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Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

Who is shoe fan?(A story in pictures)

Ok, so something fun happened the other day. And a little odd, but mostly fun.

I got a package in the mail. I wasn’t expecting anything. The return address simply said, “shoe fan”. Hmm, curious.

 

 

Inside, I found a custom-printed card.

 
With a lovely, mysterious message.

 

 

And underneath the card I found this.

 

 

Which caused me to do this.

 

 

And then this.

 

 

But mostly just this.

 

 

Here it is in its new home.

 

Hoops & YoYo sure seem impressed by it.

I wish I could tell Shoe Fan

 

This will have to suffice. But know that you made my day with your funanigans. 😀

Facebook & Politics

Lately a lot of people have been bitching and moaning about all the political posts on Facebook.

“No one’s ever going to change anyone’s opinion by posting something on Facebook.”

People seem put out by the sharing of articles and cartoons and videos and ideas and opinions.

Not me.

True, I have hidden and unfriended some people. Mostly people where there was never any reason for us to be friends – I don’t actually know them in real life, and they don’t contribute in any positive way to my Facebook experience (and where I’m not sure why they friended me in the first place). I’ve also had that moment of shock & dismay when a FB friend shows up in my stalker feed as having liked Mitt Romney. (This is my blog, I don’t need any pretense of neutrality here, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise anyway.)

I try not to take it personally, too – the complaining. I am a heavy FB poster, and it is a rare day that I don’t post something political or current eventsy. Some days, lots of things. My joking defense is that I haven’t amped up for the election season – I post like that all year ‘round. But I am sure people have hidden me, and that is fine (their loss).

I find that many of my Facebook friends read and share interesting things, from a broad pool of sources I could only scratch the surface of on my own. I really appreciate the things they share; it’s like having my own personal shopper for reading material.  Hopefully some of them enjoy some of the things I post in return.

Do I think people’s minds are being changed? Probably not. However, some of the conversations I’ve been in have been lively and interesting and respectful. (That last one is key.)

But here is the real reason I am not only not pissed off by political posting on Facebook, but truly grateful for it.

I have lived in Fort Wayne most of my life, other than a handful of glorious years in the Ann Arbor area. I have spent most of my 41 years in a world where I am different, suffocating under the blanket assumption that we are all the same here. We are all Christian, we are all straight, we are all Republican, we are all socially conservative. “Midwestern values.” I’m not those things. (FYI, I am straight. Not that it matters. I feel the need to include sexual orientation because like my Judaism, it isn’t visible like skin color. Does that make sense?  Because I identify with anyone who is different.)

College was so liberating. I didn’t have to think twice about voicing my opinion or finding like-minded friends. There were lots of Jewish kids – I was no longer the only voice representing an entire freaking religion. I went to Washington with a roommate for a march for reproductive freedom. Ann Arbor wasn’t just a liberal haven – it was equal opportunity. Every culture and way of life in the world had an officially sanctioned student group.

Moving back to Fort Wayne was a bit of culture shock. I had gotten away from that assumption of sameness, and I resented being lumped back in again. My then husband worked at Lincoln, and we joked that finding other Democrats was like a secret society.

It’s not even a question of discrimination or something overt. It’s just the idea what we’re all the same. We all agree. The way people assume.  If you’ve never been the one sneaking peeks around the room to see if anyone else is sneaking peeks around the room, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. It’s exhausting just trying to make people grasp the concept that maybe the person sitting next to them doesn’t share the same belief system. And not only that, it’s a good thing.  Celebrate diversity. It’s boring when we’re all the same. Quit trying to make it so.  

Anyway, back to Facebook. Glorious Facebook with our rampant oversharing and lack of filters. You know what I found when Facebook came along? A whole bunch of people right here in northeast Indiana who are just. like. me! Who I can relate to. Who share my values. Who I can talk to about stuff that gets me fired up. For the first time in my life I feel like I have a large pool of people who get me. It’s not a secret society. It’s a community. And I love it.  

For Lettie, my love

I have a handful of people who I claim to have stalked and forced into friendship. This might generally be a slight distortion of the facts, but I really don’t think it is when it comes to my friend Lettie, who does not get a fake blog name, because how awesome is her name and what could I possibly come up with that is half as delightful? (YAY, run-on sentences!)

Lettie and I have been working closely together on a project for a number of years (story for a different day), but in the beginning we were simply Facebook acquaintances. Until I emailed her and said, “I think we should have lunch.” She probably thought I was cuckoo, seeing as we didn’t actually know each other, but even from afar I could tell she was witty, AND she’s a librarian – swoon!

Lunch was a wee bit clumsy, seeing as we’re both kind of shy. But eventually we made it through the awkward phase into true sisterhood. We were both divorced, and although she was a single mom and I have no kids, there was lots of common ground, including the agony of dating, the loneliness of not dating, a love for community, dogs, volunteerism, charming older homes, wordplay, and general mischief.  Even though we run in different circles and have very disparate lives, she occupies a special corner in my heart.

So I was delighted when lo and behold…she met someone. And holy cats, she was on cloud nine. You could tell from the word “go” that this wasn’t just some guy; it was serious. Tony. You could almost hear the little hearts floating in the air around his name when she talked about him. I was so freakin’ happy for her.

Since my divorce I’ve maybe been a tad bit cynical about love and romance and relationships. But these two crazy kids seem like they were made for each other. Ok, so I barely know him, but I know ABOUT him, and I love him because he loves her, and because he totally acted like it was normal that when I saw them in the produce section at Fresh Market, I flung my arms around him even before introducing myself. And check this out….this weekend….they got MARRIED. Woot!

Lettie, Tony, and her (their) daughters, during the wedding. Love.

The wedding was lovely and unique and very Lettie (and, I assume, very Tony). It was a picnic at Fox Island, and they asked us to bring food and share recipes and good god, their friends can cook. Um, person who made that rice (was it rice?) & black bean & feta salad, if you’re reading this, can I have the recipe please? I brought my mom’s famous oatmeal cake. It’s fucking awesome. And while I already shared the recipe with Lettie & Tony, I’m going to share it with you also, in honor of them. I have no idea where my mom got this recipe. As far as I’m concerned, it originated with her. I know some people keep their kick ass recipes secret, but the world needs oatmeal cake, and I can’t possibly make it for all y’all.  Eat it in good health.

Oatmeal Cake
This is a delicious, moist, dense cake, maybe somewhat similar in nature to a carrot cake. (I don’t actually like carrot cake, so I don’t really know. But I feel like I’ve heard that comparison before.) Also, good news, it’s made with OATMEAL (hence, the name) so you can totally justify eating it for breakfast. It’s DELICIOUS and a crowd pleaser, so don’t be put off if you’re one of those people who thinks oatmeal cake sounds weird. I promise you’ll like it, and if you don’t, may I please have your piece? And it’s totally easy. I promise that, too.

Boil 1.5 cups of water, pour it over 1 cup of quick oats, and let it stand for 20 minutes. While it’s standing quietly off to the side, you can get everything else ready. Ooh, and maybe you should preheat the oven, too: 350 degrees.

Combine and add to the oats mixture ½ cup margarine or butter (softened), 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar, and 2 eggs. Add 1-1/3 cups flour, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. That’s it! Ta da! I told you it was easy!

Pour the batter into a greased & floured 9” x 13” pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (Note: if you use a glass pan, bake at 325.)
Let the cake cool in the pan for maybe 10 or 15 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to finish cooling on wire rack. Side note, mine broke when it came out of the pan – grr. So maybe let it cool a little longer in the pan than I said above. Fortunately, the frosting functions like glue.  

When cake has cooled thoroughly, frost the crap out of it with the following. People will fight for the corner pieces.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Let one stick of margarine or butter and one 8-ounce package of cream cheese soften. (Do NOT use reduced fat or fat free cream cheese wannabes, as they won’t work – the frosting will slide off the cake. I have tried.)

Cream together the softened butter & cream cheese. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and approximately 1 box of powdered sugar, until the frosting is the right consistency. How do you know what is the right consistency? I mean, you’ve never made it. Right. Ok, thick, but still spreadable. Jesus, that sounds dirty. I’ll work on this section. How about….when the frosting tastes delicious and doesn’t slide off the spatula, it’s ready.

Gently cover the cooled cake with a liberal layer of the good stuff. If you’re so inclined, make pretty swirls on the top.

You will likely have a fair amount of extra frosting. I recommend saving it to eat later on graham crackers. Or a spoon.

I store it in the fridge because of the cream cheese. That is a partial-truth. I store it in the fridge because my mom stores it in the fridge. Presumably because of the cream cheese. It also freezes well. If you somehow have some leftover.

And now, please raise your forks to my friends.  Lettie & Tony, I wish you much love and happiness, with heaps and heaps of laughter. I love you guys!

Ready to eat!

p.s. They ate the entire cake at the reception. Success!

That 10K Was My Bitch*

*This might be a slight exaggeration.

I am not a runner. I am never going to be a runner. I have perhaps, from time to time, explored whether or not this might ever change. It will not. And I am totally cool with that. I have embraced my non-runner status. If, someday, a bear or a zombie were to start chasing us, I would put forth some good effort, but you would have nothing to worry about; you will be able to escape while said bear or zombie feeds on me. You’re welcome.

So I have ignored the runners geeking out over the Fort4Fitness event that has taken this community by storm the last few years.

Except the route travels half a block from my house, and last year some friends wanted my dog to come out and cheer them on (what? that totally makes sense!), so I got up at the ungodly hour of 7:30 or 8 on a freakin’ Saturday, and trudged to the corner with Ms. Ruby and we clapped and barked and encouraged runners and walkers, and saw all kinds of motivated friends and strangers pass by.

The event features a 4 mile run/walk, a 10K, and a half marathon. And while I was sitting on the curb cheering on those 4-mile walkers at the back of the pack, an older woman went by. With a walker. Not as in a fellow walker in the event. She was using a walker. I was already sitting on the curb (in my pajamas), but somehow I think I shriveled up a little more. How pathetic was I, sitting there watching? I decided then & there that I would participate the following year (aka this year).

The 10K sounded like a good challenge. (As a walk. Nothing has changed about the not being a runner, never being a runner, ok with not being a runner status.) 10K was not scary like the half marathon, but clearly more than a good jaunt with the dog. I promptly rounded up some friends to participate with me, registered, and had good intentions to, you know, train. Which didn’t so much come to fruition. The preparing part, that is.

Nevertheless, this past Saturday I was up before sunrise (what the what??), bouncy and enthusiastic. That is not my m.o., in case that isn’t clear. Much like I’m not a runner, I also am not, nor will I ever be, a morning person. Especially on Saturdays. Klondike and I geared up and headed downtown to meet up with our walking pals.

The weather was perfect, the mood was strong, and despite my utter lack of preparation, I prevailed. I wasn’t able to maintain Sunshine’s exuberant pace, but I finished, and I wasn’t last, and that was pretty much my only objective. 🙂 And it was a total blast. I saw lots of friends, both participating in the various events and in the throngs of people along the way cheering and staffing water stations and being generally awesome. It was fun to be part of such a positive community event, and I especially love that it goes through my beloved neighborhood. And holy crap, they give you JEWELRY just for finishing!

I’m wearing this bad boy EVERYWHERE from now on!

Was I more tired and sore than I was expecting? Yes. Did I get a blister on the pad of my foot? Yes. Did that piss me off royally because I know better how to manage for blisters? Yes. Am I doing it again next year? Hell yes. Will I do a better job being prepared? I certainly intend to.  Which, I believe, is what those pesky event planners are hoping for – a general increase in our activity levels and, you know, making positive changes. Bastards.

It’s kind of hard to argue with the merits of that, right? And I’m always interested in walking buddies; give me a shout if you want some company.

So….see you out there next year?

Approaching the finish.
(Thanks, Amy H., for the picture!)

Thank you for calling the Facebook Help Desk

The scene: My car. Driving. Almost to my dad’s house.

Ring Ring! (Actually the Charlie Brown music – that’s my ringtone.) (Yes, I know it’s really called Linus & Lucy. I just wasn’t sure if you knew that.)

Look at phone, see who it is. It’s my friend Dimples (seriously, his dimples are ridiculous), who never, ever calls me, so this should be interesting.

W: “Hello?”

Dimples: “Hey, hi, how are you?”

W: “I’m fine. How are you? What’s up?”

Dimples: “Yeah, so, I need some help. Like a favor. If that’s ok. Are you sitting down?”

(mild alarm, especially because he’s not one to ask me for help with anything, especially anything that should require sitting to hear about, but also amusement and curiosity.)

W: “I’m driving. So I’m in a seated position. Do I need to pull over?”

Dimples: “No, no, this isn’t nearly as big a deal as I’m making it out to be. It’s just, I feel like you’re my friend who knows the most about Facebook. Is that a fair assumption?”

W: (possibly laughing) “Yes, that’s a fair statement.”

Dimples: “I did something, I don’t know what. I don’t what happened. But somehow I screwed something up and everything is squares. Like I can’t read anything, it’s all boxes. Like computer code.”

W: (likely laughing a little) “Ok, and it’s only doing this in Facebook, not in anything else?”  (thinking perhaps a reboot is in order)

Dimples: “No, just in Facebook. And I don’t know how to fix it, or what I did. I think I was resting my hand on my mouse and I maybe right clicked and something popped up and kind of all in one I accidentally did something and I don’t know what. And it’s all squares. Like I can see a name, but then everything is just squares.”

W: (almost to Dad’s house) “Ok, it sounds like you changed the language, to something with a different character set. I’m not sure I can tell you how to do it over the phone…let me see if I can use Dad’s computer, otherwise I’ll have to cal you back in a little bit.”

(enter Dad’s house, find him at computer. Dimples, still on phone.)

W: (to Dad) “Hi! Are you in Facebook? Can I look at it for a minute?”

Dad: (moving back from computer, looking at me curiously) “Sure.”

(poke around page, find the language settings)

W: “Ok, on the home page, at the top, next to the word ‘home’…”

Dimples: “I can’t see the word home. All I can see is my name and a bunch of squares.” (mild tone of panic)

W: “Ok. Next to the squares do you see a little triangle like a drop-down menu?”

Dimples: “I just see squares. I see the triangle, but it’s next to a bunch of squares.”

W: (laughing) “Ok, click on the triangle and then pick Account Settings”.

Dimples: “I only see squares. Oh wait. I see (page for his band), then Advertise, then squares.”

W: “Ok, click the thing right below Advertise. Then Language will be the last thing in the list. Click edit off to the right.”

Dimples: “I only see squares.”

(By this point, pretty much every time he says “squares”, I’m laughing. Dad is laughing too, even though he has no idea who I’m talking to or what exactly we’re talking about.)

W: “There should be six things listed. Language is last.”

Dimples: “I can see my name. And my email address. And then squares.”

W: “Ok, keep going. Language is the last one.”

Dimples: “Ok. It’s the last one. Is English an option?”

W: “Yes, it should say English (US). OOH! You know what you should do is pick English (Pirate). That’s hilarious.”

(Dad is cracking up)

Dimples: “Let’s just start with regular English and see if it can work.”

W: “Ok, click save changes.”

Dimples: “Is that in the blue box? HEY! That’s it! You fixed it! I think I changed it to computer language or something. Hey, yeah, so what’s new? How are you?”

________________________________________________________________________________________
This is the beautiful thing about being the unofficial Facebook help desk instead of a doctor or lawyer or something – no consultant-client privilege.  😀

Powerless

Northeast Indiana was pummeled by a huge storm Friday afternoon.  We’ve been having a drought (as have you, probably) and I love thunderstorms, so when the sky started darkening I was rooting for a doozy of a storm. Pounding rain, booming thunder, the works.

Note to self, don’t wish for big storms.

Our storm was such a doozy, it even has a name, one I’ve never heard of before, and I watch Storm Stories. It’s called a Derecho. 500 trees were toppled by the wind gusts, creating havoc and taking power lines down with them.

I was very fortunate. Only one small branch fell off my already dead tree. All around my neighborhood, trees and tree bits littered yards and streets. Even now, almost a week later, a downed tree tangled with wires is blocking the entrance to my street, not to mention someone’s house. Tree shrapnel is everywhere.

This tree is blocking the entrance to my street, with a tangle of wires.

When the storm started up, I was at my desk in my office, and the lights started flickering. Uh oh. Flickering, followed by off. Klondike was in town, but not at the house, so Ruby and his two dogs and I sat in the dark and watched the storm through the front door. I wasn’t concerned about the power being out; it’s happened a couple of times before, and is usually back on in a matter of hours. I had no idea about the magnitude of the Derecho. (Cue ominous music.)

I was one of 119,000 people in the region who lost power.  Um, that’s a lot. It suddenly became painfully obvious that the electricity wouldn’t be back on anytime soon. Crap. Oh, and did I mention it’s been in the upper 90s for the last eon? Initial estimates were that power would be restored BY WEDNESDAY. And there was no way of knowing whose power would be restored first. We all felt so….powerless.

I like to think I’m a somewhat capable person, who has my shit mildly together. One of the quickest ways to prove me wrong is to take away my electricity.

Two people. Three dogs. Very difficult to invite that kind of entourage into someone’s home.

My dad lives in a magical house that never loses power (please don’t let me jinx him) even in the wake of a Derecho or the crippling ice storm of 2008, even when neighbors all around him have no power. It’s kind of amazing. And it’s my haven in times of need. Fortunately, he has a spare fridge, too. We spent a good chunk of time there over the weekend, running home to check on the dogs and to sweat. Oops, I mean sleep.

I took cold showers, followed immediately by breaking into a sweat from the simple act of getting dressed.

I went to get ice to put in the dogs’ water bowls, forgetting that my freezer was empty.

Every. Single. Time that I walked into the bathroom I flipped the light switch. Stunningly, it never worked. After about the third time, I started doing a little song & dance that looked a wee bit like me stomping my feet and shaking my fists, and sounded kind of like me screaming, “The goddamn light switch doesn’t DO anythinggggg!!!!!!!!!”

Neighbors across the alley and next door got generators. The noise was astonishing. It sounded like there was a running lawn mower in my house.

By Sunday evening I was hot and crabby and hot and whiny and hot and tired of not being able to live comfortably in my own home. I was at the end of my rope, and entering the work week as someone who works from home presented a whole new kind of mess. Klondike and his dogs went home, and I set up camp at Hotel Dad.

Through some wonderful fortune, a text from a neighbor late Monday afternoon informed me that my porch lights were ON! I was giddy with electricity. And felt so, so sorry for those who didn’t win the power-up lottery. Even as I write this (Wednesday night), I still have friends in the dark, with no a/c, and it was 100 degrees today. I can’t imagine how frustrated (and hot) they must feel.

It’s amazing, the things we take for granted, and how uncomfortable it is when our daily routines are turned upside down and modern conveniences are suddenly unplugged. But equally amazing were the kindness and generosity of those who were in a position to help. As I mention on a regular basis, I am a Facebook junkie. And while running down my iPhone battery keeping tabs on Facebookland, I saw invitation after invitation from people who had power: beds, freezer space, laundry. It was truly moving, and felt very genuine.

And now that it’s over (for me), I can appreciate the silver linings:

  • My refrigerator is GLEAMING. Before loading it back up, I scrubbed the hell out of it.
  • My basement freezer was defrosted for the first time in two+ years. And I finally threw away those leftover buns from the cookout in 2010.
  • I bonded with my friend and neighbor, Claire, who I really only knew through Facebook. She and her husband Ben kept me in the loop about the power situation after I fled to Hotel Dad. They were the ones who let me know when I could return home to a powered-up homestead. (Thanks, pals!)

That’s it, no more silver linings. Be real, those four days sucked. 😉

Of course, I recognize how easy my everyday life usually is, especially now that I can have perspective in the comfort of my air conditioned home. (I’m obsessed with a/c, aren’t I?) I’m so thankful that I had options, and for my family, friends and neighbors who checked in on me and made sure I wasn’t in need. While I prefer not to have to choose, I will take that kind of love and friendship over power any day. At the end of the day, even if the day was hot and I was crabby, I’m very, very lucky.

Klondike by a tree in my dad’s ‘hood.

The base of that same tree.

Miss Ruby, reveling in the cooler temps at Hotel Dad

 

Oh sweet Jesus….a completely unexpected, bizarro thunderstorm popped up at the end of the day today and wreaked more havoc. More trees down, people without power again. I now have “loaner mayo” in my fridge from a friend who had JUST finished restocking from the first power outage, and she’s without again. I feel for you people, truly. Holler if you need something.

My typewriter is cooler than your typewriter

A few months ago, a friend sent me a link to something she had seen on fab.com that she thought I would like: a vintage typewriter that had been painted in fun, funky colors.

the inspiration

She was right. I. Loved. It. Wanted it. But holy crap, it was something like $400. I make impulse purchases like nobody’s business, but they’re usually in the neighborhood of $30 max. I don’t really have four hundred clams to drop on an interesting knick-knack.

Light bulb. How hard could it be to make something like that? Step one, procure vintage typewriter. Step two, make it look awesome. Shut up, stop laughing. I know I’m not the most crafty or artistic person in the world. But I have friends who are, and surely one of them could tell me what kind of paint to use and maybe help me with the execution.

I mentioned the project to my friend Jon (who for some reason doesn’t get a fake name – probably because he only does good things and doesn’t need protection), one of the people who I thought might be able to make recommendations. First words out of his mouth: “I have a typewriter you can have.” I’m sorry, what? Who just happens to have a spare retro typewriter? Jon, that’s who. He sent a picture to see if it was to my liking, and it was perfect.

Before

Not long after that, before I had a chance to pick it up, he mentioned to me that he’d started painting it. Shut the front door! Once again, more than I bargained for, and not at all what I’d been expecting or angling for – I truly just wanted his artistic input. But knowing full well that it would turn out far better in his hands than in mine, I simply waited.

A few weeks ago I got a text that it was ready. WOOOOO, I couldn’t wait to see it!!!! And holy cats, it’s freakin’ awesome. He went to town, not just on the typewriter itself, but on the case, so much so that I have to display it in its entirety.  (On my antique card catalog, in case you can’t tell.) Here, see for yourself, and envy me. 😉

After

Case, closed

Rear of case – duh.

Big fat shout out of thanks to Jon, for the amazeballs too-cool-to-be-called-a-knick-knack objet d’art.  MWAH!

Save for future reference

That was the subject line of an email I got last week from a friend. The message is below. My friend struggles with bipolar disorder. It’s so hard to watch, because sometimes she is in such despair, and there is nothing I can do to help make it better, make her safer, make it go away. And it’s so unfair that anybody has to suffer like she does, and suffer alone. There is still such a stigma with mental illness, as if you should just be able to shake it off or get over it already. And we don’t talk about it enough. I’m forever encouraging my friend to share her stories more, to educate the people around her, both for the good of the world, and to broaden her support base. Of course, it’s very easy for me to say; I’m not the one having to expose myself.

She sent this message asking me to save it for sometime in the future when she needs to see it again. When things are dark, and hopefully this will help, at least a little. I have encouraged her to start her own blog, anonymously if that’s more comfortable, because she has good stuff to say. In the meantime, I offered mine, so she could feel protected but still share.  Because I think it’s important.

If you think you recognize my friend, maybe you do. Maybe someone around you has similar struggles. But, and perhaps this goes without saying, please don’t say anything to her, based on this post. Cuz, you know, that’s just awkward.

So here’s her message, which I’m saving for later.

__________________________________________________

Almost everything feels good. Or well. Emotionally well, physically well, and maybe even spiritually well, although I don’t favor that word because I think it means something different to everybody.

But the point is, suicide is the furthest thing from my mind right now. And how does that happen?! Can you imagine if I could figure that one out? Why one day (or for several weeks at a time, more accurately) I can think about nothing aside from slicing through my wrists with any available sharp object, and another day, I have future plans and lists of things I want to accomplish in this life? It is the most fucked up thing I’ve ever dealt with or come across in my life that I’ve personally experienced; a hell that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Sometimes, though, when it’s dark in my head, I wish that hell on EVERYONE because I allow myself to wallow in my pity and want it to not be me. I want people to understand, and sometimes it feels like that could only happen if they had my experience.

It is not that way, today, though. Shorts, tank top, sun, 80 degrees, breeze. But it’s not just the weather. No. There is nothing that can touch my mood today. I don’t even consider whether or not I want to live; I just AM living. And it’s great. I accidentally slipped this morning and allowed myself to think, ‘I am happy.’ It’s like if I allow that, then the darkness that is the suicidal desire will remember that it has forgotten about me, and come looking.

I want to tell that profoundly depressed and suicidal me that there ARE times like these, and thus far, these times have ALWAYS cycled back around. When I’m in that bad place, it never seems like it will ever end, and yet it always does. I can never make myself believe that it will end. I want to die more than anything in the world, and that would be such a waste. My kids need me. My friends and family need and love me, and my death would be such a tragic loss.

I don’t even have advice to those who are unlucky enough to have to support me in this. Personally, I wouldn’t know what to say to me when I’m way out there. I just know that I have to figure out a way to not kill myself when the need arises. This life has too much potential.