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I just want to be well.  That’s all.

Yesterday was a very bad day.  My mood was about as low as it’s been in years.  I actually had a strong urge to swallow all of my sleeping pills, just to escape the pain.  (This is not something I have experienced before, this urge to just reach over, open the bottle, and swallow all the pills there.  My previous episodes of suicidal ideation have not been like this.  Perhaps I’ll write about them another day.)

Dannan did his job, as Suicide Prevention Dog, and the urge remained only a compelling thought.  So long as I have Dannan, I will not attempt suicide.  I will not leave him wondering where his person has gone.

(I know that this reasoning should apply to my other loved ones as well;  all I can say is that in the deepest, darkest pits of despair, I can convince myself that my human loved ones will understand that I had to end the pain.  But I know that Dannan will not understand.  And, you know, whatever works to keep me alive.  I know that feelings are transient, and that if I wait it out, my despair and desperation will pass.  Dannan is what gives me the strength to hold on while that happens.)

Then, I went to my appointment today with The Counsellor, and discovered that I was late – by 24 hours.  My appointment was yesterday.  I was so ashamed to have totally stood him up like that.  That’s just not me. I know that this is an unreasonable response, but that was the emotion that I felt.

I read this saying today:  Sometimes you have to take one step backwards so you can see the path that goes forward. I sure hope this is true.  I’d like to think that I’m still making progress, somehow.

I also received a message on facebook from a woman I knew years ago.  She included this story, one that has helped her through her own period of stepping backwards.  It is something that I think I’ll print out and re-read from time to time:

A poor farmer lost the only horse he had. When the villagers heard that the horse had run off, they sympathised with the farmer and said, “Bad luck.” The farmer answered, “Who can say?

On the next day, the horse returned home with ten other horses.  When the villagers heard this, they returned and said, “Good luck.” The farmer replied, “Who can say?”

Later that day, while training one of the new horses, the farmer’s son fell off the horse and broke his leg. Again, the villagers sympathised and said, “Bad luck.” The farmer replied, “Who can say?”

On the following day, the army came into the village and took all the young men away to fight at war.  The farmer’s son was not taken because of his broken leg. All the villagers rejoiced: “Good luck.” The farmer replied, “Who can say?”

Sometimes we succeed in getting what we think will be good for us, and it turns out to be a disaster.  And sometimes apparent disaster turns out to be good fortune.  Who has not experienced this paradox in his or her life?

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