Sunday, June 20, 2010

Courage. Sunday, June 20, 2010.

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6

They say suicide is the coward’s way out. I’m not sure about that. It takes a certain amount of “courage” to look death in the eye and be willing to fight all the body’s natural impulses to survive, then do something painful like cut into your veins or pull a trigger.

But it is a twisted, misplaced kind of courage. It is a courage that says death is better than life, when we really don’t know what awaits for us on the other side. It’s a blind courage, not good for much of anything. It’s not the kind of courage it takes to stand up for one’s beliefs, against great opposition, or to run into a burning building to save a baby.

Once you have woken up from an uncompleted attempt, the enormity of your situation sinks in. You have all the same problems you had before you tried to die, and now they are compounded. You have angry relatives and a hospital bill to pay. You have explanations to give your friends or employer. If you thought you had problems before, just wait for the days after.

In a way I’m envious of those people who were already at home full-time – homemakers, the retired, young people out of school but not yet working. Because the day I got out of the hospital, I had to go back to my full-time job, and resume all my roles out in the real world. What I really wanted to do was hide, but that wasn’t an option for me – I had a family to support. So I had to go back to living, just a few days after fully expecting to die.

That was a scary thing. A year later, it still is. I’m not 100%. I hope to God that someday, I am. But facing every day; being employee, wife, mother, daughter, and friend – that takes a kind of courage. It’s not running into a burning building, but it’s courage just the same.

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