Liza Faith Casey’s Easter Reflection –2013

Easter is Sunday, March 31, this year.

“Tonight marks a milestone. I’m setting up an Easter/spring display at the antique mall booth I’m opening. This outward display of rebirth represents substantial personal growth in the last year.
Easter basket

Easter basket

Last Easter, I had a relapse. Wellbutrin caused mental confusion; I got lost on a simple, route I know to a friend’s house. Her cell phone directions didn’t compute. I missed most of the dinner, after plans to come early and help set up and to give her a special hostess gift. My friend and her family graciously invited me in late.

I felt foolish! Seeing family members hug toward the party’s end caused a crying spell, so I slipped away from the party. I thought of my own situation — alone in the world with no close living relatives. As an adopted only child from a small family split by divorce, I only considered my mother and grandmother (Mom’s mom) to be close. Both had died years of cancer.
I’d been exposed to less ugly parts of their deaths, which had set off mild post-traumatic feelings and behavior.
Significantly, Mom and her newly found birth family treated me horribly before Mom died; so had the funeral home. Tears rolled down my cheeks as sadness and flashbacks of Mom’s decomposing body on the Hospice gurney flashed through my mind. Disgusted, I ascended the stairs to complete my breakdown alone.
 I was caught en route by my friend’s son.
Distracted and concerned. I hung my head in shame. I’d done more to ruin that party after I resolved this would be a good day. I locked myself in the upstairs bathroom, sunk onto the floor, curled up in a ball, and quietly heaved.
I was angry to be going around this mountain again, but it felt like something I’d experienced before.  I’d have to go through the fire to feel better and carry on.
A few minutes later, I overheard my friend ask the crowd where I was. A stunned, awkward silence followed until my friend’s son said he’d seen me crying and heading upstairs. He didn’t know why, or if I was coming back. My friend wondered what she should do with my dinner. My heart sank. I was so sick of these same old issues interfering with my life — especially on major holidays — that I started to feel suicidal. If I could only be a burden to others, I might as well not live. I remained in the bathroom, plotting pill overdoses to take at home..
Today, I ask myself about:
  • How I went  from despondent to reborn?
  • How I Forgave my Mom (God inspired)
  •  Karol’s patience with me, encouragement to grow, growth she’s shown over 2 years
  • Positive friends who showed me I didn’t want to stay “stuck”st
  •  Realizing I’d hurt others if I suicided
  • Realizing I want to be known and remembered as a person who lives in the present, not the past.
  • How embracing Easter 2013 could help me focus on Easter in a new way:  not as a PTSD trigger, but as a chance to focus on God and all He’s done for me, a chance to witness that, a chance to reflect on personal growth completed and in progress, to look forward to spring and a new chapter in my life

EASTER,  2013

Almost a year — and a few growing pains — later, I’m happily embracing the future. Maybe I’ll never completely heal from the past. However, I’ve released Mom (and others) from the debts they owed me.

That means releasing my right to a fair outcome, and hopes I’d had for certain family relationships. That was easier said than done when that was so unfair.

How did I do it? Not alone.

Easter services

Easter services

First, God made it possible to forgive Mom (see previous blog, “How Forgiveness Can Help You Heal”).

Second, positive, strong-minded friends mentored me in an area where I was weak — resiliency. I’ve always been  hypersensitive. But I came to realize after awhile that I’d struggled for longer than what most others would consider healthy.

My friend,the Easter party host, tried repeatedly to tell me this, but her inspiration came through her example. Two years ago, she served six months in prison failing to go to alcohol treatment,a misdemeanor.. That was unfair.

So was her struggle to regain employment afterward. She’s seen traumatic things in her family, too.  She also survived her best friend’s suicide years ago.

Now, she’s a manager at her day job as a medical transcriptionist,  and an AA group facilitator at the local jail. She’s co-chairing the local VFW silent fundraising auction for the local vets’ home,  so they can grant wishes to terminally ill clients.

Not so long ago, though, we were in a bitter rift. She told me she was sick of me being suicidal every time I got hurt. Eventually, I realized she’d made her point. I *didn’t* want to be known as “suicide Sally” — the big drama queen who bought everyone down.

How can forgiving some unfairness improve your life?

 

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Wordworks Blog Author: Liza Faith Casey

Liza is creating a volunteer replication of The Chocolate Fairy project in North Dakota. She is working to bring honest mental health information to indigenous people in her community. She volunteers with a Mental Health America affiliate and helps spread social messaging for Wellness Wordworks.

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