Keeping Promises

When I started blogging in 2011, I splattered my illness onto the screen without much of a filter.  It was a relief to tell my story, to have a place to spew.  But, it didn’t take long to realize that approach wasn’t helpful to anyone who might be reading.  So, I made some rules:  I’d tell the truth (in as much as I knew it) and I’d wait until I got the Lesson until I posted about my latest wrestling match with bipolar disorder.

These rules served me well.  They kept me from reacting out of the capricious mood swings and distorted thinking that take my mind hostage.  The rules gave me some integrity.

I’m in such a bad place right now, I don’t know if I’m breaking my rules or not.  History tells me this suicidal-level of depression will shift, so I should wait before I write something that could make someone else feel bad.  But, there’s that other rule about telling the truth.  I started posting my Floating a Little series to be helpful, to be like Pluto, sending out a little Light or a chuckle, even if I can’t feel it.  The one I posted today felt like such a lie, even though I know that thought is the illness being in control.

I know the thing to do is to walk away from the blog until something fundamental in my brain chemistry shifts.  AND I need to reach out, to tell people who have said they care about me that I am not functioning well.  Am I breaking all my rules or taking care of myself?  I think the answer is YES.

One promise, one rule, I will never break is the one I made to Henry and Emmett after my suicide attempt in 2009.  I will never take my own life while one of them lives.  Emmett may be somewhere around 17 years old, but he’s healthy, and strong, and plans to bug me for a good long while.  He keeps me here when I want to check out.  He pulls me back from “the Raggedy Edge,” as Malcolm Reynolds would say.  I may not want to live anymore, but I do for him.

The longer I keep my promise to him, the more likely a shift will come.  I can feel a seed of truth there, and that’s shiny enough for now.

22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Littlesundog
    Apr 16, 2020 @ 12:13:22

    Thank goodness for Emmett’s staying strength. Sometimes all we have are little connections that keep us afloat. There is a lot going on right now and I feel it, helpless and yet hopeful of something. Something good that will prevail. Emmett IS enough. Let him be the lamp of courage and strength to get you through. He adores you… and you are worth all of the love and adoration in the Universe! I know I think so.


  2. Carina Karlsson
    Apr 16, 2020 @ 14:09:08

    I am relieved that you are finding a way to make it through your difficult days.


  3. Kiki
    Apr 16, 2020 @ 14:45:17

    Dear Sandy, I can only underline word by word of above comment. I hear you, I feel for you and there are NO BETTER therapies than pets, be it cats, dogs, even tiny ones like birds, or large ones such as horses …..
    I swear that our dachsie was such a healer. We were deeply unhappy as a family, our dog watched over every one of us and gave us comfort when we needed it most. Emmett will do the same for you. You are there for each other.
    I know a few bits about your illness, I also know literally nothing …. nobody can slip into your skin to feel how and what you feel. My shock was to not feel that your wild bursts of brilliant cards was a cry for (what?) help…. I thought you had a terrific wave of creativity and that you surely must feel great to be able to do that. Instead…. yeah! Sandy, do whatever your inner self tells you to do, continue to write, to create, to stay or pull away from your blog, come back if and when you feel like, you don’t need any additional pressure. I and many others love you and I keep you in the hollow of my hand.


    • Sandy Sue
      Apr 16, 2020 @ 15:18:15

      This is, truly, the kindest, most insightful response I’ve ever received.


      • Kiki
        Apr 17, 2020 @ 03:34:00

        If it only adds one drop of help, I shall be glad. Give E a cuddle and tell him to return it to you, with love, from me.

      • Sandy Sue
        Apr 17, 2020 @ 08:44:22

        Thanks, Kiki. Emmett is not the cuddly sort. Like the Queen, he must speak first and grant permission. I am but a servant in his palace.

      • Kiki
        Apr 17, 2020 @ 14:46:24

        I cd have told you that! I am the only dog person in the family. We are four children and my 3 siblings all have (or had) cats. The middle sis has FOUR… and that’s another reason for my liking of dogs! I want a friend not a Queen – I can do that all on my own 😉 😉

      • Sandy Sue
        Apr 18, 2020 @ 19:00:27

        Dog-people and Cat-people aren’t mutually exclusive, but each animal has a completely different point of view.

      • Kiki
        Apr 19, 2020 @ 02:10:16

        Oh I know that and I totally agree, had both….. but my 💚 of 💞💕s always goes for 🐶🐕. To me, the interesting fact is that your pets say so much about you, their owner. I see that very clearly in my family and friends ‘ circumstances. THAT makes it so fascinating. I love all animals anyway.

      • Sandy Sue
        Apr 19, 2020 @ 11:25:59

        Okay. Just as long as you know you’re talking to a Cat Lady.

      • Kiki
        Apr 19, 2020 @ 12:41:57

        😉 ….hence my diplomatic wording! 😉

      • Sandy Sue
        Apr 20, 2020 @ 08:25:23


  4. jinjerstanton
    Apr 16, 2020 @ 17:22:39

    Holding you in my heart. Wishing there were something real I could do to help.


  5. Writer Lori
    Apr 17, 2020 @ 05:20:43

    I echo Kiki’s sentiments, Sandy, though not nearly as eloquently. As others have said, follow your heart. Rules were made to be broken, so if sharing here alleviates your pain or pushes back the darkness, please do so at will. Many hands make light work, and I am confident that there are many in your circle who are happy to bear witness and lend support from afar as you travel through this valley. And I do believe it is a valley you can traverse. Your light shines so brightly…your creativity leaves me awestruck. In fact, I had my box of Penny Positives out earlier this week, shuffling through them and reading, smiling and pondering. I have shared a handful with friends (including Kiki)—spreading your light further—and have kept other favorites for myself.

    And hold Emmett tight. He loves you and he needs you. Our pets are a ballast in the storm. I say this as I sit between two snoring pups, snuggled up against Mom and happy that I am spending another day with them. They keep it real for me. A little of sun, a bit of exercise, food to eat and a place to lay my head each night. They remind me that if I focus on these blessings, everything else can be managed.

    Hang in there. Many friends surround you…💕


    • Sandy Sue
      Apr 17, 2020 @ 08:40:31

      Thanks, Lori. Emmett will not abide being held—tight or otherwise. He will allow me to pet him a bit only when he is hiding under his purple throw—a magical tent that makes him invisible.


  6. pegoleg
    Apr 19, 2020 @ 20:15:46

    Hi Sandy. It’s been a good long while since we’ve connected, and the normal thing would be to ask how you’re doing, but that seems superfluous after this post. I’m sorry, so sorry that you are going through this tough time. You are such a talented, giving person. I’m glad your beloved pets provide an anchor because the world would be a bleaker place without you. I wish you peace.


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