Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 109 - 7 Month Focus ~ Augh!

I just got the news yesterday, that someone I love, tried to commit suicide. I don't have time or energy to write the whole story, so I will just let you know what this has done to me.

My whole life I have catered to others. I have put down what's important to me and gave my time, effort and money to other people to help make their lives more comfortable ~ make them happy, even though I was not comfortable or happy. I have done this my whole life!

So when my health and fitness journey started, dang it, I decided to think about me ~ for a change. So I've made sure to get plenty of rest, exercise, eat right, journal food, keep things as stress free as possible (chuckle - whatever that is), fill my life with wholesome things and surround myself with healthy, uplifting people. I have never felt more alive than I've felt this past year and a half. I've written before, that I finally want to live the life I've always wanted and now I can do it!

Now the story begins...just before I left for vacation I got a call from my little brother. He has had a difficult life (by the decisions he's made) and is estranged from the family. However, we have an agreement with each other and talk monthly on the phone. He usually has to call, because of his weird lifestyle I can't ever get a hold of him. So when he calls, if I don't hear the call and it goes to voicemail, he leaves a message. I usually don't call back, unless I just missed his call, because I won't reach him. Makes me crazy! Anyway, he called while I was at the gym, so I just left his voice mail - I did not even listen to it. Besides I was really busy trying to get ready for our vacation.

So off I go on our "lovely", ahem, vacation and we get back early and I found 2 more voice mails from my brother. As you have read in my blog, we were really busy the rest of that week, so I did not listen to them. Believe me, I was not just avoiding him, I had other messages too and I was just too busy!

You see I decided that if I need to take care of myself, some things just have to wait and returning calls is one of them. I mean what could go wrong.....

Last Monday, I decided to check out my voice mails....The first one from him, he was very down cast in his speech. The next one it was worse and finally the last one he announced that he was in the hospital.

So I immediately called him back on the number he left and of course he did not pick up and I left a message for him to call me back. I called my mom to see if she knew anything and he had not called her.

Yesterday I get a call from my mom and she said that he had tried to commit suicide and gave me the number when he is. He's in a psych ward at our local hospital.

I finally got a hold of him and he was so vague with his answers with what happened. In the past, with him, I don't usually try to get info from him. He tends to be a little bit of a liar and he always has so much drama in his life, that frankly I usually don't want to know what he's up to. But yesterday, I pressed him to tell me what happened.

He said, and this is what kills me, that he's been so lonely....said he could not get a hold of anybody...nobody cares about him and he feels like he's a burden on his wife and society, so he thought it would be better if he was not alive.

OUCH! Now I know, intellectually, that him talking to me, probably would not have stopped him from doing what he did.....but what if a phone call to me would have changed his mind?

Maybe if I was not so selfish of my time, selfish of protecting me from people with problems, selfish because I did not want to hear his whoa is me speech, selfish selfish selfish....maybe he would not have done this.

Already I'm beating myself up for what I did not do for him. Geez, I go down to the Portland Rescue Mission and love on complete strangers who are homeless and I've been unwilling to even try to see my own brother.....Oh despicable me!

This is so fresh and I'm not sure where or what I should be doing...I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with it all.

I was already talking to God about what is on my plate and seeing what I need to remove so I can get my health and fitness stuff done. Now this happens. Is it time for me to put me aside to help him? Help my family reconcile? Rescue?

Trying to find the balance. How about you?

Keep focused!


  1. This is NOT YOUR FAULT!!! If you'd called your brother back, he would have found something you said objectionable and still done the same thing. He, most likely, has a chemical imbalance in his brain. If so, his thought processes are not like yours and mine. He was looking for someone/something to blame and knew what to say and do to get to you and make you feel bad. Don't fall for it. It is not true!! You are doing what you have to do for self preservation. That is the right thing for you to do. Don't let this stop you. Do what you can to help your brother, but keep your boundaries.

    I know this is hard, and a shock to the system. I've been in your shoes. It is NOT YOUR FAULT any more than it was mine years ago with my own family member. If you still feel like blaming yourself, talk to a professional about it. They can explain it far better than I can.

    You keep doing what you know to be right.

  2. Very sorry to hear this, Joy. I have had suicides (completed and attempted) very close to me, and it's important to not feel guilty or blame yourself. The decision is often made regardless of what friends and family did or did not do. The blessing is that he's alive and will get the treatment he needs to recover and be his best again. Make sure you allow yourself the same. ♥ You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Thanks for following my blog, that is how I found yours. I am so sorry for what you are going through. I do want to echo one thing the others have said, Don't blame yourself, this isn't your fault. Keep praying, talking with God and listening for His loving answers will lead you to the truth. I've found myself in a difficult family situation, one that I have no control over, one that I have to keep handing over to God and praying about day after day. It isn't easy to find a balance between taking care of ourselves and caring for and about others, but with God's help it is possible, that is what I'm striving for. I will pray for you and your brother.

  4. Hi Joy.

    This is very sad and difficult for you.
    Maybe all this happened for a reason. You are a very caring person and maybe your brother needed this as a wake up call. He is responsible for his own life and you can't change his choices.

    But.... I have recently discovered a new to me way of praying. Bind him to the mind and will of God. The idea is well explained in a book called Shattering Your Strongholds by Liberty Savage. It's well worth getting a copy if you've never read it.

    Now go away and ask God to release you from any guilt because you need to be free for yourself as well as others.

    Take care of yourself.

    Love and Blessings

  5. So sorry, Joy! You are very much in my thoughts. Lori said the magic word that you must remember. Boundaries! Yes, we are to love those in our families even when we are unable to do it in our own power. But when love is taken advantage of and boundaries crossed, we must stand firm and not blame ourselves for the actions of others over which we had no control. I know - much easier said than done. Find someone to talk to - BlogWorld is wonderful, but some situations need the added dimension of verbal communication and the power of a hug! Be careful and don't allow the stress to drive you to out of control eating!

  6. VERY sorry to hear this - and wow, I'm much like you...putting the guilt trips on myself. I also am very touched by those in need, and many times they drain me so much, so I have to take time for myself, or only allow shorter times with such persons...however, guilt, guilt, guilt. Ugh.
    This is NOT your fault - just do your best and that has to be enough.
    ((( hugs )))