“I didn’t notice You were standing here…”

Published May 25, 2017 by Chloe Madison

I think yesterday qualifies as one of the worst and certainly the weirdest day ever. I’m still slowly digesting all that happened and what it means.

Let’s start with the day before. At 7am, it hit heavy and hard. I had a kid come to me needing to talk. Her dad had just passed away and this day was the one month anniversary. I had previously reached out to her, talked with her, and told her she could contact me ANY time she needed, day or night. I listened to her for two solid hours. (Thank God we had a study hall period before finals started- so we actually had this time.)

Man… sadness. That’s all I can say. She shared how while her dad was in the hospital, her mom found evidence on his cell phone of him cheating with another woman. She shared how her dad would sometimes hit her mom and her older brother would secretly call the police (and then act as surprised as everyone else when the cops showed up). She shared how her grandma came from Mexico when dad was hospitalized and acted incredibly strange and indifferent. Grandma left with no explanation during the wake and never went to the funeral. She cried as she realized dad would never see her go to prom or get married. We cried together. She unloaded for two hours- we were only stopped by the bell.

My heart was and still is so heavy for her. I couldn’t stop thinking about her all day. I went home and watched MacGyver later that night. (What the ?!)

Then came the next day. I wanted her to return so we could keep talking, but she didn’t. Then it hit me that today was the day I was going to start meeting with a therapist. Suddenly, my mind shifted from her to myself and I was overwhelmed with emotions- fear, anxiety, everything was moving too fast, I wasn’t ready, I just wanted to take off and leave, I wouldn’t like or trust this new therapist, I couldn’t be honest with her…a whole list of excuses. The headaches started. At this point, I was on day 2 of not eating (just nerves). But I know that didn’t help my constant headache.

Since I made the appointment, I had considered not being fully honest with her about where I’m at with suicide and eating issues and stuff like that. Even a few minutes before the appointment, I was sitting in my car trying to decide what to do. (I have an extreme fear of being locked away in a loony bin so the idea of being put on a suicide hold is horrifying to me.)

But…I thought about my church paying for some of these first few appointments and how much that means to me. I realized I’d be wasting their money if I wasn’t fully open and I decided that just wasn’t cool. I’d be honest with her about everything. Pretty much.

And I was. I was proud of myself for opening up and telling her all of it, especially the ugly parts. She asked me questions I didn’t have answers to- like who is my support system and what’s my…I forget the terminology she used…but what was my plan for when I felt suicidal? Who would I contact or what would I do to get through those few hours or however long? I didn’t have an answer. I felt kind of stupid. But she made me come up with one before I left there.

And this is where things start to get weird. I left there feeling so…I don’t even know how to describe it. I felt terrible, but it was so much more than that. I had this urgent need to walk and think. I wanted to find a park, get out, walk, and simply process things. Well, I immediately got lost while driving around looking for a park. Smh. When I came out to a spot I recognized, it was near where I went to academy. I was crying pretty hard at this point and decided that before I turned onto the road with heavy traffic, I should pull over and get a hold of myself. I stopped on the side of the road, staring forward at the building I attended academy in. Three years ago, six days a week for an entire year…that building and parking lot were so familiar to me. I just sat and stared, relived a lot of the training in my head, and listened to Nine Inch Nails. I listened to the album Still over and over again. For hours. Every time “Adrift and At Peace” came on, I didn’t make me feel better. That song is supposed to be the conclusion to “La Mer,” which was my suicide song…long before I realized it was his suicide song. I thought maybe listening to “Adrift and At Peace” would show me how he went down a more peaceful path than suicide. It didn’t.

I quickly became numb and lost all my emotions. Then they’d all hit and I’d burst out crying. I stayed there in that car, on that road, listening to that album for so many hours. I posted a few lines here on WordPress. I didn’t have a title for it. When I hit “post,” I thought it would reject it, telling me I needed a title. But it didn’t- it went through. I considered deleting it…but shrugged and said ‘f**k it’ and continued sitting there.

It was like I was suspended in a heavily viscous fluid. I was just sitting there in a terribly painful stupor with my head floating.

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I thought about going home, but didn’t want to banter with my roommate, pretending nothing was wrong and I certainly didn’t think I was alert enough to drive. I was so out of it. I decided I would be ok with sleeping there. I was just so exhausted and spent. I couldn’t move. I wondered what happened with my desire to get out and walk. It wasn’t there anymore…my body felt like cement, yet my mind was floating. Once it got dark, I decided it wasn’t safe enough to go for a walk anyway.

I thought about suicide. I took out my firearm and put it on my lap. I just held it and felt it in my hands. And then cried. My thoughts floated and raced at the same time.

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I made a decision. I was going to leave the next day (today) after work. I was going to head west into the desert and flirt with suicide. I didn’t fully decide to do it, but I was just going to go out there for a few days and see what happened. I’d see if I had the guts to do it or maybe find out I wasn’t ready yet. I still like the idea of going missing just so people don’t know it’s suicide. I think that’s better for everyone. Not sure.

So that was it. I had decided to leave the next day. I’d clear out my car and sleep in it on the way out to the desert.

I tried to shake myself out of thinking down this path. I opened my Bible and read for a bit. I opened to a page where I had previously underlined, “I shall not die, but live…” I decided to stop there and reread those few pages several times.

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I prayed that God would send someone to talk, to distract me. I specifically asked for someone who would do all the talking…there in my stupor, I didn’t feel I could talk at all. But I wanted someone to talk to me. I’d just like to listen. I remembered the girl from the day before and how she had so much to get off her chest, how she talked and talked for hours. I needed someone like that. Someone who wouldn’t question why I was being so quiet.

I prayed and asked God for that. I couldn’t think of someone who I could bother (and not feel guilty about bothering them). Then I read the verses above that say, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” I got irritated almost immediately. I sat there and thought God just wouldn’t answer this prayer. And that was ok. My mind drifted to taking off and getting out of Dodge. I pictured the orange desert sand with a puddle of blood laying on top. I wasn’t happy with the thought of using my firearm- like I’ve said before, that’s not my first choice. But it’s the way I keep envisioning it. I’ve envisioned it hundreds of times by now so the idea has settled more and more with me.

I remembered the look on the therapist’s face when she asked if I had access to or a means of carrying out my plan. I answered yes so quickly, I think it startled her. And I do have the means and the access. So I thought, ‘let’s leave and go to the desert and see what happens.’

That’s what I was thinking when I got a text, asking me if I would house sit and dog sit for this coming weekend. My first thought was ‘nope, I’ve got plans to go to the desert.’ As I sat there staring at the text…in disbelief, it hit me…was this God wrecking my plans? Nah.

Well…maybe.

Then, I started wondering if God was answering prayer, changing my plans, keeping me safe. I got lost in thought and wondered what made my friend think to ask me this. I still didn’t know what to answer- yes and wreck this weekend’s plans? Or no, sorry, I’ll be out of town?

I decided this was God helping me. So not only would I answer yes, but I would answer yes emphatically. I started to text an answer back and the phone rang. It was my friend calling.

So… remember the prayer that I had prayed hours before? Well, my friend, the same one whom I opened up to (he and his wife), the same one who hooked up this therapist and our church helping out financially… the same one who wanted a house sitter while he went away with his family for a week.  Well…let’s just say, he was super chatty. It was perfect! I (think) I let him know I wasn’t ok…I can’t really remember. So he just talked and talked. And I listened. I’m not even sure, but I think he talked for several hours. I remember towards the end, I started feeling so much better that I was even chuckling a bit with some of what he was saying.

And then…there he was.

He’d walked all the way from his house. I mean, I knew he was out waking…but I couldn’t believe I was actually seeing him. Was this real? I had told him where I’d been sitting in my car, but… ?! I was so confused…I thought, ‘Wow, this guy is crazier than I am!’ I felt so guilty he walked all the way there, but I was still so shocked about it, I didn’t know how to respond. I got out of the car to talk with him and realized my legs were numb from sitting there so long. I was embarrassed, I’d been crying for hours, my car was a mess, there were crumpled up tissues all over the place from crying, and my gun was sitting there in the front seat surrounded by tissues. Everything was a mess, especially me. I felt guilty, embarrassed…and as I stood there, I still questioned the reality of the situation. Was this really happening? I mean, I asked God to send someone to talk with me. And He did? Really??? Like, for real? I was so out of it. It was surreal.

We briefly talked and prayed and then he left. I got back into my car and stared at my firearm, which was still there on the front seat. I felt this massive urge to give it to my friend. I had thought of this before, but decided I wouldn’t ask because he had kids at home and maybe he didn’t want something like that in his house. But I couldn’t stop staring at my firearm and I kept thinking- this is the chance. This is the best time because he’s alone and there’s no one around to see us passing off a gun. It’s not like you can do something like that in the middle of church! So I found myself immobile again. I didn’t move, I didn’t leave and drive home yet. He’d already left, but I could easily catch up to him so I was trying to decide if I should ask.

To get to the point, he’s got it now. I asked him to hold on to it temporarily. Man…at first, I felt incredibly uncomfortable and nervous, handing that over to someone. Then, I slowly started to feel better.

As I drove home, I kept thinking “accomplished.”

A lot was accomplished today. I just gave up my means to commit suicide. That’s kind of huge. Now…yes, Plan A was pills and I still have all those. But, since Plan B kept running through my head over and over, that was the most disturbing to me. And now, that’s gone. Temporarily.

As I got home, I almost felt like this might be a turning point and I haven’t even started the actual therapy yet. That whole afternoon/evening/night was so weird. I have no clue why I got stuck in my car with my head floating for so many hours…I don’t know why I was so immobile. It was the strangest thing. I prayed and thought God wouldn’t answer. I made a plan for this weekend. Then God moved…in the weirdest way. I’m still wondering if it really happened.

I’m sorry for being so…I don’t know. But I’m so thankful. I thank God first and foremost for being with me, for listening to me, for answering prayer. I thank my friend for calling and talking and talking- and walking and walking. I thank him for taking my “means.” I thank NBG for commenting that he was praying. When I read that, I knew God had answered his prayer too, even though I didn’t know what it was.

 

My friend shared this David Crowder song, “All I Can Say”

Lord I’m tired
So tired from walking
And Lord I’m so alone
And Lord the dark
Is creeping in
Creeping up
To swallow me
I think I’ll stop
Rest here a while

Chorus:
And this is all that I can say right now
And this is all that I can give
And this is all that I can say right now
And this is all that I can give, that’s my everything

Lord didn’t You see me crying?
And didn’t You hear me call Your name?
Wasn’t it You I gave my heart to?
I wish You’d remember
Where you sat it down

Chorus:
And this is all that I can say right now, I know it’s not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that’s my everything.
This is all that I can say right now [right now], I know it’s not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that’s my everything.

Bridge:
I didn’t notice You were standing here
I didn’t know that
That was You holding me
I didn’t notice You were cry’n too
I didn’t know that
That was You washing my feet

And this is all
This is all that I can say right now, oh I know its not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that’s my everything.
This is all that I can say right now [right now], I know it’s not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that’s my everything.
This is all that I can say right now, oh I know it’s not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that’s my everything..
yeah that’s my everything..
yeah that’s my everything..
everything…

Wow. I’m feeling those verses and the chorus…but get that bridge. That’s where it’s at.

One of the worst and strangest days…and I didn’t notice God was with me the whole time. 

I’m still completely weirded out and stunned that God so specifically answered prayer.  

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