims living in the shadows.

But, then we continue to masquerade around as though nothing has changed.  To get on to the next day, we are left to adjust our expectations or pretend, that we are okay. Pretending is grueling work.  I have watched folks, deeply hurt, but their persona does not reveal their insides.

Some grievers do a better job of masking their situation. Some will spend a lifetime nursing wounds that don't heal.  Emotional scars retain the power to remind us that the past was real.

I suppose we have all learned to perform.  We start in childhood.  We learn to pretend and masters of excuses.  Everyone operates in “performance mode.”

Life is a sequence of experiences. In our growing up years, we risk being a handicapped by neglect and abuse.  Each encounter will have us comparing current situations with our history. The reality is any one of them can take a toll on our self-esteem.

Teachers and other role models inspire us to rise above our past.  None of mine were famous.  They were only “famous” in my eyes.  None would have been considered “near perfect.”  A couple inflicted self-esteem damage.  SAD stuff.

The human spirit drives us to qualify our character for public recognition.  Suicide puts an irreparable glitch in our timeline.  I spent years, as a survivor, thinking I had to explain the unexplainable.  No matter what conclusions I came to, given time and new insights, I would change my mind.  Afterward, I would struggle to translate my assessments into meaningful dialogue.  Invariably it fell short.  In the end, further compromised my situation.

Below the surface chatter that ensued, with a life of its own was "Why."

After some years, I was comfortable with saying “I do not know.”  That was the truth, so simple, yet so complex.

Today, I am acutely aware of the complication of explaining myself.  So why should I expect to understand why someone would voluntarily end life.

Emotions need some level of balance to achieve PEACE.

Through it all, there is still hope.  Hope that we will find someone to share with, care with, help us heal and encourage us to get up and Keep On, Keeping On.