October 28, 2014 is a day that will stand out in history for me.
It was the day I could speak for the first time about my journey to my present.
I wouldn’t change a moment of my past because it gave me, and my Children, great strength that we may not have otherwise found.
But, now that I have spoken about my journey, it is a GREAT relief to uncloak and rid myself of the heaviness of it.
In the words of Maya Angelou, “”There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
I’ve kept it between my ears for many years and have only shared it with my closest Family and Friends, but the message my journey carries is bigger than I am. So it is my responsibility to my fellow man to share and inspire others to Choose Life, in all the many dimensions that Life offers us on a daily, spiritual, and physical level.
Women Talk, thank you for being that first ‘shoulder to cry on’, after such a long, long, looooong journey home.
For those of You who missed the event, I will share my message here, from my heart to Your’s.
“Thank you to the amazing Women of Women Talk! To be asked to speak about my story, alongside the incredible women you are hearing from tonight, is truly an honor.
I tossed and turned, soul searched and counseled a great deal to prepare for tonight.
With the help of my incredible support team at home and ‘beyond’, I am able to do this with courage and dignity.
This is my story. Let it touch you where it needs to, let it go where it does not. There’s enough to go around.
I wrote my first song at the age of 14 on an old, wide neck, 12 string guitar that my brother gave me. He said if I could learn to play on that guitar, I could do anything.
I was the youngest of 11 children, and a teen when my Parents were elderly and in need of help.
Writing music became my oasis from the heavy responsibilities of taking care of elderly Parents, homeschooling, and working part time.
When I shared my music with my Parents I felt like I was able to share my feelings without secrets, without fear. And in turn they knew where my head was.
It was a beautiful way to communicate.
I later married a boy I loved as my dearest friend.
We had two amazing Children together.
I would sing to them during the day as we did chores, sing as we played and cleaned up toys. I sang to them before bed every night. It was precious.
I was home alone with them a lot when they were little. Their father worked away.
My marriage grew apart as we married so young and his career took flight. He didn’t understand, nor support, my need to pursue my music further. That’s okay.
But I needed more. It was very hard to tell someone you love…that you were no longer IN love with them.
With my decision to do what was right for me, a new confidence filled me up and my pen began to fly.
Songs would just come to me!
The deeper the pain, the higher the joy, the greater the song.
I would dream about a song and tell myself to wake up to write the words down.
I would catch glimpses of songs everywhere I looked.
I felt so alive…inside and out!
I eventually remarried and my second husband was a vivid soul.
Life was wonderful for a little while, then mental illness took over, and our new life gradually became a tragic, anguishing nightmare.
My songs became angry, scared, melancholy prayers for help.
After several attempts on his life, moving from one city to another to try to make things right, I had to move my Children away from us and to the safety and stability of their Father’s.
I was now alone within this very volatile situation, and without my beloved Children.
He was formally diagnosed with biPolar1 on the edge of Schizophrenia.
He had so much help it was overwhelming! Therapists, psychologists, dr.s, nurses, counselors, hot lines, recovery centres at his disposal.
When I would ask for help and voice my desperation about how I could live with this, I was offered no help other than a book about it and being told “You wouldn’t leave your husband if he had cancer would you?”
There was nothing but help for someone WITH mental illness, but I could find no one to help me LIVE with someone with mental illness, nor honestly tell me if it was even healthy for me to.
After many different treatments, he refused any further help offered to him and sought solace from alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine.
He made it impossible and unsafe to even contact my Children.
I learnt how to tippy toe around his moods.
How to baby his temper and quell his rages.
I survived several attempts on my life every time I tried to leave him.
I turned to my music. On the floor of my room. The loneliness was unbearable. My guitar became my best friend.
She is stained from the tears my fingers cried on the strings that played my prayers to my children.
My music helped me cope for ONE MORE DAY, one day at a time
After months of emotional captivity, taking me out of the country on his quest for help that he never accepted, I had to plot my own escape from this man who was already gone, but would no longer leave without me.
With the help of a Friend in need I made a plan: To help her with the new Baby she was having on her own.
When the call finally came that the Baby, my Guardian Angel, had arrived, I packed only a small carry-on and a little duffle bag. NOT my beloved guitar. He would never suspect I would not be returning if I left my guitar behind!
My heart raced as he drove me to the airport.
We said goodbye at the security gate, and for the first time I never looked back as I walked away.
From the moment that plane took off, I took off!
FROM THE MOMENT I CHOSE LIFE, LIFE CHOSE ME!!!
I took the time I needed with my Friend to heal and went back home to my Children. I told them the truth about what I had to do and why.
Hell, my Children have been with me fighting Multiple Sclerosis for 19 years on top of all of this!
It is NOTHING to the emotional pain, fear, abuse and suffering we went through living with this merciless illness!
I decided that I WOULD NOT crawl in Spirit any more than I WOULD NOT crawl in Body!
And I WILL sing of the agony of living with someone with mental illness!
It IS as painful for those on the outside as it is for them on the inside!
He did eventually succeed in taking his own life.
His mother found him in his garage when she went over to have coffee with him one November morning. His MOTHER!
Telling my Children was pure agony!
The supreme loss! The waste of time! Our efforts to try and TRY all of those years! Being separated from eachother!
All. Felt. Pointless!
THEY WERE CHILDREN!
Words were left unspoken and haunting.
Any hope and desires to make peace…lost!
The tears I cried as a Mother, watching her Children cry and grieve such deep loss after years of confusion… How did I let this happen? Why couldn’t I protect them even more? Why didn’t I leave sooner?
I tell you, Self-forgiveness is the hardest forgiveness to procure.
Without the blunt honesty of my Family we would not have bounced back as quickly as we did.
They remind us with the fact that there was nothing we didn’t try, nothing we didn’t do, and nothing that we could have done differently for him.
It was up to him………
In all his counselling, no one told him the blunt truth about what this was doing to his family.
No one pointed out that Life was a choice we ALL have to make, to some degree, every single day!
No one told him that the calling to kill yourself COULD BE your knock on the door to finally start living!
A very sad story I heard shortly after his death was that once he returned to Canada, he had started his dream business!
The practice of Acutonics! The use of multiple frequency tuning forks on accupressure points.
He had received the treatment a few times and loved how it made him feel. He took the courses to learn how to practice it himself.
His teacher loved teaching him. She saw his potential!
She told him that the healing energy was reciprocal.
With hopes high, he set up shop in his new place.
He soon had his first client!
A woman who had trouble sleeping for months. She was so sick.
She had her first treatment and called the next day.
She left message on his phone, wanting to book another treatment.
She had never slept so well in a long time….
MY STORY, throughout all of this, was that in my deepest darkest pain I dug deep into my talents and gifts. They carried me when I could no longer carry myself!
And I wonder, if he had just waited ONE MORE DAY, he would have heard that message and he would still be here shining his Light.
I will always wonder.
And My Gift To YOU is this:
YOU mean a lot to Life!
It was GIVEN to You!
YOU are unique and have been given Talents and Gifts to create something amazing
OUT of Yourself and perhaps shine a light for someone else to follow!
What things do You do that give You peace, joy, serenity?
What makes You unique? As simple as baking a pie to writing a song,
DO THAT when you are in your darkest hour!
The hard times in life are the bricks that are thrown FOR you to CATCH!
The pain is the mortar that holds each brick together to make you strong!
Your Talents and Gifts are the LIGHTS that make you GLOW IN THE DARK!
They are there to brighten the pathway to your purpose, to bring hope to others like a beacon in their night!
And if you are ever having thoughts of suicide,
or that life is just too hard,
or that other’s would be better off without you,
I am asking you to:
WAIT ONE MORE DAY!
Just ONE MORE DAY!
THAT is the day to dig deep into your talents. To FILL UP the loss you feel with the Light you OWN!
THAT is the day the doors to LIVING will open and you will witness miracles happen!
YOUR MIND will change!
YOUR LIFE will shift!
Because I stepped out of the loss of my self, and INTO the Life I was meant to live.
As soon as I did, as I walked toward that plane to come home, miracles began to happen before my eyes!
And I am living my dream life!”
With my Children thriving today, my Home bursting with Love, Safety and Passion for all things dreamt, a Love by my side that I could have only resonated with by thriving through such a journey, Life is incredible!
The Moment You Choose Life,
IT Chooses YOU!