It’s been one of those days…
Aside from the usual day to day stuff that can put one in an irritable mood if one lets it (cold drizzly rain, too much to do, not having the correct paperwork with you when it’s needed, running out of ink in the printer, blah blah), I’ve had to deal with two situations that are costing me time and emotional energy.
In the first, I learned that a package I’ve been waiting for was sent to a post office box in the wrong town, and the person renting that P O box stole my package. (It had my name on it, so even though it was addressed to the wrong town, my name is still prima facie evidence that the package – and the gifts inside that I’d ordered for family members – did not belong to the box holder.)
I’ve been dealing with PayPal and trying to contact the company I ordered from, as well as the local post office, the local police department, and the theft division of the USPS. It’s been a hair-pulling experience.
The second instance is a troll who had previously had one of my antiques posts pulled from craigslist after harassing me repeatedly by email, including calling me names. He was pretty abusive, and I complained to craigslist. The post – which described an item exactly as how that item has been described many times on one of my antiques subscription services – was reinstated by craigslist until this morning when the self-appointed purveyor of “truth” had the post pulled again. So once again, I reported him to craigslist.
These are the kinds of things that would have sent me through the roof just a few short weeks ago. Now, I can handle my anxiety better because I’ve had to learn that one of my worst fears in the world can come true, and I can survive it. If I can handle John’s suicide without totally losing my mind even when I thought I was going to (a feeling I still have at times), then I suppose I can handle almost anything. (I think there’s only one other thing in this world that could be worse than his suicide, and if for some reason that ever did come to pass, I probably wouldn’t survive it.)
Anyway, the point of this post is not supposed to be about me. It’s about John and his depression & anxiety. It’s about you and your depression and anxiety, or someone you love, and that person’s depression and anxiety.
John took incidents such as the above to heart. He felt them far too deeply, and far too personally. He would refer to such things as “the slam of the day” and it would completely color his outlook. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not like he would go around expressing his anger or his irritation or his upset. He would make the one comment and then swallow it down. He would try to act as if everything was okay.
But inside it was festering.
As I tell my clients – over and over and over – if you don’t address it, it will leak out somewhere, somehow, and it won’t be pretty when it does.
And with John, it wasn’t pretty. He drank too much – which he was able to hide from me for far too long. He thought about suicide a lot – which he also was able to hide from me until the very end. His health suffered. He gave up.
He killed himself in despair and out of fear of being a burden.
I’ve always been similarly reactive to shitty things happening, but I’ve never been good at stuffing my feelings. And I don’t drink when I’m unhappy. And my body isn’t falling apart like my husband’s was.
And those apparently are my saving graces… in particular, my penchant for howling out my pain.
Had my Johnny been able to let it out… to scream and cry when he felt the world was against him, when he believed he’d been wronged unfairly, when he ached silently because of the losses in his life – his innocence, his health, and those he loved… he might still be alive.
Anxiety coupled with depression is a hideous pairing. Small things turn into ogres; larger problems become a nightmare of horrific proportions. It feels like one is being smothered, with the life being squeezed relentlessly out of one’s body. It feels like there is no escape.
And it eventually becomes too hard to fight.
I say to each and every person… you are worth it. You are worth loving. You are worth saving. If you would fight hard for someone else, then you must understand that you yourself are worth fighting hard for.
The slam of the day is only as big as you allow it to be. Don’t let the bad stuff define you, no matter how much your anxiety and depression tell you that you are a loser.
You are not. And if you don’t believe it, ask me. Because I believe in you.
UPDATE! And a reason why taking things too much to heart can be a waste of time and emotional energy…
After posting this, and after having made numerous calls to the police department, USPS theft division, and local post office, I received a call back from the post office. They’d found my package. It was in a bin of mail that was being returned to sender, “addressee unknown”. So there was no theft. Yes, it’s true that they might have checked that bin prior to me making several calls (and I now had to call the police and USPS theft division back to let them know), but I was just glad that my package was found.
For more information about The Warrior Project – soon to be a drop-in and counseling center for those affected by suicide and/or suicidal thoughts, please click on the picture or link, or go to https://warrior-project.org.
The Warrior Project will eventually become a warm, welcoming drop-in center for those living with extreme emotional and/or physical pain coupled with hopelessness, and a resource for families and friends fearing for the life of, or grieving the loss of, the person they love so much.
We are accepting blogs and articles written on topics relevant to suicide, hopelessness, grief, and similar topics. Please contact Linda at LSnyder@regroupbiz.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.
My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see. I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.
The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1. Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.
Fair winds and following seas, Husband.
We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Warrior Project off the ground. You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/
Follow us on Twitter! @WarriorProjME.
The Warrior Project is NOT an emergency program or service.
In the event of a crisis, please call 911
In the United States, other numbers to call include:
Maine Crisis Hotline:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline:
Veterans Suicide Hotline:
Domestic Violence Hotline:
John and I owned both a small antiques shop and a used bookstore in Lewiston, Maine. After John died, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with the two shops – they take up a huge amount of time, and weren’t yet covering their own costs. After John died in October of 2016, the shops were barely open during the critical holiday sales season; I couldn’t stand being in them because we had such dreams for the future.
But Johnny loved his little bookstore (Heritage Books, Maps & Ephemera) and the goal was that he would one day “retire” into running the two shops. So I’ve committed to keeping them open, although Heritage Collectibles is now Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps as I’ve combined those two businesses, and I’m opening Papa’s Thrift Shop for the inventory that doesn’t really work in the main store. (Papa is what John’s grandchildren called him.)
All of the profits from those two businesses (after expenses, of course!) will go to support The Warrior Project. If you are so inclined, please consider checking out our shops, knowing that your purchase will help fund this critically needed suicide prevention drop in center.