Gatekeeping (8th Edition)

by Kathy on August 31, 2012 · 1 comment

in Abby, Anxiety, Comic Relief, Family, Gatekeeping, Gratitude, Life, Loss, Sean, Suicide Prevention

How are you feeling?

What are your plans for tomorrow?

Welcome to the eighth edition of my “Gatekeeping” blog series. I shared the back story of these simple and yet powerful questions in this post.

August has been a good and very busy month for me and my family. Somehow, Gatekeeping got away from me, though I did talk about it in conjunction with Time Warp Tuesday a few weeks ago. Last night I realized that today was August 31st and I had yet to check in here to ask those questions this month. So here we are.

Recently I came across a very well researched, thought out and written article in Chicago magazine about a very important topic in our area, nation and world. As someone who has lost a number of loved ones over the years to suicide, I have been heartbroken and motivated to try to help keep people talking about how they are feeling and what we can do to try to prevent others from taking their own lives. I really appreciated reading the article, as it gave me new insights into why some people choose to commit suicide and how loved ones and community members can try to help those who might also be at risk.

Also, for those who might be interested, the 38th Annual National Suicide Prevention Week is coming up September 9th – 16th, with World Suicide Prevention Day on Monday, September 10th.

Finally, I recently updated my Mental Health & Suicide Prevention resource page here on my blog. So please feel free to check it out.

Now on to Gatekeeping…

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In 2011 I lost two loved ones to suicide. I realize that there is likely nothing I could have done to change the outcome of their lives, but it is something that I struggle with as I continue to work through my grief and try to make peace with these women taking their own lives.

I know that many of us suffer in silence when we are going through difficult and uncertain times in our lives. It doesn’t have to be that way.

I am not asking you to tell me your secrets or your problems, unless you want to of course. But I invite you to check in here periodically (you can also email me or send a Facebook message) and let me know how you are feeling and what plans you may have for tomorrow.

Here’s an excerpt from the post I referenced above called Gatekeepers:

My favorite line in Meg (Hutchinson’s) song (called Gatekeepers) is, “maybe every day, in ordinary ways, we hold each other on, we keep each other here.”

I think that is so profound and it certainly rings true for me.

There have been countless people throughout my life that have been “Gatekeepers” to me. Though I have never seriously considered taking my own life and strongly believe that I will never do so, I have survived some very rough patches where my self-esteem and self-worth were severely challenged. 

I love the idea that in “ordinary ways” we can make extraordinary differences in the journeys of loved ones and even strangers that we meet throughout the course of our day-to-day lives. 

Kevin “the Gatekeeper” Briggs has done so by asking those two simple questions of strangers he has met contemplating jumping (off the Golden Gate Bridge), Meg Hutchinson has done so through her music and song, Bob Edwards has done so with the stories he shares on his radio show and you all have done so for me over the years through your comments here, your caring ways, your love and your support as my readers, fellow bloggers, friends and family members. 

Thank you so very much.

I will be posting “Gatekeeping” blog entries now and then and hope that they will present the opportunity for anyone who reads them who is having a hard time coping with challenges they are facing in life to share. That said, you are certainly welcome to comment about the things you are feeling good about too. I believe that being able to recognize and name the things we are grateful for is essential to help us find peace and joy in our lives. That is part of why I love participating in Lori’s monthly Perfect Moment Mondays.

Sometimes it’s the little things than can help keep us a float when we feel like we are drowning. Just knowing that others care and want to know how we are feeling, as well as being able to think about what we might do tomorrow has the power to help us get through tough times.

Thank you for reading. I hope that however you are doing today that you know there are people in your life (I am one of them) who care about how you are feeling and want to know what your plans, hopes and dreams are for tomorrow and the days to come.

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I will start us off by answering the questions myself:

I am feeling… 

Busy — We packed a lot into this week, enjoying a few more adventures as our summer winds down.

Frustrated — We started potty training Abby yesterday. Though we have experienced some success, she peed in the toilet once yesterday and twice today. Abby’s misses on the floor, stairs and chairs far outweigh the times she made it to the bathroom. I know it is only day two and our experience with Sean (potty training him in one day six years ago) is not likely the norm. So we will stay the course, as we keep trying to help Abby learn to go potty “like a big girl.”

Accomplished — In conjunction with trying to teach Abby to pee in the toilet over the past two days, I have done lots of loads of laundry, folding and put away clothes. I was really behind in the laundry department and this was a great opportunity to catch up while attempting to keep a close eye on our potty trainee.

Craving routine — Our summer has been wonderful, but I am ready for the school year to commence. There is something about having routine in our life and I think we are all ready for that now.

Concerned — Sean attends a Chicago Public School (CPS) and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is threatening to strike if they can not reach a compromise with the city in their contract negotiations. As things look now the students will definitely attend the first week of school (which begins the Tuesday after Labor Day), but the following week is up in air. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing and am trying to be patient with all those who are involved.

Amused — I watched some of the coverage of the Republican National Convention (RNC) with my conservative husband last night on TV. I tried to keep an open mind, since I tend to be liberal leaning and vote more often than not as a Democrat. Along with many in our nation, I was somewhat perplexed by Clint Eastwood’s speech. Later last night I was scrolling through my Twitter-feed and discovered the #eastwooding hashtag. I clicked on it and read many of the creative and entertaining tweets that people were coming up with and #eastwooding photos being shared. I couldn’t stop laughing and have found myself day dreaming and giggling about a few of the best ones (IMO) today.

Grateful — Overall, my family and I have had a fun, safe and healthy summer filled with lots of quality time together and many adventures.

My plans for tomorrow/the days to come are… 

Spending time with family and enjoying our last hurrah for the summer.

Celebrating a number of loved ones birthdays and anniversaries in the days and weeks to come.

Last minute preparations for Sean starting school on Tuesday and Abby’s first day of preschool the following week.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 April August 31, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Best of luck to you and Abby on potty training! I hope the schools stay open. Kids have already been back for three weeks here.

I’m feeling: relieved! We have a decent ruling that will last until Abby starts school in 3 years. Also anxious, as I made an appointment with my doctor for next week due to my worsening sleep problems. A little concerned it might actually be seizures. And tired from lack of sleep!

My plans for tomorrow: get started on NaBloPoMo, maybe even rough out a schedule so I can stick with it more easily. Laundry and toy roundups. Spend the evening riding with my husband at work. I think I’ll save cleaning out the freezer for Sunday.

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