Motorcyclists hit rough road in every state, regardless of how hard they try to avoid it. The gravel you didn't see around the bend can create a devastating wreck that can lay a rider up for weeks, months and possibly forever. We've all experienced those moments where your stomach drops, heart rate jumps, and the adrenaline floods our body with a near miss. Perhaps it's the cager who didn't see you, the hailstorm you didn't anticipate, the pothole you didn't see until too late, or the squirrel or rabbit who runs out at the last second.
I've learned the importance of looking for the good road, that process of ignoring the dangers and focusing only on the sweet spot of safety. But from time to time we find ourselves on a hellish road with no safe spots; the kind of road where we can't find any salvation, so narrow we can't turn back, and it seems our only options are to keep pushing forward or fly off a cliff.
My personal life is on a rough road right now. It's no secret to most of our readers that my husband Steve and I are on an emotional journey working through the traumas of abusive childhoods, previous bad marriages, and terrible relationship habits that inhibit our ability to be kind to one another. We fight like cats and dogs sometimes, regardless of all the therapy we've worked through. Our therapist Emily (who must be an angel from heaven, honestly!) has taught us both that this is all part of the process, and we are not really fighting each other, but our pasts.
But the road has been very long, it's becoming rather narrow, and due to exhaustion, I've been eyeing that cliff as an option. I've considered taking my V Star and pulling a Jax Teller, ending it all as a semi's hood ornament, but I just can't. Even though I've struggled with suicidal thoughts all of my life as a result of my mental illness, I don't think I could ever follow through. Especially now, I know I couldn't.
Mental illness runs in my family and I am Bipolar. I've been treated and stable for many, many years, one of the few patients who take my meds like clockwork. I realized long ago that I could have no quality of life without being diligent in my healthcare. But sadly, my beautiful daughter is also Bipolar. To make matters worse, she has also been recently diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Over the years Olivia has struggled with suicidal thoughts and attempts as well. I spend a great deal of time in fear that I will get that phone call I dread most and she will have taken her life.
But as I wrote, I don't think I could ever follow through, as much as I want to. I have so many people I would disappoint, a few who may be scarred for a lifetime. What message would it send to my daughter if I killed myself? At this point the pain in the living has not exceeded my endurance.
I think of myself negotiating one of those treacherous roads right now. I hope it will be one of those roads which will end at a warm roadside diner with a bowl of chili, a hot cup of tea and some smooth road thereon out. But for now I'm in the potholes and gravel, cursing and grinding my tires along the rugged path.
Among the people who are in your life everyday are those who struggle with mental illness. Most talk to no one, due to the stigma attached with this often mystified disorder. A few struggle with thoughts of suicide, even though they may never tell anyone, and some of those people will one day take their lives. I hope that you will be encouraged to reach out to those in your own life whom you see in pain and perhaps help them along the way of their rough road. As any rider knows, sometimes when the road is shit, it can be better if you just don't have to travel it alone.