Last night, I turned on PBS and caught a show about the suicide assistance program, Final Exit Network. I wasn’t really looking for a program to get interested in yet I found myself oddly attracted to the high emotion of this episode giving options to end one’s life with dignity. In a nutshell, Final Exit Network provides support and guidance to candidates looking to end their life because of extreme circumstances of intolerable illness. They have been lauded as compassionate by scholars in ethics and heretics by religious groups and physicians who oppose an individual’s right to choice to the timing and implementation of a dignified death. As I’m watching this, I clearly see both sides. There are many issues at play here and it is a complex subject that few even wish to visit. Those special individuals who are willing to extend their compassion to a person who asks to die, are clearly in touch with the sensitive and personal issues involved as to why someone would seek out the means to end their life.
I got it immediately.
Their stories spoke directly to my heart.
Until one directly deals with madness and horror of pain; emotional~physical~spiritual~relentless~daily~mind bending pain that isn’t relieved even though one has exhausted their finances, resources and partners. Because until a person deals with this pain on a day to day, minute by minute way of crawling through life, I realize that the “unaffected” won’t get it. And that’s fine, because the “unaffected” are living productive lives with good enough health to not feel the burden that the “totally affected” person does. It isn’t a place that one visits until they have to and once they have to, one doesn’t waiver as much.
I recently had an “episode” brought on my the perfect storm of triggers. It put me in a place that most would call mental illness. Since I don’t thoroughly subscribe to that label, I did something entirely different this time upon the suggestion of my friend Heather. I surrendered to the madwoman. Blindly, I charged into this event with a headstrong, full of steam and hope approach, calling in all the divine helpers I could find. Basically, I told it that I was in control and taking over from here. I told it to FUCK OFF and walked straight into the madness.
Now here’s the really interesting part. In this swirling anxiety ridden mania that I felt, a story emerged. I actually took the wheel of this runaway train and channelled it into something productive. And for the first time, I think I’m really onto to something here. The outcome was a story I’ve known my entire life and one that I lived and almost died through. But this time, I was my mother. I became her, feeling her feelings and seeing the exact places that she was. I have some thoughts and explanations for this but that is an entirely different post.
There was a time when I censored myself heavily regarding these mystical occurrences but not any more. They are simply part of me. I now let them flow and even have the nerve to write about them. A force greater than I is wanting to come through, a story is begging to be told. Once I rode through the mania and channelled the story, a peace ensued and I share that story with you now. And finally, I’ve come to understand that embracing the dark doesn’t mean succumbing to it.