The Unexpected:

In those beginning years, it seemed as though there was a painful trigger lurking around every corner.  However, working through the grief associated with the suicide emotional balance progressively return.

It took a while to come to terms with what had happened.  There was emotional rubble everywhere I turned.  I cannot recall a turning point.  It was a progression, but a “new me” slowly emerged.

A fellow survivor (Kathleen, a decade ahead of me in this journey) was telling me I had to let go of the past and live in the moment. Constructing a new life was given no thought how you could do it. I had no idea how or where to start.

I knew Kathleen had changed but never considered her transition.  She favored the concept of developing coping skills and choosing to invest in a passion.

Though I resisted she push me to attend a Survivors Of Suicide support group.  She took me the first time, and I stuck with it for the next seven.  Pay attention to the body language, not just the words, of others, she would say.  You can employ approaches suggested from those you judge as successful, she would say.  You cannot get this insight from reading books, she would say.  Kathleen was upfront about the folly of trying to figures this out on my own since I had been floundering for months already.  Too much valuable time slips away.

I moved out of state following year eight and participated in startup efforts of five local groups.   While my hearing is too poor to facilitate now, I still keep contact with several here a dozen years later.

So many things you must reason out for yourself.  You talk to yourself in intimate ways.  No one can ever get inside and do this for you.

You are the one that will be living out your choices.  Don’t allow yourself to blindly follow other’s instructions.  That has no staying power.  Deciding and adjusting your path leads to PEACE.

The days ahead can never be utopia.  You progress to construct a different life. 

There will continue to be triggers that will take you back in time.  Odd, but you can be hurt or helped at the same time.  It took a considerable time to balance out what was going on inside me with my external appearance.

I have learned that being caught off guard will reoccur without warning.  Sometimes it is visual, in others, it's written.  For me, the most common is a song.

If you are familiar with the melody, you can instantly attenuate the sound and the lyrics and maintain your composure in public.  I find paying attention to the lyrics sometimes surprised me.  Some are too intense, and the message is too piercing.  You cannot anticipate your reaction just knowing the title either.

An example is "The Dance," sung by Scott McCreery:

When I am alone like tonight, I can absorb the message, and the emotion feels good.  In a public setting that would not work in the same way.  I would be too caught up with how others will judge me.  This uncertainty comes along with the situation we live.