I want you to close your eyes and imagine for a minute;
You are in your place; a peaceful place that is calm, and quiet. You can hear the gentle lull of the small creek flowing to the right of you, and the leaves rustling in the breeze on the tree to the left. The grass feels soft and comforting on your bare feet, and the air smells crisp and fresh.
The baby blue sky is painted with wisps of soft white cloud; just enough to stop the sun from making you sweat uncomfortably. You are content with life, with where you are right now. Everything is as it should be. . . .
Then, just as you think it’s all been figured out and you’ve found the ground under you, the wind picks up, causing the leaves in the trees to fall to the ground and within minutes, those same leaves are being blown by a furious, angry wind that came with little warning. The creek no longer whispers a lullaby, but surprisingly sounds louder and louder every second, the water creeping up along over the grass, engulfing your comfortable carpet.
The once blue sky is quickly and violently taken over by dark black and grey clouds that thunder angrily above, and the crisp air is now replaced by a humidity and is filled with pelting raindrops. The creek continues to grow into a river, that now appears to be raging.
You’ve nothing to hold onto as the wind grows stronger and nowhere to go as the water creeps along the tops of your toes causing a chill so deep goose bumps spread all over your body. The floor beneath you disappears, and you find you are swimming for your life as the water picks you up and throws you so fast you don’t know what the hell just happened or how to stop it.
Nothing is as it should be. Nothing will ever be the same in your place again. In fact, that spot you once cherished and found peace in, the place you worked so hard to reach, no longer exists. You no longer exist, at least not in the same way you did before the storm. Its. All. Gone.
So now what?
This is how I felt about my life, having found my place and my bearings, before mental illness stole parts of my life. This is what it looked like for me to watch my husband’s eyes change, his personality, his brilliant mind, and soul. What was forever ours, was taken from us in what felt like a minute. My safe place was gone.
I need to get it out of me. The Grief. The damage mental illness did to our family and the damage of his death by suicide did to us. In writing about my experience with mental illness, and his experience with mental illness, I hope I can help at least one person either to not feel so alone, or to prevent another suicide from happening.