Thursday, December 29, 2011

The best failure of my life

On this day 15 years ago, a classmate of mine committed suicide. She was a nice girl, quiet, smart, plain. She reminded me of me and I always wanted to be her friend, but I never actually talked to her. She sat behind me in English class, and she was a good writer. I had no idea how similar we really were until the phone call came the next morning. Katie had killed herself, and that same night, my own suicide attempt had failed.

I kept a suicide journal beginning on the night of the 29th, documenting my thoughts over the course of the next three days. There are cut marks on the edge of the notebook where I was testing knives. There is a list of products from the cleaning cabinet that were labeled 'harmful or fatal if swallowed'. I wrote about feeling under pressure and useless, and wished there was someone I could talk to that felt the same way. I recorded some memories from childhood and expressed how I wished I could be a carefree child again. Ultimately, I attempted to hang myself in the basement, but my meager attempt resulted in a slightly red neck and the realization that the crossbeams in our basement ceiling were not high enough. No one in my family was aware of what happened. My journal entries make it clear that I was scared of feeling any pain and scared of failing at suicide. I believe that if I had had access to a handgun, I would not be here today. Katie used a handgun. 15 years ago, I was jealous. Today, I thank my father for not having a handgun in an accessible location.

My suicide journal was found by my sister on January 3rd. I was at my friend Michelle's house when my sister came to the door in complete hysterics. I didn't know it at the time, but that night, my father made five entries of his own in my journal, between 4:15am and 10:30am. He didn't sleep that night. When I first learned of the entries and was able to read them, I remember feeling kind of numb to it. I felt like my father really didn't understand me at all. Each year, December 29th is always a reminder to me of how far I've come from that deep depression 15 years ago, and so tonight I pulled out the journal to read through it. Now, reading his entries from a parent's perspective, my heart aches for him. My eyes get watery thinking of how close he came to losing a child. He writes,

How can a father not know when his child is so deeply troubled that she sees death as the only solution? How can a sister not know when her closest and dearest friend in the world is so close to saying life no longer matters? How can anyone know? 

The truth is, no one really can know. If you're not a person that has suffered this kind of depression or have considered suicide as an option, you can't fathom how anyone could. So don't beat yourself up if you've missed the signs from someone you love. And if you're a person that has suffered, this is me letting you know that I get it, and I'm here if you'd like to talk to someone who gets it.

I'm very happy that the night of December 29th, 1996 ended the way it did for me. Over the past 15 years, I've learned that failure isn't so bad after all. Though, I can't help but remember there's a family who feels very differently about that night, probably wondering what kind of person their daughter and their sister would be today, and for them, I am sad.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Time to get organized!

Managing a household is like any other job - it requires an agenda book to do so effectively. Without one, I frequently forget details, things I meant to do, items at the grocery store, who i was supposed to call, etc. Without something to scribble my random thoughts on, I feel scatterbrained because I can't keep it all in there and in order. I had been searching for a good organizer for 2012 for a few weeks, but nothing suited my needs just right. Business Planners are too, well, businessy. Family Organizers are geared towards moms of kids who are in school, with stickers such as carpool, soccer game, band practice...many of the pages and features are a waste to me. Engagement Planners are best suited for childless women, with stickers such as Date Night, Mani/Pedi, Girls Night. My fruitless search was leaving me very frustrated, until I recalled the fantastic planner my friend Brooke brought to my house a few months ago. After getting the info from her, I ordered my very own. It's called a Life Planner.  It's from http://www.erincondren.com/.

Behold....THEGREATESTPLANNERINTHEWORLD:

I know, I know, I'm not a Villilo. Jumping the gun? Maybe.
But 'The Family Living in Sin' just doesn't read right.

It's got a double-sided pocket insert, and a zippered pouch
that comes to your doorstep holding personalized gift tags
that look just like the front cover. The inside of the back
cover shows the year-at-a-glance.

This is the week-at-a-glance view, with a sidebar to jot down
weekly goals and to-do. Give this girl a designated space for
a to-do list, and you've made her day.

There are lovely inspirational quotes throughout the book,
with an abundance of lined Notes pages!

Here's the month-at-a-glance

And it's got stickers! Good stickers! Mostly. There are
girly ones that will never apply to me, but there are also
FOUR PAGES of BLANK stickers on which I can write
whatever I want!
 Ahhhhhh, I'm in heaven. Now I can remember all the important things, like to pick up paper towels at the store, or record when I started my last period so I can count days and make sure I'm not cooking baby number two yet.

So, since I included "Product Reviews" in the list of labels, I suppose I should give my review: FREAKING AWESOME.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Why she wears a feeding jacket now

Friday, December 16, 2011

Spreading a little good cheer

A friend of mine posted the following article on facebook, and I had to share. If this doesn't give you a chuckle, there's no hope for you.

Massive Recall of 2011 Version of Babies

Friday, December 9, 2011

I is for...

IRRITATING!

Hands down, the most irritating thing in all of mommyhood right now is having a toddler attached to my legs. Whining. Pulling at my pants. Whining. Preventing me from moving around as I please. Whining harder if I try to move. I pick her up, only to have her whine and wiggle her way back down, and reattach herself to my legs. Whining. I'm okay with being needed and wanted and not having time to myself, but I do NOT handle clingy very well.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Not the sharpest tool in the shed

You know that game you play with toddlers where you instruct them to point to all the parts on their faces? Well I play it two ways with Addy - I ask her to point to things on my face: "Where's mommy's nose?" - and I ask her to point to things on her face: "Where's Addy's nose?" Here's how that goes...


MOMMY'S FACE

ADDY'S FACE

I don't think she quite gets it.