The Joy of Living

***This was originally posted last year on World Suicide Prevention Day and I thought it was worth a revisit a year later.***

This morning I went for a 5 1/2 km walk for the first time in awhile.  It was glorious.  It was the perfect temperature, and the sky looked like this:

Often when I walk, I use that time to think.  Sometimes that can be a bad thing, because when I am feeling anxious about something that I don’t feel like I have the power to control (I’m a tad bit of a control freak, but shhhh don’t tell) I tend to feel more worked up about it by the time I get back.  I’ve arrived home on more than one occasion in tears.

But today was fantastic.  Today I took the opportunity to think about how lucky I am to be living this amazing life of mine.  That I can go for a walk around my neighbourhood, and not be concerned about my safety.  That I have the leisure time to make that choice to walk.  That I have the physical ability to walk that far.  And most of all that I get to spend time with my 3 incredible little girls, who are growing so fast and learning so much, and of course Nerdguy…who rocks.  And who I get to see all day since he works from home.

I am also on such a high from all of the nice comments left by new readers of my blog over the weekend.  Such a blessing to have complete strangers go out of their way to stop by, say something nice, and even pass it along to their friends.   Thank you.  The world needs more people like you.

Oh, and I truly apologize to all of you who are here to read funny things, and get here today to find a big pile of sap.  I promise the funny will be back.  In the meantime you can read about bran.

Thinking about these things led me to think about how happy I am that Maggie is able to find true joy in her life, despite how frustrating and overwhelming much of it must be.  When she is mad, you hear about it, but when she is happy, her laughs are doubled-over full belly-laughs that sound like the sweetest music I have ever heard.  I hope that she always has that with her.

I also worry about Molly who tends toward the negative, and often concentrates on what she is missing out on rather than what she has been blessed with.  Mostly if it is something involving Grace.  Being an only child myself, I am not sure how much of this is normal older sibling stuff, and how much is something we need to intervene with.  The doctor says that concern with fairness is a big part of ADHD.

I also think my parents must have had a lot of free time, with not having to spend 2 hours a day breaking up fights.  It freed my mother up to sew me those attractive velour sweatsuits, and make macrame plant hangers.  I have an overflowing mending pile (that never actually goes down) and not a lick of macrame in sight.

Today is Suicide Prevention Day, which I had forgotten about, until I came home to write this post about how happy I am.  Such strange timing.  I started typing, lost focus (look…something shiny) and ended up on Facebook, where I saw a post about it.  I was surprised that I had forgotten, since someone close to us has attempted suicide twice this summer.  I wish that I could bottle up this feeling of joy that I have today, and let that person feel this way every day.  Because they certainly deserve to.

While I am wishing, I wish that there were better services to help people who have attempted suicide.  Keeping someone in the hospital, doing nothing with them aside from tinkering with their medication, and then releasing them with no plan or supports in place seems criminal in my mind.

I also have a problem with the “Prevention” part of the title.  I feel like that reinforces the notion that already exists in the minds of surviving friends and family that if only they had done more, or not done something, the person would still be here today.  Please create awareness, and learn to recognize the signs in other people, as well as know where to go for help, but I don’t think we need to make friends and family feel any more guilt than they already do.  It sits about as well with me as the endless studies that are released blaming the mother or father for their child’s autism.  We blame ourselves every day.  We certainly don’t need the media to do that for us.

***To read more about suicide prevention, please click the link below and read what other bloggers have to say on this important topic.  The more we know, the better our chances of changing the system and saving lives.***

USC’s MSW Programs Blog Day.


  1. Leah says

    Thank you for this blog today. I agree with you about the guilt associated with the word prevention, when it comes to suicide. Survivors have that one covered already 🙁


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