This is gonna be a bit embarrassing, and I’m gonna feel a fair bit of shame in posting this blog; but those very-same reasons of embarrassment and shame are why I need to go through with this posting.
Last night I did something I’d never done, by calling a suicide crisis hotline. I wasn’t planning any harm to myself, but I was very clearly and definitely gaining ground in that scary direction. (The past two days at work had been brutal and crazy-making, and I wasn’t recovering.) In typical Ed fashion, I put-off calling, and was hesitant about following through when I did finally make the call. In fact, when the counselor answered, I immediately began apologizing, saying I wasn’t sure the reason I was calling was a proper and intended reason to be calling. Well, if it wasn’t he never said so, didn’t hang-up on me. Instead, as these things are meant to happen, when our conversation ended, some twenty minutes later, I was feeling sturdier and stronger, as though a weight had been removed from my chest.
Now, I wouldn’t be bringing this up if this were an isolated, singular incident; but it isn’t. Just a month ago, I was stuck flat-on-my-back in my Telluride hotel bed, slipping down the chute that leads to suicide. Once again, I had to fight a LOT of inertia and vulnerable pride to email my sister, and also a friend who lives in the suburbs of Telluride, telling them of my plight. I’ve been raised hard-fast and hard-wired to not be any kind of burden to anyone. I’ve been thoroughly taught to, “stay out of the way.” And, hey, I’m a southern man. I either suck it up, walk it off, or cowboy up—I certainly don’t give any notice of being anything other than full-bore, gun-ho, able-bodied, and ready.
As these things happen, my friend and I had already scheduled to meet for a short walk, the very next morning; and my sister, two states away, emailed me, encouraging me to hang in there; and she called me the next evening.
I still have three more shifts at work, this week. I’m currently not feeling as sturdy and strong this morning as when I went to bed. Therefore, my fight to stay in the light isn’t over. But, too, the darkness has yet to fully overcome the light. And I have allies; I’m not alone in this fight.
By the way, here’s the crisis line number, always there, 24/7, whatever the reason—if you feel you might want to, that’s reason enough to call ’em: (719) 539-6502.