New and old

New: I'm writing for the Babble Voices section. A post about my move, and a post about running with my 9-year-old.

Old: A friend's husband killed himself yesterday. Don't do it. Don't don't don't don't. This, that I wrote for beautiful amazing crisp Ray, is still true, so I'm going to quote the whole thing again right here:

Don't go

You are important to someone. Even if that person is too little to say it to you yet. Even if you haven't talked to that person in years. There is someone who will never recover from the you-sized hole you leave if you go.

I know what it's like, the pain. Every minute of being alive tastes scorched; every breath hurts like the slice of a knife. Knowing that there isn't really anything good enough about being here, for any of us, to outweigh the bleakness. Feeling the hurt of the whole world channeled through the dull greyness of every 3 am minute.

How did any of us who've been there hold on until things got better? I honestly don't know. For some of us it was a choice. Knowing something was going to change, even a little bit, if we could just hang on. But for others it's just not going. Wake up, go to sleep. Eat. Repeat that enough times and one day it doesn't hurt as much. Who knows why.

You are not perfect. You may screw up on a daily basis. You may feel like your efforts don't do anything. Like everything you touch turns to crap. Like the people around you would be better off without you. But that is not the case. It's just not. No one is perfect. Everyone screws up. It's what makes us real and layered and interesting. You are as special for your faults as despite them.

Someone I loved and lost once told me, "It's no trick for God to work through someone perfect. The more broken you are, the more God shows his glory by shining through you." Whether you believe in a guiding force or not, the universe creates imperfection. You in all your weakness are exactly what we need.

Please stay. Even if you don't know how. Just keep getting up in the morning. Eat what you can. Drink water. Go to bed, even if you can't sleep. Go outside and turn your face to the sun. If you can, do this with Teresa for 3 minutes a few times a day. And tell someone how you feel. A friend. A stranger. Leave it in the comments here.

Don't go.

This post is for my friend Ray, who went.


30 thoughts on “New and old”

  1. I wish I had read this when you first posted it, M, but it’s just as wonderful/beautiful now. Sometimes I feel like swiss cheese with all the holes from people I’ve known who have gone this way.

  2. I loved someone deeply who went. And had a family member who went. So when I found myself at the bottom of the darkest hole I could imagine, when I felt like I was in a prison and each bar was created by the mistakes that I had made in my life that could not be undone, when there was absolutely no light or hope or faith in something better at all, I remembered. I remembered with what I knew even though I couldn’t feel it – that if I went it blow apart the lives of everyone around me, an act so destructing and hurtful that nothing would ever make up for it. So even though the part of me that felt like it was dying would say, “Oh, they won’t miss you that much,” because I couldn’t feel them, I held on to that thread, that thread of knowing what I couldn’t feel. And I waited. I cried. I watched TV. I smoked cigarettes. I put food in my mouth. I took my medication (eventually). I did it gray day after gray day. For years.Sometimes I can’t believe where I was then and where I am now – so happy, so lucky, so blessed. I was thinking about this just the other day as I was playing with my baby and he was laughing & laughing. I’m so glad I stayed. It is possible to get out.

  3. I enjoyed your Babble article. I’m so glad this move was possible for you- by family, job and divorced husband all working cooperatively. I also loved seeing your photo at the top of the article b/c I’m not sure I’d ever seen your image before!

  4. So sorry for the loss of your friend and for his family and friends. I’ve been there and I never want to go back there – it is a dark place and scary. I have two reasons not to go back there and they are my young sons who are 2 and 4 months old.

  5. I’m so sorry for your loss.On a happier note, I absolutely love your “Running with your 9 year old” post. My son is almost 8 months old now and knowing that I will forever be attached to him and inclined to “give” him my body in ways you described is both beautiful and heart-warming.

  6. It made me cry the last time; it made me cry this time. I had a wretched day. I feel all alone. I don’t think anyone will ever love me. (Single, 32, never married, always wanted to get married and have kids. I got to your blog via some infertility blogs of women who went on to have kids, which I started reading awhile ago, since, at this rate, I’ll need ART to have a baby or three one day.) I had been doing better for a few months, but then I was thinking, “I can’t take it anymore.” But I can’t end it because I’m going to goddamned grad school on a full tuition scholarship and what a waste that would be! I’ve been struggling with depression since I was 17. Fifteen years. That’s a long time. Almost have my life. What if my brain is just broken? I’ve been on anti-depressants continuously since I was 19. Who will ever want to date or marry such a sad sack? Th obesity. The depression. Sigh… I’ll hang in there another day.

  7. Crying like a baby as I read this. It’s amazing how those feelings came flooding back as I read this beautiful, raw, perfect post. Thank you Moxie. And to both Anons…keep holding on. The world needs you.

  8. THank you, Moxie because I feel very absorbed in myself n a very negative way at the moment. I am sorry for your friend.I think about leaving ALL THE TIME at the moment.
    I am lucky to have a family and my one-year-old is the best thing that ever happened despite the huge changes and the lack of sleep (still waking up at least twice a night…)
    I hang on for her. And those words you wrote are truly inspirational.
    On a light note… LOVE LOVED LOVED blog on running with son, beautiful.

  9. I almost went when I was twelve years old. The problems I was having then seemed so insurmountable. I’m now thirty-five, and from time to time I think about how different things would have been for so many people if I’d gone. I’m especially glad for myself that I didn’t go. I had no idea what wonderful things life had in store for me.

  10. My mom died from cancer a year ago this Monday. I’ve been raging, depressed, anxious, overdrinking, overeating and barely interested in living ever since. There are times when I think I could provide relief for my family by going away, not even permanently, just temporarily. Then I have those days when everything seems to be going right – my 3yo pours his own milk without spilling or I’m able to get myself outside to take my daughter swimming – and I’m glad that I didn’t miss it.Thank you for reminding me that every decision I make has a huge and long lasting effect on the people I love the most.

  11. How is it that you manage to touch on so much of the stuff that occupies my brain at any given moment?Don’t go…no words, just empty thoughts about the severity of the sadness that I’ve been lucky enough to avoid in my life. So sorry that others have had to suffer so.
    About the Babble Voices- this seems so silly and trivial given the other things that people are posting about, but…well.. you’re so pretty. I guess this exposes a bit of a bias an my part- snarky, witty, enlightened women aren’t that pretty. What gives?

  12. @AnonTodayAlso… I just wanted to say, and I know I don’t know you, and I know it’s easy for me to say this and I doubt it’ll mean much, but… hang in there. It sounds like it’s been hard for a long, long time. And maybe you’re doing what you can to be kind to yourself, and wise – seeking help from people who are good at helping (like therapists and friends and good books), and granting yourself whatever small graces and kindnesses you can. I hope so. It makes such a difference, and things can and do get better, they really can. So many voices on this page alone expressing how many seemingly endless days of pain there were before some kind of light started to come in.I don’t know what I’m saying, really, except that your message really touched me, and I wish I could send more support than this little reply you may never even read. But if you can, find some faith – borrow it, maybe – and find resources and people that make you feel good, and know that things really can and really will get better. You sound like you’re proactive, and tremendously smart, and sensitive, and have vast quantities of love to give. I wish you the best, a turn in luck, a new source of strength to carry through – all these things and more.
    And Moxie, I am so sorry for your loss, your friend’s loss, all the hurting people left behind. Thank you, again, for all that you do.

  13. @AnonTodayAlso… You’re 32. You DO have time. I had my first baby at 35 and am expecting my second now at 39. A friend just had her first at 42. Another friend was pregnant within two weeks of meeting her soulmate. You have time. Stay open and he will find you. Welcome it, do not push it away with premature sadness. A bright life full of joy is yours if you choose it every day. Keep choosing it and every day it will get easier to make that choice.Moxie, I’m sorry for the loss you and yours are feeling. Life is truly a mystery. Thank you for sharing and caring.

  14. Just so perfectly written i wish i could express my feeling with these strong words and language.And i am really sorry for your friend.
    May god give you strength and help him rest in peace in heaven.

  15. “Even if that person is too little to say it to you yet.” He is. He’s too little. I forgot to thank you for this post. These words are echoing through my head during the sleepless nights, and it’s helping.

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