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When Better Than Now?

Monday, 07 September 2015 00:00  by Yolanda F.

I know I harp on it, but it’s true: Life is short! It comes to mind every day for more than one reason. It’s the answer to my procrastination, my underlying sadness that has at times felt like actual depression and everything that could possibly throw me off course. It’s also a reason to have more fun and eat more ice cream (in moderation)!

Of course, as soon as I see those words in black and white---“life is short”---I think of how technology is changing the world so rapidly that the person who will live to be 150 has already been born, and apparently now, the person who has achieved immortality is also walking the earth, perhaps until the earth itself dies.

Unfortunately, until some evidence of immortality goes viral, I can’t assume I’ll make it to see 150. Call me a pessimist, but I’m more convinced that the time to make changes is now. Even if I am going to live another 104 years, why wait to take better care of my physical and mental health?

This just might be an example of how pessimism can serve you well. Why suffer another minute if help is around the corner and better days (whether or not they can be counted) are ahead?

I think it’s safe to say we all suffer at some point in our lives, but there are instances where suffering is a choice. I remember well such a moment. I was standing in my dark bedroom, trying to be quiet so not to wake my now ex-husband as he slept. I realize now how unlikely that was since he had passed out not only from an alcoholic stupor, but likely from fear and minor blood loss. I had told him I wanted a divorce a week or so earlier and he was suffering in the bargaining stage, promising he would admit his alcoholism by not drinking anymore, which I wasn’t buying.

We had each gone out that night separately. He made it home first with enough time to write me a suicide note and cut both of his wrists before passing out fully clothed on our unmade king-sized bed. Our cat stood on the bed, meowing like she had swallowed a motor, interfering with my thought process. My main thought was, rather than blame myself, this was his choice to deal with his pain by inflicting more pain.

While the wounds on his wrists were superficial, his cry for help was not. He needed a treatment center for substance abuse. The time for him to seek the help he needed was then, in that moment. If he had tended to his issues then, he may be more functional and happier today.

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