Friday, February 22, 2013

Coping with Suicide: Things I've Learned from Jen

Jen Fulwiler of Conversion Diary, who also blogs over at the National Catholic Register, has been really helpful to me since the end of December.

I feel strange saying that a mother of six who lives on the other side of the world, blogging about the various aspects of her life (though it's particularly her blogs on motherhood) in the context of the faith have helped me deal with dad's suicide. But they have. I have already mentioned something she said a little over a month ago that I found really helpful.

I like to think that it's Jen's willingness to share and in a manner that isn't asking me for help, that I find so helpful but I'm aware that it's more than that. I'm just not aware of what that 'more' is. Some of it must be that she also seems to live somewhat in her head, as I do. Also, she's putting voice to some of the thoughts going around in my head. 

It also probably has something to do with her honesty. There's something refreshing about someone not being ashamed to say, "I'm having a little trouble in the "suffering with joy" department.

Here, then, are some of the other things Jen has said that I've found helpful.

  • "Also, has anyone heard reports of a rift in the time-space continuum that has caused the passage of time to slow to a crawl? Because I am positive that the weeks are going by at least twice as slowly as they used to." (x)
I wish I could explain how slowly these weeks have been going for me. I think I tried in The Scottish Play but did a pretty poor job, It's nice to hear (read) that someone else can sense the rift in the time-space continuum.

  • "But there was something else, too, that was responsible for my surprisingly peaceful state of mind: Relief.December was a hard month. I couldn’t seem to stay on top of anything, and my inability to deal with life seemed to get worse by the week. " (x)
I've explained this in my initial thoughts here.
  • "My husband has a saying that 'it's never the things you think it's going to be,'" (x)
Sure, it's about problems; it seems particularly applicable to my life now. The things I thought - say, two months ago - would annoy me, don't all do so. Oh, some do. But there are somethings which annoy me now, or some sources of comfort that I have at the moment, which are not what I thought they'd be. Jen's writing, for example, falls into the second categorically.
  • There is truth to the accusations that I’m ungrateful, spoiled, and lazy. No false humility here — I really do posses all those attributes to some degree or another. But it was simply not true to say that those faults alone were the cause of my suffering. (x)
This is a great reminder, one which I'll need to keep coming back to. This suffering is not all my fault, but it's not all not-my-fault either.

Also, all the things she mentions in her most recent post about her "Month O' Doom"

In my next post in this series, I'll be talking about why the thought of visiting the Doctor scares me.


Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

Hi Kelly! I read this post a while back but just realized that I never commented. I wanted to let you know that I am so touched that anything I said may have been of help to you during this difficult time. I am so very sorry for your loss, and you will be in my prayers!

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