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I feed wild finches and over the last month or so I’ve been watching them die little by little.

                                                                                                                                    

I’ve been grieving over the deaths of my beautiful birds and, though I feed them in trays on the ground, there’s dog shit around the area. Yesterday I realized that it’s probably been the dog shit that’s been killing them. They’ve had to tramp around in dog shit. I wept and screamed about it all the way home from a meeting I was at. When I got home I promptly picked up all their dishes in a tub so as not to spill any of the seed on the ground; brought them all in the house; washed them and put them outside on the other side of the yard where the dogs don’t shit. But it’s pretty much too late for the birds. Most of them are already dead. I’m so so so sad. It really really hurts.

I used to be very suicidal and this sort of thing could have very well been the catalyst to push me over the edge. It put me in that amount of grief. But today I’m no longer that way. I’m no longer on the suicidal merry-go-round. How did I get off that machine? I’m a suicidaholic and I don’t attempt suicide one day at a time… no matter what. With that attitude I’ve been forced to get better – or else suffer in great, great agony from my own torturous thoughts.

Since I didn’t try to take my life over this, here’s what happened next.

I talked to my friend Kathy about it and she said that she had a book on grieving pet loss now which she’s just starting to get into counselling about. She gave me a copy of the book to read and we’re going to get together to work on this. God has my back – as usual.

He’s coming through for me. He loves me and is taking care of my pain.

Thank you Pops.

(and God said)

I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten.

   Joel 2:25

I’ve had it hard for many years of my life but for a while now, actually since a couple of years after I put the suicide down, life’s been good to me for the most part. I have my up’s and down’s as most do but it’s nothing like it used to be.

In the midst of this heart-ache with the birds, today,  this is the sort of thing with my friend Kathy that I pay more attention to. God coming through for me in the form of her help.

I want to talk about the ‘torture’ I mentioned above. Ever since childhood I had developed a very bad habit of thinking. I would nurture all the bad aspects of life and pass over all the good. If it was bad it warranted much attention but if it was good it didn’t warrant even a second’s thought. I had a laser focus for nasty.

This business with the birds is an example of how ‘cherishing the good and passing over the bad’ works for me. I don’t ignore the bad. Grief has to be addressed and dealt with until it is healed. But I don’t cherish it or nurse it like I used to. However, learning this new way of thinking was a long slow journey of baby steps from out of the blackness into the light. One small step of ‘cherishing each good thing like it was a rare coin’ at a time. Today, it’s a habit running so deeply in me that it’s become a part of my personality. I am no longer a suicidaholic. Not in the leastest, tiniest, littlest bit. Today, I can easily live life on this planet, not for just weeks, or months, but for decades – ‘for the long haul’.

The first step in this process of becoming suicide-free was, for me, from God giving me the heave hoe about stopping the suicide attempts. He told me “NO MORE!!!” And I knew in my heart that I was not going to be allowed to die no matter how hard I tried. Death was going to be outside my reach until He decided it was time for me to go. I no longer had any say in the matter. But I now believe that you don’t need an act of God to get to this step. Just like you don’t need an act of God to put down the drink. I think that putting down the weapons of suicide is the exact same thing as putting down the drink. It’s done one moment at a time – abstinently. You make it ‘just not an option’ anymore no matter how much you want to imbibe. And with that attitude you have to grow in spite of yourself. Eventually it will become a habit and you will become comfortable not doing it. To get comfortable you will find you are forced to make ‘attitude adjustments’ (as I’ve described above) in order to gain this comfort-ability. But making these attitude adjustments are as hard to do as changing the course of a battleship with a small rudder. It took me a tremendous amount of time and effort to overcome my family of origin message installed in me from when I first learned how to think.

Life is hard and then you die.

Such a simple message you would think. But it was a killer for me.

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