Dear Darling Ones,
Would you be surprised to know that 82.9% of the time I type “Darking Ones” on my first attempt? It’s like how when I had a co-worker named Doug I always, always, always typed “Dough” first. In fact, I typed dough when trying to type that sentence. I frequently type my own name as Jodio.
What is that?
It’s me stalling, I guess.
I started writing this letter Tuesday. As I was about to explain why I was stalling (which seems extra stupid now) my phone rang and as was foretold by ye old sage The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, my life got flipped turned upside down.
And now I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there and I’ll tell you how . . . well I haven’t become anything and I’m not even sure how much I can tell. This is gonna be a little cryptobloggy, which is my least favorite genre of blogging.
For so much of this blog’s 22-year history I subscribed to the Colson Whitehead notion of “if they wanted you to write nice things about them, they should have treated you better.” I believe the idea originated with Anne Lamott, but I read Bird By Bird and I was not a fan. Also, I heard Colson Whitehead say this with his own mouth using my own ears when I saw him read 109 years ago at the Roseville Library.
Here is the thing: someone I love very much, someone whose name would be familiar to regular readers of I Will Dare dot com, fell into a deep dark pit and thought the only way out through a handful of pills and eternal sleep.
Thanks to Ellen Willis, the stars above, teeny tiny powdered sugar donuts, or whatever you hold holy, they realized the error of their ways, and got some help before any physical damage was done. After a few days at a hospital, they’re back home putting the pieces back together.
Fuck, Darling Ones.
Now you can see my conundrum, right? My loved one has the right to privacy. It is not my story to tell. And yet. And yet. And yet, writing is how I process. Shouting into the ether is how I make sense of the things that happen to me, and this is a thing that happened to me.
Way back in the olden days the TTHM (tall, tall handsome man) hated that I wrote about him. He hated seeing himself through my eyes and he sometimes didn’t think my portrayal of him was fair. Because I was younger and more thoughtles, I was all, “suck it up, ya big baby, this my website, my life, I can do what I want.”
Bleh. I hate reliving my more assholey moments.
I was on the phone with my friend EM Tuesday evening when this news broke into my life. EN has battled shitty mental health and suicidal thoughts her whole life and is unendingly generous with her patience and knowledge. She listened as I reacted in real time, yelling and sobbing and whispering my fears, my anger, my concern, my sadness, my guilt.
“Wow,” she said. “I don’t want to make this about me, but seeing this from the other side is enlightening.” She wasn’t expecting that immediate storm of emotion from someone who very nearly lost someone to suicide.
Oh, Darling Ones, this week has sure done a number on my heart.
Hope you are well,