There are a lot of bridges in my area. I live on one side of the Hudson River in upstate New York. And there are a lot of bridges that connect the west side with the east side. Why am I telling you about all the bridges I encounter in my area? It’s because at least once per week, that anyone knows about, at least one person commits suicide. Twice, my husband and I had the unfortunate incident of witnessing two of those suicides. It has become so common up here that no one even notices anymore how many people jump to their death each and every week.
If you’re looking for some sort of sympathy from me or the path to mental wellness, this isn’t the place. I first attempted to commit suicide when I was only ten years old. How bad, I often ask myself, was my life at ten years old that I would have wanted to commit suicide? And yet I did. I took a bottle of aspirins and left my mother a suicide note attached to the upper top of a bunk bed I shared with my sister.
I’m seventy (70) years old now and I still think about suicide. Especially now in these hard times. And yet I am still here. There isn’t a time when I am sitting in the car, my husband is driving and we are going over one of the many bridges here, when I don’t grab onto my car seat tightly for fear of me quickly exiting the car and jumping off the bridge. I never do it. I would never do it because giving up my life for any of these world problems we human beings go through isn’t worth the shit for me to give up my life for.
Life is hard. It was always hard. And it’s going to get much harder than what we ever experienced. And you know what? We’re going to make it, no matter what. And you know why? Because nothing is more important than staying alive and experiencing all that life has to throw at us. Good or bad. We’ve been given this gift of life and we might as well ride it out. Naturally. Because when you get right down to it, nothing is really important. Nothing except to keep on living. Keep on experiencing. Enjoy the ride.
I’ve been rich. And I’ve been poor. There were times I didn’t know how I was going to feed my two children let alone myself. And yet, some food always magically appeared and we all got through another day. I’ve been well and I’ve been sick. I was once diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and the doctor told me I only had five years to live. That was back in 1985. See how wrong that doctor was? Life is what we believe it to be in our own heads. I didn’t think I had that autoimmune disease and one year later another doctor told me I was right. I didn’t have that autoimmune disease.
I’ve had a business. I’ve lost a business. I’ve been married. I’ve been divorced. I had money. I’ve had everything confiscated and seized. I had a loyal partner. I’ve had a cheating partner. I’ve had family members die on me. I lost my mother when I was 28 years old and 3 months pregnant. I cried my whole way through my pregnancy. My mom finally passed away when my daughter was only 2 months old. To this day I still can not find that one and only photo I took of my mom holding my daughter. It’s been 42 years since my mother left me and I still cry about her to this day.
I’ve been fired from jobs. I’ve been sued about jobs. I’ve been bankrupted twice so far in my lifetime. I used to think that financial problems were the worst of the lot but in retrospect, they’re not. Nothing that happens to me in this world is too depressing for me anymore because I came to realize one thing. The meaning of life was uttered to me by my divorce attorney back in 1982. He leaned over his desk and whispered in to my ears “Everything is bull shit” and it was and it is and it always will be. Everything is bullshit.
I’m not a shrink. I’m not qualified to give advice. Truthfully, now at 70 I realize that I am not much of anything. I used to be a ‘know it all’. Now? I’m a ‘know nothing’. These are unprecedented times for me because I never experienced anything like this before. It seems that one calamity keeps flowing after each calamity. For me, there seems to be no end. Life today, for me, is overwhelming. I literally, for the first time in my life, do NOT know what to do. Instead, I just take one day at a time and try as best as I might just to get through the day. Period. There’s no need for me to know anything political or anything about combating inflation or investing to stay afloat or whatever. I think if I hear one more word about the coronavirus or its deviant, I will scream!
I don’t have any super powers to combat life as it’s happening right now. I only have control over myself and my own little world. And the spirits that guide me are confiding in me and telling me to turn off the social media, plant my eyes straight ahead and just take each day as it unfolds. Don’t look back. And certainly don’t look ahead. No one knows what our futures will be so why worry or even think about it? Enjoy the sunrise and enjoy the sunset. That’s about all I can expect from myself nowadays.
It was a cold and freezing day in February 2000 when I sat outside my home in The Hamptons, Long Island, New York on the frigid curb of the sidewalk when I came to the realization that I fucked up my life yet once again. Heavily in debt, creditors seizing every single asset I had (car, boat, checking and savings accounts) and starting March 1st foreclosure proceedings were going to start against me. The only thing I could remember was a bible passage I had once read during one of my childhood religion lessons. It was about a rich young and distraught man who asked Jesus which was the path to heaven? Follow only the 10 Commandments?
The Rich Young Man
…20“All these I have kept,” said the young man. “What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” 22When the young man heard this, he went away in sorrow, because he had great wealth.…
And so on that blistery cold day in February, I gave up ALL my earthly possessions and decided to follow Jesus instead. Once I gave my life over to God, I did indeed lose all my worldly possessions at that time but God remade me. From the ground up. He restored my life in the manner HE wanted to restore my life. I’ll never be rich again but I have never wanted from anything ever again. I’m grateful for each and everything I have on this earth right now. When I pass, I can’t take it with me so the message is life is meant to be lived, experienced and enjoyed in both sorrow and happiness. Nothing really matters because in the end, it’s all just been bullshit anyway. I don’t want to write anymore. In truth, I have nothing to say. What can one say in such unprecedented times? All I can do right now is express myself in photos. You can catch them on my Instagram page (CiphersFromCindi). Other than that, I am mute. I truly have nothing to say or share. If you are experiencing the hardness of life, all I can say is to do what I did back on that fateful February afternoon. Give up your earthly possessions for they are meaningless. Ask God to please help you and show you the way and then quietly listen. God would never ask you to end your life because He has so much more in store for you. Some will be good. Some will be bad. But if you look closely you will see the blessings and experience the gratitude. Will life get easier? Maybe but not so fast. Will life get harder? Possibly but you’ll be able to meet those demands because now you will feel the strength of God beside you.
I’m no expert. I can only share with you my own experiences. I did, twice in my life, seek out professional help. They are a blessing. They were very, very helpful. If suicide thoughts have been entering your mind, I implore you to contact the National Suicide Prevention hot line (click here for their website). If you just need for someone to listen, you can always drop me an email at: PhotosByCindi (at) yahoo (dot) com. I look at my emails once or twice a day.