In Case I Wanna Die….

            Things are better now, so I don’t keep one anymore.  Don’t feel the need for it these days.  But awhile back, it was a life-saver, literally.  I called it my “in-case-I-wanna-die” bag.

            I was going through some hard times, in deep therapy, not sure if anything good would ever happen to me again.  My therapist would end a session saying, “Hang on, kiddo,” and “Do something nice for yourself this week.”  Sometimes, when I was feeling suicidal, it took all my effort just to sit there on the bedroom floor and not do anything self-destructive.  So to distract myself, I created a special activity bag.  It kept me occupied until the black mood passed.

            I went through a couple different pretty gift bags over a couple of years.  I filled them up with favorite things – ink pens, journals, favorite perfumes, photos of people and animals I loved, postcards from museums I’d visited, books that made me smile again, like “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and “The Book of Weird”.  It was evidence I compiled that there had been some good days in my life, even if I wasn’t having a good day right then.  Remembering happier times helped me to hang on.  I’d sniff the Silver Rose scent and be reminded of a lovely bed and breakfast stay the year before, see the pictures of my kids, that I did not want to have to find me if I “did something drastic”, and be scarred for life…I’d re-read sweet thoughts in pretty cards friends had given me.  Often it was just empty journal pages I could bleed ink all over until the pressure subsided.

            I’ve had smaller versions since.  I used to carry a medicine bag, a petite version of my “In-case-I-wanna-die” bag.  It held an acorn from the ancient oak in my grandma’s yard, a symbol of her strength and perseverance, an ID badge from visiting the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, a lock of my partner’s hair, a souvenir coin my son and I made years ago, a sugar cube from Les Deux Magots in Paris…These things symbolized sources of power and strength for me…

            Like a toddler who relinquishes her security blanket strip by strip, I am down to carrying just one stone with me.  It is painted with my spirit animal, Coyote.  I am looking within and finding my own strength, and taking good care of myself.

 

kerry vincent (c) 2008

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2 Responses to “In Case I Wanna Die….”

  1. Jill Says:

    Oh superb. Even in your darkest times you had had the foresight to help yourself survive – oooh that wonderful instinct – good woman 🙂

  2. Thalia Says:

    thank you for sharing this. (I just came across the post.) Powerful self-preservation skills and courage you displayed then, leading you to appreciate the strength within yourself which you manifest repeatedly now. Congratulations on your journey!

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