Sunday, October 30, 2005

I'll start singing "Kumbaya" if you will

Thank you everyone who wrote such supportive comments to me regarding yesterday's blog...but then again, you're my friends and family, so I would expect no less!

But seeing as how Lissa hasn't checked in yet, I wanted to give a short addendum to what I stated, and what you shared on the topic. And then I hope to not burden you with any more. It seems to get me in trouble.

I only guessed that she may be British due to her spelling and vernacular ("shite", "realiSe", etc.). There was nothing else to go by since it was an anonymous comment with no linked blog or email address. I could be completely wrong.

But what M-I-L has described as the current Mental Health system (or really lack thereof) in Wales is beyond shameful. I really hope she is able to find the care she needs, wherever she may be.

I too, have had friends who have committed suicide. One was a sorority sister and one an employee of mine at a credit union. Both broke my heart.

The "sister" had been a close friend and to this day, when I see the pictures of us at various events, it pains me to remember that she's not here. She was caring and sensitive and had an enormously good heart. Since she lived in the room next to me in the house, we had many long talks out on the balcony and became quite close. But I guess I never really knew fully what she was going through. And it still bothers me that I couldn't have helped her.

The employee was a wife of a youth pastor for a very large Christian congregation, where his father was the pastor. The two had met in bible college in her Midwest home and she followed him to California when they married. She couldn't have been more typically innocent and sweet. When they had a beautiful baby boy, she decided to be a stay at home mom and we all wished her well, making her promise to come by often with her son. There was no way of knowing the horrific post-partum depression she was suffering, since it wasn't in her nature to ask for help.

I could never have predicted the outcome for either. I was sad and shaken and felt so horrible for their families, whose grief was palpable and enormous. OF COURSE I didn't think they were cowards. Mostly, I was just upset at the horrendous waste of it all. I never blamed or judged, only knew that they both must have just thought that there was no other option.

But it wasn't until I began to experience that same black hole of despair that I truly understood. I know all too well how it feels to think that no matter what you do, no matter what you may say to or ask of others, it will never get better. Depression is a disease, and you wouldn't be angry with someone who had cancer, so why judge those in the grips of something equally debilitating, be it in a more mental than physical manifestation.

I also know, however, that there is a tiny speck of realization in you, be it ever so dimmed, that somehow there has to be a way out. That's where the FIGHT, of which I often speak, comes in.

Perhaps "cowardly" was the wrong word to use, and for that I apologize to anyone who relates to it. I was using it to describe the difference between the "way out" and the chosen way to it therapy, meds, family and friends' support, or just a stubborn refusal to give in to the demons. It isn't easy, and it is NOT a quick fix. It IS, however, a way to get through one day at a time.

I get angry at seeing those we have lost to this disease and I DO wish they had screamed at the top of their lungs for someone to listen (see the original post that started this debate). My own experience (and it is simply MY opinion from having gone through it) has shown me that I do have a right to say that life IS amazing and worth fighting for.

I even joked in the title of that post about being on my soapbox, because I feel like it is my responsibility to tell others that you CAN get through it. I am, QUITE OBVIOUSLY, not perfect, or healed, or all done with my fight. If I were, I wouldn't be on disability as we speak.

I keep thinking though, that if I weren't here today, I wouldn't have found the man who is the love of my life and I wouldn't have known how joyful the cacophony of my complicated existence can be.

Now, for those who know me, you will please forgive this somewhat jarring change of topic...but this wouldn't be my blog if I didn't mention the UCLA game yesterday. It seems trivial, following the heaviness of all of the above, but guess what? That is one of my joys. I won't apologize for that. But I also wanted to tell everyone how my husband's actions, day after day, remind me why he is perfect...for me.

(Just now I even asked him how I was ever going to gracefully transition to the topic of yesterday's miraculous Bruin comeback, given all I addressed so far. He looked incredulous and stated, "You HAVE to talk about the game!" Thank you Honey.)

When we were down by 21 points with only eight minutes to go in the game, Mr. Blogger mentioned something along the lines of it probably being over. After shooting him The Glare (and yes, it is capitalized), I berated him, quite emphatically, with "You NEVER EVER say that!". My mother is very familiar with this attitude, since I have been equally angry with her when she too loses hope.

He left the room, in what I thought was a huff due to my stern reproach. While I tried to silently WILL my team to get it together and not give up, he came up to me with the reason for his absence...a homemade card to make me feel better...

(The left is the front of the card, while the other is the inside.)

I never said MB was an artist, and you'll notice how the receiver's football is roughly three times the size of his head...but is that not THE CUTEST THING YOU'VE EVER SEEN???

Up until this point, UCLA had not scored a single touchdown, just one field goal, and I screamed and paced and waved that card with all my might (thus the crumpled mess that I made of it). I even threw up in the kitchen sink from all the stress. It was totally worth it.

In those eight minutes, plus one overtime, we scored FOUR touchdowns to win...ALL BECAUSE OF MY HUSBAND. I'm sure of it.

THAT, my friends, is one of the reasons why I'm here today. When you have a man who loves you when you're grumpy, loves you when you're down, loves you when you're ridiculously devoted to a stupid (for some!) game...and UNDERSTANDS thank your lucky stars every single moment of every single day that you stuck it out. And with his help, will keep at it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your M-I-L will be so proud! As for me, I'm so happy MB makes you happy.

Today I was told by two people I met that next Saturday I should cheer for Arizona when they play UCLA here. Huh?

2:58 PM  
Blogger emily said...

oh my god that card is ADORABLE although I think I just got us all in trouble because I just asked the wife why she never does that for me. I actually saw the end of the game yesterday and I have to say I wouldn't put it past the hubby to have been the deciding factor in that game, even the wife was impressed and that alone is an impossible feat... except for the fact that she was surprised that you watched UCLA football. Don't even ask why.

As far as the more serious issue, I think you put it perfectly.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous M-I-L said...

Brooke, I just love this (rearranged slightly, but in essence what you said):

"the joyful cacophony of my complicated existence"

To me, that's such a wonderfully descriptive phrase that it stands as poetry without any further addition.

And yes, your mom is right, I am very proud! :*-)


12:42 AM  
Anonymous Lissa. said...

I am quite willing to put forth my views time and again on your comments section. However, I would much rather save you the time and hassle of deleting them by writing directly to you.

If there is any way in which I can reach you that isn't through your comments on your blog then please let me know.

I am not out to send you "hate mail", quite the contrary actually. I'd like to, among other things, apologise on behalf of my flaming pride and anger.

I did not mean any harm by what I said. I called it as I felt it at the exact moment it went through my head...

Anyway. Please let me know. You can find me at this email address:

Thank you in advance.


P.S: I am not from the UK.

4:11 AM  
Anonymous KG said...

as i always say about MB.... I LOVE THE WAY HE LOVES YOU!

hugs and kisses

7:21 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

Point taken and apology accepted Lissa. I'll be in touch.

8:26 AM  
Blogger kiwi said...

Love the card. Reminds me of something my hubby would do except he would try to draw it on my arm or hand. Actually right now he tries to write messages on my belly. It's that weird but cute artist in him.

4:08 PM  

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