OK time to get serious about something. This is not a joking matter.
A good friend of mine is participating in an Out of the Darkness for suicide prevention walk in San Francisco in May. She is doing a fundraiser. You are probably thinking “What does this have to do with animals or dogs?” Everything, at least to me. Her story isn’t mine but like most people suicide touched my life in many ways. It is not my place to tell her story.
I lost a very good friend to suicide, a friend who talked me off the cliff and got me to get help. It pains me even after almost 10 years I couldn’t do that for him. The world is a far sadder place without Jim. I don’t know his story and what caused him to seek an end. I cannot talk for him either. I can, however, talk about my struggle.
I know I come off as a very strong and independent person but that wasn’t always the case. There was two times in my life where I found myself in a dark place. When I didn’t know who I was or where I belonged. One was when I was over 12 years ago. FYI I am going to leave out a lot of details because 1. They are not important and could cause hurt to people I care about 2. I don’t want people in my life at that time to feel inept. Anyways! The first time I found out that one of my biggest dreams was going to fall to pieces because of some health problems that I still struggle with. Bad joints and a thyroid problem are frowned upon sometimes. I had nowhere to go. I was in that part of your life where you have to be an adult but there was nowhere for me to grow into an adult. My dreams were never going to come true. Both of my biggest aspirations were not a possibility. I was alone in the world. The friends I had were college friends not life friends, minus a few. I was convinced I was going to be a failure in life, if you know me at all failing in not an option. Mediocrity is also not an option. I got so deep in the emotional black hole I never thought there was a way out. I was driving in my little Geo Metro and I glanced in my back seat and there he was. Barely 2 years old. A Dog no one wanted. I knew if I took matters into my own hands then shortly after he would follow. Jack wouldn’t have gotten to live his full life if I didn’t live mine. It wasn’t fair to him to throw up the flag. I attacked life with all I had and decided I had something to live for because no one else was going to live for him. I was better for a long, long time.
A few years ago I found myself in a similar place. I had gotten into a bad group of friends who were extremely mentally abusive and draining. My life was on a rollercoaster again, at least socially. Ties got cut with those people. At that time I started with Largo. Every day he greeted me at his door with so much joy I couldn’t help but laugh. He started my day on the right foot even if he was the only good part of my day. There was a solid 8 months that my only social interactions came from him, Jack and my mother. It was a hard realization that my best friend was a dog. I was so alone and almost thirty. I never let him forget that he was my best friend. If I didn’t have him around I cannot say for certain that I wouldn’t have fallen so deep in the hole that I would have been the same exact place as the previous experience. This last time I had joy at least once a day.
The one fact is two dogs saved my life. I found someone to pull me out of my own head because at the end of the day, even if I didn’t need myself, they needed me. I was and am a lucky person. If I am going to be honest I was extremely nervous when Jack got diagnosed that I was losing what I was living for. I am pretty sure I will not fall too far into myself again. True, people still suck. You never should judge what another person is going through because it is their head and their life. Sucky people don’t run YOUR world. I have so much added happiness because of how I now control my own life. I couldn’t live my original dreams so I made my own and without my path I don’t know if I could have.
I support Out of the Darkness because of my friend’s story. I support Out of the Darkness because of Jim. I support Out of the Darkness because not everyone has a dog who will make them a better person…