Hints, Allegations, and Things That Need to be Said

Should I thirst for knowledge
Can I beg you for some water
Should I fight your battles
Can I rest upon your shoulders
I hope I’m able to ride out this storm
So come on Gabriel and blow your horn
Reach, reach out to me
Can’t you see I need you to save me
Yeah, reach, reach out to me
Can’t you see I need you to hold me

– Collective Soul, “Reach”

Most people are used to me being long-winded, but for those of you who are not, I am going to warn you: This is going to be long. Please, though, for those who have reached out to me, silently worried about me, prayed for me, this is necessary for you to read.

This is the “payoff” for all your worry and prayers, otherwise, it wasn’t worthwhile. And if you have been asking people to pray for me who do not know me, please share this with them so that they can share in the “payoff.”

Until last night, the closest I had ever come to killing myself was in 1997 when I found out I was kicked out of my Christian rock band, Crosseyed. Upon hearing the news during lunch, I went into a trance, walked out of school, “stole” my dad’s minivan, got on a back highway, and drove with the intention of jumping off the nearest bridge when the car ran out of gas.

Just being kicked out of the band wasn’t why I wanted to end it all. It was because I had been experiencing tremendous guilt and pain for having very foolishly walked into a dangerous situation two years prior that lead to me being raped. Singing “God music” was my penance for my guilt. However, kids being what they are, and Joplin being what it was, I was constantly teased about being gay – which is, for the average insecure heterosexual male, difficult enough, but, for a guy whose first sexual experience was being forcibly violated by another man and believed it was his own fault, it was quite another matter.

So, the real kicker to the story was that I was told that the reason I was being kicked out of the band was to spare the band’s reputation of having a rumored faggot as their front man. It was an irony that my young mind was unable to interpret this as “hilarious irony” but rather interpreted the situation as being so far “gone” that I could not even earn my dignity (and God’s forgiveness) back, as this one lost opportunity was supposed to accomplish.

Down by the sea
I think I saw our love dissolve

So plant a little seed
Soon it starts growing
Shed a little light
Soon we’ll be glowing
Hear a little tune
Soon we’ll start singing
Give a little love
Then love will start breathing

– Collective Soul, “Breathe”

There was about an hour’s worth of gas in the car, and there was a tape in the tape deck, so I had just enough time to listen to Collective Soul’s first album, “Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid” before I did the deed. It was the first time I ever heard God speak directly to me, and it came through the voice of an unlikely alternative rock band with a picture of Sweeney Todd on their album cover.

The album started somewhere in the middle, which ironically made the songs play in an order that made even more sense to me than if they had started with the first track and play to the last. As is obvious, I did not kill myself that afternoon, and for the first time in my life, I learned, through Collective Soul lyrics, that God felt my pain and wanted me to let him in so that he could shoulder my burdens.

Last night, I came so much closer to finishing what I started almost exactly fourteen years ago. But this time, I didn’t have a one-hour drive and a rock album. I had 24-hours of excruciatingly painful, yet carefully planned time to literally feel completely dead mentally. I have never felt so numb nor desired to be so cut-off from everyone in all my life. I literally felt like the walking dead ever since the clock struck midnight and I had “missed” my deadline to finish the job.

This time, however, my reasons were quite different. As I said before, I have not been suffering from depression, I simply had woken up and saw all these signs pointing to the same conclusion: It was my time to exit stage left, and God wanted me to carry out the stage directions myself. If there was no God, then it made even more sense: It was a process of natural selection and nature was simply taking its course to self-eliminate inadequate and inefficient creatures from its ever improving universe.

Push me to the left, hold me to the right
I never know where to go
Burning that trail to the promised land
You’re moving on out of control
Well I don’t want to be some puppet on a string
And I don’t want to learn of things you can’t explain
And I don’t want to have your views on everything
I just want to scream

Scream about hurting
Scream about mercy
Scream about something
Scream about nothing

There you go with all your might
Giving promises by decree
Well God is great and God is good
But God you’ll never be
Well I don’t want to be in your hospitality
And I don’t want to live in false reality
See I’m the one obsessed with truth and honesty
I just want to scream

– Collective Soul, “Scream”

I find it disheartening to know that so many people thought I was joking about killing myself. I have a dark humor, but goodness… not that dark! I also find it disheartening that some people didn’t take me seriously and thought I was putting on a show. I guess no one wants to not be taken seriously. Maybe those people have threatened suicide for a manipulative reason themselves and they just thought this was the same thing. It certainly was easy to interpret that way.

I’m not going to try to change anyone’s mind: If I really wanted to change people’s minds, I would just go through with it. That would show them! I’m also not going to go into too many details of how close I came. I certainly didn’t have a “come to Jesus moment” at the last second, but I also spent a good 24 hours plotting and planning and practicing being “numb” so that when the time came it would be harder to have last second thoughts or chicken out. But, I’ll get to why I didn’t go through with it in a moment.

What I do need to do right now is better explain why I wanted to go through with it which my Edgar Allen Poe references and Facebook posts didn’t do very well. Cue eye rolls and “here we go again” sighs.

You see, I’ve gone through the “lost the girl of my dreams” once before and managed to survive. Twice in fact. And each time, “suicidal threats” were involved but not at all serious. The first time, I was very poorly advised to check myself into a hospital and “fake” wanting to commit suicide because it was an excusable escape – a vacation – from the pressures at the time that were preventing me from grieving and healing. And, after all, my insurance would pay for it! What a great scam, right? Except, as it turned out I wasn’t insured, and after about two days of “vacation” I was ready to go back out and face my problems, but the hospital had a seven day minimum holding period and so it actually became the opposite of a vacation, and my problems were much worse that time.

The second time, I’m ashamed to admit, while I did feel down, and I did feel depressed, I manipulated those feelings and myself into creating a false suicide plea to get some attention. At this point in my life, I have learned to be quite content with being single, and no amount of “lost love” would ever push me over the edge.

Been thinking a lot about my ways
Guess I’m sorry baby
Been searching
Out a way to say
Guess I’m sorry baby
This time I gave all to you
It’s time I prove something to you

So I’ll lift you up and hold you near
Warm your heart and calm your fears
See I don’t want to lose this love I found
So I’ll burn my bridges, burn them down

Been hurting a lot without  you here
Guess I need you baby
Been sleeping upon a bed of tears
Guess I miss you baby
This time I give all to you
It’s time I prove something to you

Take all my world and shake it
Take my dear heart and embrace it
Take what I say and listen
My world’s changing, changing for you

– Collective Soul, “Burning Bridges”

This time was very different. You know how they say that every time God closes a door, he opens a window? Well, in my life – maybe because I’m such an optimist – I’ve noticed that every time God closes a door, he opens a giant gate for me.

When I lost my Air Force career, I could have dwelt on the shock and the sting of it all and let that turn into seething bitterness over the injustice and unfairness of my four-year roller-coaster ride that ended in a cliff drop. But, I was too distracted with the “vision” I had of my bright future.

You see, I was going to go back to UIC, make straight A’s, participate in all the “right” extra curricular, and earn my way into being competitive enough for a top rated Masters of Public Administration program. During the summer off, I was going to take a bike ride across the U.S. (see my first Aspirations post on this blog) and pay for it with a video blog gimmick and corporate sponsorship (an idea that was slightly ahead of its time then, but seems pretty normal now I guess).

After I earned my MPA, I planned on joining Teach for America, then going BACK to school with a TFA fellowship at the Kennedy School for Government to get a joint PhD in Public Administration and JD at one of eight participating Universities (such as University of Chicago). Then, with all this knowledge and experience, I was going to launch my “revolutionary” and completely unheard of private school system which was designed to actually make private school as affordable as public school, thus slowly eroding the need for “public” education altogether and becoming a model for other social entrepreneurs to follow.

Okay, so delusions of grandeur are not anything I was suffering a shortage of. But, on paper, everything except the last part of the plan was completely achievable… IF I was able to follow my plan perfectly and not make one misstep. On paper, I had everything else I needed up to that point to achieve those goals, and I was very confident in my ability to follow through.

Then I had a few missteps. The first was my attempts to transform UIC’s Undergraduate Student Government: Which I initially approached as a resume building hobby (like all the normal college students who were participating in it) but quickly felt honor-bound to throw my entire soul into “fixing” to the point that it appeared to be nothing more than an sick obsession to those who didn’t know me very well. And I lost sight of my goal and suffered my first major blow to my plan when I bombed my GPA.

This was something I could recover from, however. I just had to be academically perfect with a capital P from that point on. Then came my next distraction: the Argus. Again, motivated by a sense of honor and justice, I threw myself full force into launching this newspaper and providing what I thought was a good and necessary service to the school I loved so much.

In the process, I discovered something in my business partner, Brianna: I was a half, and she completed me. Now, before you start rolling your eyes again, I’m not referring to the romantic, soul-mate, Aristophanes sense of being a half. I don’t believe in that stuff. I believe the opposite: You can only truly love someone when you are a whole first.

I’m talking about a common situation that arrises among entrepreneurs. Every Jobs needs their Woz. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs achieved success because they found the perfect “business balance” partner to temper each other’s strengths and weaknesses against. Many times, these partners work together on project after project because they realize that the perfect business partner is a once-in-a-lifetime find and some people can’t even find theirs in their own lifetime.

Girls come and go, and love is always waiting around the corner. But, “Briannas” are my Unobtanium, and once you find one you never give them up. Bri expressed a similar feeling about me, and when we started dating, we vowed to never let a possible break-up destroy our partnership because we both recognized how well we complimented each other and how rare that would be to find in others. It also helped that we loved each other. At least, I know I love Bri, I shouldn’t really presume to speak for her just because I wanted to believe that was true.

Watch my world spin round
It stops for you
I’ll give you heaven for a view
I set my sights on high my aim is true
I’d walk on water just for you

All is all I can give you
All is all I can do
All is all I wish for when I’m with you

Come lay your troubles down
Rest here with me
My kingdom is all yours to receive

Well, I’ll push the clouds away
So you can have sunshine
I’ll give you anything that your heart desires

– Collective Soul, “All”

This assurance of Bri’s rarity, and of our mutual devotion to our friendship and partnership lead me to make some very dangerous decisions. I allowed our first venture, the Argus, to take priority over school: After all, an MPA, PhD, and JD can be obtained anytime and anywhere, but a Bri: That is something worth fighting for (again, feelings of love may have also been playing tricks on my logic here).

I think Bri and I both pushed ourselves to limits neither of us knew we could sustain trying to make the Argus succeed. But, the cards were stacked against us. I would like to say it was a miracle we made it as far as we did, but it was really a combination of our insane and tireless efforts and the contributions of some crazy helpful, valuable, and oh-so-destined to be successful college students who joined our staff. So, maybe it was a miracle. I recognize now that without each other, both of us would have given up sooner: We pushed those limits more for the other person for ourselves at times. And it took its toll.

So, I torpedoed my “perfect plan” for the Argus, although I think it was really more for Bri. I had found something more valuable to me than a “perfect plan.” I saw less risk in this new path I was taking. In fact, when all was said and done, I was quite apt to regret having gone to college altogether: I realized in hindsight that I could have pushed myself further towards my newly discovered career path as an entrepreneur without college and even learned a lot more in four years than I did at UIC.

But, I didn’t regret it, because one extremely good thing came out what I otherwise would have considered a giant waste of time: Bri.

Somebody told me about a worn out distraction
That I had let slip away
Then it comes back and rides my shoulders
And burdens me every new day
Well I’ll just sit here like a slow burn out
And try to figure out how to do without you

Who’s going to straighten me up when I’m leaning
Who’s going to soothe my heart when it’s burning
Who’s going to be the one to tell me everything’s
All right well, goodnight, good guy

– Collective Soul, “Goodnight Good Guy”

This is all a very round-about way to bring it to answering the question, “Why did you seriously contemplate suicide!?” I’m almost there…

The strange thing is, for the past month I have had an itch in the back of my head that everything was leading up to my inevitable demise. I pretended that the feeling wasn’t there, but in retrospect, it explains a lot of my behavior. For example, about a week ago, I felt the need to write some old friends with whom I had lost contact and felt I never told them how much they meant to me. It seemed out of the blue at the time, but now I know that I suspected my own death was eminent.

As the day of reckoning drew closer, I went to even greater lengths to mask the feeling of my inevitable demise from myself and those around me. Yet the suspicion was still there. And just like when I was kicked out of “Crosseyed” the reasoning was two-fold and intertwined.

First, as I said before in my Facebook post, I was becoming confident and painfully aware of a persistent fact about my life: I hurt people. Even when I have the best of intentions, even when I believe I am acting out of love, I still somehow manage to hurt people! I even was beginning to believe that I actually CHANGE people and leave them worse off than when I found them. You can try to debate me on this all you want, but you’re not going to convince me otherwise. I just knew one thing: Surely something was wrong with me. Surely my time of productive contribution to society had jumped the shark at an earlier point in my life.

And my love for Bri, not just as a girlfriend or a partner, but as a beautiful human being whom I respected and admired, ran very deep. If it was true that I had somehow contributed to the pain of her life and somehow held her back for three years as she seemed to communicate to me, I felt that I had committed a crime which was unforgivable, and worse yet, I didn’t know how to avoid committing it in the future! The only logical solution was capital punishment.

Second, what I didn’t mention before, was my selfish and insecure reason which I am still somewhat coming to grips with: For the first time in my life since I lost my position of lead singer in a rock band, I didn’t see a gate, much less a window, looming around the corner of this closed door in my life. Really though, I admired Bri so much, and she was so “larger than life” to me, that I couldn’t bear the thought of losing her as a friend or partner.

And I placed a great deal of trust on Bri’s honor to keep her word to me that we would never let a broken relationship destroy our friendship and partnership. If she was willing to forsake that, then to me that was an obvious sign that I really must have done something tremendously damaging and unforgivable.

Give me a word
Give me a sign
Show me where to look
Tell me what will I find (will I find)
Lay me on the ground
Fly me in the sky
Show me where to look
Tell me what will I find (will I find)

Oh, heaven let your light shine down
Oh, heaven let your light shine down
Oh, heaven let your light shine down
Oh, heaven let your light shine down

Love is in the water
Love is in the air
Show me where to go
Tell me will love be there (love be there)
Teach me how to speak
Teach me how to share
Teach me where to go
Tell me will love be there (love be there)

– Collective Soul, “Shine”

And thus my conundrum: Even if I did win Bri back as a friend or girlfriend, I was already convinced of my “cancerous nature” to those around me and I figured that it was inevitable that I would only cause more pain down the line. And if I didn’t, it would just be someone else. Either way, I realized that I had sacrificed my “perfect plan” for naught and that the one redeeming value of the past four years was now gone.

What was worse, the place I found myself currently in was all just a tremendous sacrifice for the hope of a future with Bri and I didn’t find any value outside of that hope to be there nor did I conceive of any way to progress to a better place where I would be happy. What was the point of living friendless in a city I didn’t enjoy much, struggling at a job that only a fraction of me was really suited to perform, over the course of three to five years raising venture capital if I couldn’t be an entrepreneur with “the most perfect partner in the world?”

The real kicker was simply that I concluded that I was now caught in what would be a never-ending cycle that would never get me anywhere worthwhile, would repeatedly hurt those closest to me, and found its origins in the fact that whatever good I was meant to do on this earth had run its course.

That is why when people would say to me, “You meant so much to me! You positively impacted me!” I couldn’t help but think, sure, the first season of Heroes was groundbreaking and amazing, but after a few more seasons the show got so bad that it just had to be canceled. In other words, sure I did “good” things to people in the past, but that was just my first few seasons. Those people didn’t know who I was now or comprehend where my life was going, so they couldn’t truly estimate the necessity of cancelation.

Something’s going wrong inside of you
Burdens bearing down and seeping through
Well, I don’t want to bleed anymore for you
And I don’t want to breathe any hatred too

Sitting while your world just floats around
Now you want to move ’cause it’s crashing down
Well, I don’t want to sing you guarantees
And I don’t want to cling to our used to be’s
So take your heart, take your soul
Just get yourself on out of here
Yeah, just take your hurt, take your pain
Just get yourself on out of here

Wasting time
That’s all you’ll do if you’re waiting for me
Wasting time
I don’t see what you think I see
Wasting time
That’s all you’ll do if you’re waiting for me
Wasting time
I don’t want what you think I need

– Collective Soul, “Wasting Time”

So, thus began my twenty-four hour journey towards (and wrapped in) death. I pridefully made a bargain with God. I knew that no one was going to convince me not to kill myself: I’d heard it all before, and I wasn’t of a mind to give anyone a chance to get through to me now and try to talk me down. So, I told God that if I could successfully avoid discovery over the next twenty-four hours then that was a sign that God wanted me to go through with it.

To be fair, I didn’t go hide in one of the million cozy hiding places in Chicago I could have gone (although these places did make some nice sleeping spots two nights in a row – being homeless in Chicago isn’t as hard as it looks!) I actually made it pretty easy to find me. I went to many public places where I was likely to run into someone I knew. I went to places where, if the police were looking very hard, they would have been looking for me there. I even got pretty brave and hung around outside a police station for four hours!

Funny side note: I went to the Student Center East at UIC, but I was convinced it was a pretty safe place to not be noticed by anyone I knew. Almost everyone I knew had graduated. It wasn’t until later that I found out that, due to social networking, my story had been passed around among many current students in Asian American InterVarsity and I had probably made it very likely that I would be “spotted” there. Maybe not as likely as I think – I was probably more of a name than a face to most people – but certainly more likely than being “spotted” in the laundry mat in Pilsen where I charged my phone.

Needless to say, I wasn’t discovered or “spotted” by anyone even though I was making it easy. This was a good enough sign to me. By the time I posted my second Facebook post and updated a few spelling errors in my blog (who wants to be remembered as having poor spelling?) I had arrived at the place I wanted to finish the job and I was ready to make the final preparations.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, I opted on the hanging method. Not a rope hanging (ropes are so unreliable) but a nice modern-day reinforced coaxial cable hanging. Hanging carries many negative risks if you don’t do it right, but if you are meticulous, scientific, and work in a few redundant backups it can be extremely effective and not very messy – IF you do it exactly right. There is a pain risk that can be reduced by careful planning, but I wasn’t really afraid of pain. Why waste your last moments alive by NOT experiencing a sensory blast that most living people never get to experience?

Plus, if you’re feeling extra confident and creative, you can get extremely poetic with a hanging and – well, I have never been accused of not being confident or not being creative. In fact, I was feeling so creative that as a courtesy, I planned out a pretty good method of informing the appropriate authorities of where my body would be found so that some “innocent” wouldn’t stumble upon it. I was going to complete the task in the early morning hours which only gave me a few hours to be found by someone I told.

If I was too direct, I risked being found within 10-15 minutes, and in a worst case scenario, if the hanging didn’t go as planned, I needed about 20 minutes for the “backup” to finish the job. In a botched hanging, those 20 minutes can be crucial. If you are rescued before you are finished, you are probably going to spend the rest of your life as a quadriplegic and possibly brain damaged. Now, this thought didn’t really scare me that much, but if you’re offing yourself as a means of removing a “burden from society” then transforming yourself into a quadriplegic invalid is not moving in the appropriate direction.

Overseas through the air
Touched your heart down with care
All the thoughts left behind
Soon will catch you in time
Well, if I could, you know I would
Let salvation reign on you
So, won’t you push away
All this pain that you’ve been through

While the scenes shuffle ’round
Let your wold anchor down
Pull your heart from your sleeve
First react then believe
You won’t always get thunder
To warn you of storms ahead
So bury all this pain
And get on with your life again

Conquer some serenity
Lay yourself in fields of poetry
Close your eyes to all you see
Lay your weary head here with me

– Collective Soul, “Sister Don’t Cry”

All this time it took to pay attention to detail and to properly tie a coaxial cable into a perfect noose (there’s a trick to it, and most people mess this part up, TRUST me) started to take even longer than I had thought. I actually became bored and decided to pass the time reading all the comments on my blog that I had been stubbornly ignoring. I figured, what is the risk? I’m so desensitized and numb now, nothing I read is going to give me pause at this point.

And, I hate to say it, but for the most part nothing did. It was what I expected and I had done a pretty good job of meditating myself into a very numb trance as I prepped to avoid the likely “last minute struggle for survival.”

Then I read something I didn’t expect. And it came from the last place I expected to read it which was even more impacting. Oops.

Has anyone here ever read “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” per chance?

Well, that has nothing to do with what I’m about to say, but I figured this story was getting way too serious and heavy for anyone to believe it was actually from me if I didn’t throw in a completely random inside joke. Have some humor folks.

Now, please take what I am about to say with a big grain of salt: I despise my brother, Daka. No, I don’t sit around thinking about how much I don’t like him. I do the opposite! I sit around thinking about how much I love him. I try so hard to love him. But for some unexplained reason, no matter how much I really do love him (I do love you, Daka), I can’t help but have a complete and in-extractable lack of respect for him. I’ve tried. I’ve prayed. I’ve rationalized. I’ve looked for plenty of good things to change my seemingly irrational, unchangeable gut feeling. But, I have struggled with this for years and never could shake it. This morning, I think I discovered why.

Wait just a second now
Love’s easier lost than found
So learn baby learn
It’s time to up and turn the other way
Yeah peace baby peace
It’s past time to release and fly away

Once I was down and couldn’t see
Then love lifted me
Yeah love; it was love
I believe that love lifted me

– Collective Soul, “Love Lifted Me”

So, Daka wrote a very interesting response on my blog post that I actually stumbled across while on a break from knot tying and cleaning out my email inbox. That’s when you know someone has OCD, by the way: They are hours away from killing themselves and they can’t resist the urge to make sure they don’t have any spam sitting in their inbox.

I’m not going to try to repeat or paraphrase what Daka wrote to me. You can check out the previous blog post and find his comments below it. It is better to read his own words. But, out of everything I had read, even in my numb state, this managed to pierce through and surprise me. And considering the source, THAT surprised me even more!

Okay, I won’t make you work too hard – here’s what I basically read (or at least the impression I got) from the comment Daka wrote to me:

All my feelings about being a cancer in the world and not deserving to live were dead on. I don’t deserve to live. But, then again, neither do those guys who raped me. Neither does the Sergeant who bragged about abusing prisoners at Gitmo and then worked to kick me out of Chinese school when I confronted him about it. If I’m feeling extremely mean, neither does the kind of girl who would date other men while we were in a serious relationship, lie about our relationship to string men along, and then stay with me just long enough to get what she needed before casting me aside.

Wait a second. I have my faults, but I’m not as cold and premeditated in my sins as those people! My sins tend to be more mistakes or crimes of passion. Plus, even ignoring all those, I still felt like when I tried to do good things, even THOSE turned out bad! So, I really shouldn’t compare myself to all the scumbags in my life whom I felt had done me injustice. They were cold hard criminals who knew what they were doing. I was worse! Even my attempts to be good hurt people, and if I turned into a cold hard criminal, well, just imagine the damage I could do.

This made me think of a verse in the Bible that illustrates this point:

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all of our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” ~ Isaiah 64:6

No one ever thought about sharing that Bible verse to someone contemplating suicide, did they? Well, neither did my brother, but that was basically what he was saying.

My brother went on to state, as the verse does, that we are all pretty worthless. Even the best and most righteous among us still deserve to die – not eventually, but right now! The only reason we are kept alive is because God wants to demonstrate grace and, get this, work THROUGH us.

And why would God want to work through such imperfect and filthy vessels you might ask? Well, it would seem to me, that if someone as evil and worthless as me – someone who causes others pain when he tries to do right by them – can somehow do something good, then that is a pretty powerful indication that God is at work and he is working a miracle and people better pay attention.

Okay, that gave me something to think about. Maybe God created me as a cancer (sorry guys who kept telling me it was impossible for God to create a cancer) because he wanted to show the world how miraculously he could HEAL me rather than what I originally assumed which was that I started out somewhat okay, but had turned into a cancer later in life and now God was trusting me to self-eliminate. Yeah guys, I didn’t even think that God had actually created me as a cancer, I just figured I eventually ended up that way: But, now I am pretty convinced that he did!

I decided to take some more time and think about this. It didn’t take me very long to figure out something else. The message itself which I was pondering wasn’t the most important thing for me to think about: It was the syntax. How on earth could my little brother, the guy whom I had almost no respect for – especially where spiritual maturity was concerned – have managed to write something so wise and gifted that it would give me pause?

Clearly, this wasn’t my brother speaking. This was God speaking directly to me through my brother. And just like the message was already trying to say: “God wants to work a miracle by revealing himself to the world through you, you despicable and worthless vessel,” God was reinforcing that message through my (no offense Daka) despicable and worthless little brother.

And all of the sudden, it made perfect sense why I could never get over my seemingly unfounded and irrational feelings of disrespect for my little brother. God has been planning, all these years, to someday use him as a way to get through to me in a very complicated and yet completely poetic way.

The walls came up as the thoughts went down
To the hush of disparity
Sure we know the problem lies
With some insecurities
But we’ll never see eye to eye
As long as our tongues are tied
And we’ll never be seen as one
Until we find love

In a moment it could happen
We could wake up and be laughing
In a moment it could happen
We could forgive and be happy

It’s a shame our world responds to life
As a puzzle in disguise
I wish our course would lead us towards
The peace and loving kind
But we’ll never walk hand in hand
Until we let old wounds mend
And we’ll never sing songs as one
Until we find love

In a moment some wisdom could be learned
In a moment new voices could be heard
In a moment we could make heads turn
In a moment we could change

– Collective Soul, “In a Moment”

So where do I go from here, you might be wondering. Well, I really don’t know. I know that because of my actions, my options have become much more limited than they were 48 hours ago. Which is bad, considering that my options felt so limited that I wanted to kill myself 48 hours ago. So, now that I am coming out of the valley, I can’t really see any light at the end of the tunnel, but I have the faith that there is a slight chance that it might be there.

And considering the mental game I have been playing with myself in order to assure “suicidal success” I am going to need a little more time to unwind, clear my head, and figure out the next step.

Am I in a mental state that is going to lead me to relapse? No. But, am I in a mental state to move back to Indianapolis (where I am isolated and cut off from my support network) and fulfill my duties in my job there as I was hired to do? Maybe not. It is embarrassing and hurts my pride, but I don’t want to walk out of the frying pan into a fire right now.

As completely irrational and foolish as this might sound – and as selfish as it might sound (something my pride also doesn’t want anyone to think of me), I might just need a few weeks or a month to go on a journey – or continue the journey I started a few days ago – to discover exactly what I can do next.

Then again, maybe what God wants me to do next is to suck it up and go right back into the belly of the beast so he can very quickly and immediately prove his ability to work miracles through me and somehow I’m going to transform into an incredible salesman overnight DESPITE the fact that by all measurable accounts, I am not in a mental state to pull that off.

Then again, maybe that would make TOO much sense and be TOO easy and I am getting ahead of myself for the purpose of appearing “strong and put together” to everyone else.

As you can see, I’m very confused (and mentally drained right now) and probably am not going to have any clear ideas of what to do next tonight. So, I am going to try to find a place to rest my head and get some sleep and then spend the better part of tomorrow in solitude sorting through my thoughts. If you’ve been dying to hear me reassure you in person that I am okay, I’m sorry, but I’m still not ready for that yet. I have too much on my mind right now to be able to keep it together and offer a sincere conversation – or even just a vocal hello – to anyone right now. I’m sorry.

And to my family members, please don’t take offense that I still haven’t reached out to contact you and tell you in person that I am okay but am opting to do it through this impersonal blog. I’m not quite ready. By tomorrow evening, I suspect I will be. It will be hard, and will require me to swallow a lot of pride, but I might as well peel that bandaid off. Sometimes, a drastic shock to the system in a good and necessary thing. Just maybe not a “final solution” drastic shock.

Who’s gonna bring me to heaven
When heaven’s already here

No more living in darkness
Now that love lights my way
I don’t need any new change
To make me love today

– Collective Soul, “Heaven’s Already Here”


  1. What a journey you have experienced in such a short time. Clearly there is a God. He has reached out to you again in his unwavering love. He has shown you that in spite of the evil that lurks within all of us, no on is hopeless, no is irredeemable. Love does heal and grace does redeem. Whatever you decide to do, the gate is always open at home, ready to help you explore the gates that God is opening for you even now. We love you! Just call.

  2. I have been silently praying and am very glad you are okay.  When you get settled, message me the best address where I can send you something.  Continuing to pray for you, friend.

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