A Strong-Willed Child™ Pt 2


Somewhere deep in the farthest reaches of the Universe where no Earth made telescope will ever reach there is a room called:

Heaven™.

This is where all the greatest VIP’s go after they die.

Even the ones that may have sinned a little too much but God Almighty™ gave ’em a pass because they liven the party. Looking at you, Copernicus!

Einstein in the corner over there talking with DaVinci and my 1st Grade teacher and Prince?

And this party is rockin’!

So says Dick Clark standing right over by the PA system holding the mic.

The house band? Well, the heavenly choir of angels and half the members of Skynryd and Buddy Holly and Syd Barrett and Frank Zappa… And Whitney and Sinead and Dolores on vocals!

The music cranks up. It’s literally the greatest concert every single moment for eternity… somebody snuck some frankincense in…

Is that MLK Jr flirting with Queen Victoria?

This is the ultimate party. And there in the middle of it all The Perpetual Guest of Honor™ sitting on the Throne… God Almighty™ himself holding court.

Jesus is nowhere in sight– rumor is buzzing that he’s gone ahead to the after-after party to set up an even swankier shindig for everybody. Somebody said Elvis and Nefertiti are gonna be taking turns deejaying!

Point being… this is the most epic of afterlifes possible.

All the souls are having so much fun– did you know Heaven™ has lasers you can eat?!?

Everyone is so busy at the party that never ends… that nobody is noticing a tiny blinking light on the MegaSwitchBoard™.

Nobody is paying attention to the MegaSwitchBoard™. No need. All the prayers got answered early today, the angels clocked out, and God is resting!

Leave the poor entity alone…

And it’s hard to focus anyway what with all the TastyLasers™ zinging and zapping around and being licorice flavored and the bright colors… you can’t fault anyone for not seeing that one tiny blinking light.

I don’t think you humans fully fucking appreciate just how fucking gigantic the gigantic fucking MegaSwitchBoard™ is. There is a little LED light for every. single. soul. that has ever existed or will ever exist along with all the ones currently existing. Trillions of little blinking lights. And for once the entire board had every issue handled.

God Almighty™ Reaganed like a bad ass! (Outdated 30 Rock jokes are still trendy in Heaven)

But somehow…. nobody noticed that waaaaaaaaay over there on Row 253846436 if you look about 5/8ths of the way down…. you can barely see it from ground level because the angels smoked too much frankincense and left the fog machine on and obscured half the place.

But there it is… that little light blinking “incoming message”.

It stops.

“WELL MAYBE IF YOUR BROTHER HADN’T SHOT ME I WOULD HAVE GONE TO SSHEE MORE OF YOUR PLAYSSH” A drunk Abe Lincoln has been having this same argument with Edwin Booth: America’s Greatest Actor of that Era™ for a century now. “HOW MUCH MORE PRESSSHTIGE DID YOU NEED?!?”

“Guys, guys… let’s not argue… it’s a party!!” Alexander The Great says spilling a fine vintage all over Edwin’s hand-tailored pants.

“You aren’t even shupposhed to be here, Alex!! You’re sshuppossed to be on HellLevel15™” Abe slurs…

“Meh… I- I go where I want, ya know… you think boundaries are gonna stop me? Psshhh” The Great™ splashes half the goblet on Abe breathing waaay too heavily in his face.

“I could have played an extraordinary Alexander The Great. The nuance… the pathos…” Edwin tries to flatter.

On Row 253846436

5/8ths of the way down….

a little red light starts blinking again.

“Alright well while our next act gets ready– who’s up? The Johns? Johann Sebastian Bach and John Lennon and John Philip Sousa and Pope John Paul II on tambourine? Get plugged in guys… Well, while they get set up let’s have Mark Twain come up and give us a quick bit of literary wit on the occasion!! Give him a hand!!”

“Only if someone passes the frankincense!… Haven’t hit it yet. Puff puff pass motherfucker!” Twain is not to be trifled with.

“Sorry…my bad” Tupac passes the glow to the man in the white suit.

The light stops blinking again.

It starts again.

Even if any celestial custodian were paying attention it wouldn’t be unusual to suspect that perhaps the little blinking light on Row 253846436 was malfunctioning the way it keeps coming on and going off…

It makes sense that nobody sees it.

**Blink**

**Blink**

**Blink**

**Blink**

**Blink**

“Why won’t you ever talk to me?!?”

A sobbing 17 year old Dave sputters at the ceiling.

“You’re supposed to have plans for me!! How am I supposed to ever know what that means if you never answer me? You never show up!!”

It is the middle of the night. The Homecoming Dance ended hours ago. Most everyone has gone home and gone to sleep.

But in a small garage converted into a bedroom in Claremont, California in November 1994… a light burns into the night.

A 17 year old Wrongly Medicated™ mental health patient is pacing in circles alternating between sobbing fits of soul-crushing depression and fist-shaking-frothing-at-the-mouth rage at the silence that continues to greet his petitions to God Almighty™.

“I can’t do this anymore!”

“I HAVE DONE EVERYTHING THEY TOLD ME TO DO! I WENT TO EVERY DOCTOR AND THERAPIST AND I PRAYED EVERY PRAYER AND I STUDIED YOUR BOOK AND EVERYTHING KEEPS. GETTING. WORSE!!!”

“WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME?!? WHY WON’T YOU FIX ME?!? I GAVE THIS PROBLEM TO YOU A THOUSAND TIMES. TAKE IT!! I DON’T WANT IT!! I DON’T WANT CIGARETTES AND BLEEDING ARMS!! TAKE IT!!”

God Almighty™ remains silent.

“They tell me God doesn’t make mistakes well ya coulda fooled me because my entire existence seems to be one big colossal fucking mistake!!”

The last hours of Dave Griffin’s life have been a blur of confusion.

At this time of my life I am completely sober. Don’t drink. Have smoked weed maybe twice and didn’t like it. My only vice is cigarettes. Otherwise, I’m not inebriated on any level. Stone cold sober.

BUT. THE. MEDS.

The Wrong Medications™ have me completely destabilized after experiencing the Year From Hell™.

A thing we will learn after this night that we weren’t prepared for is that anniversary dates can be trigger points for people suffering from Major Depressive Disorder. These are inflection points where people examine their lives. Birthdays. Christmases. Wedding Anniversaries. Any life date that has significance is an occasion where people take stock of their lives.

Suicide is EXTREMELY COMMON during the holidays. We have seasonal light issues. We have family dynamics. Very, very, very common time for suicide attempts.

And we are hovering right on the One Year Anniversary of Dave’s First Suicide Attempt™.

And it’s the holidays.

And there are seasonal light issues.

AND. FAMILY. DYNAMICS.

And nobody in my world is prepared for this.

We had no idea that anniversary dates were a thing.

But, on this anniversary date L’Il DaveyBoy™ is very much taking stock of the last year of his life. The last year of brutal life destruction where every square inch of my LifeMirror™ was shattered and destroyed.

My body hurts. My brain is destroyed at this point. I’m self mutilating. The failures and losses are literally piling up by the day… the only good thing that happened all year was getting to record a demo with Corey Burton and now it just sits there taunting me. This useless tape….

I’m pacing until exhaustion. When exhausted I lay against my sofabed to catch my breath… the whole time in endless prayer with GodAlmighty™… and getting the busy signal.

A thing I really want to make clear here is that I had not rejected my faith at this point. I think I always struggled with faith… this thing that the rest of you seem so convinced of, I just never– it never fully clicked for me ever. But dammit I tried.

It was not for lack of not wanting to believe.

I asked Jesus into my heart 10,000 times.

If you ask me today if I wish God existed I would say yes without hesitation.

I don’t want God Almighty™ to not be there.

Maybe he talks to you…

But me?

“WHY WON’T YOU SEND ME SOME SIGN THAT YOU HEAR ME?!?”

God Almighty™ remains silent.

“YOU SHOWED UP FOR DOUBTING THOMAS!!!

WHY NOT ME?!?”

God Almighty™ remains silent.

“Please give me a reason not to do this.”

God Almighty™ remains silent

“I can’t fight this fight any more… and no help is coming, is it?”

Nobody notices the red light blinking.

“We have cinnamon and grape and horchata flavored lasers!!” Marie Antoinette likes to wear the candy stripers outfit for the risque nature of it more than she actually enjoys hocking TastyLasers™

Nobody notices the red blinking light.

“Don’t I matter to you? Why would you pick me to be on your radio show if I didn’t matter to you? Wasn’t that worth anything? Why did you have me do this for 7 years if I didn’t matter to you?

“I don’t want to be depressed and sad anymore. I don’t want to self harm. I don’t want to hate myself anymore. I can’t stop smoking… I can’t stay in school.”

Dave’sUnhealthyRumination™ spirals ever downward.

God Almighty™ remains silent.

“I don’t want to go to hell…”

A Terrified Sobbing™ starts again.

“But this life is not for me. A whole year later…. I tried to get better, God, I tried as hard as I could! And everything just got worse and worse and worse.

“I can’t stop sinning. I don’t know how. I wish you would take these evil thoughts from me. I beg you to and you don’t.

“I don’t want to rebel and be a BadKid™. I USED TO BE A GoodKid! WTF HAPPENED?!? And why won’t you let me know you’re there and that everything will be okay?!?”

God Almighty™ remains silent.

“All my life I hear about Jesus looks for LostLambs™ and I don’t think you can get anymore lost than I am…

“ARE YOU THERE JESUS? ARE YOU GOING TO COME LOOKING FOR ME?!?

“Or are you just like everyone else who notices I’m gone and won’t bother coming to find me?”

Jesus remains silent, too.

“I’m being serious here!! I’m really gonna do this!! Give me any sign– any at all– literally anything that would tell me you’re here and that you love me and you don’t want me to die!!”

17 year old Dave prays to the ceiling beams covered in dots of glow-in-the-dark paint to mimic the Milky Way galaxy when you shut the lights off.

God Almighty remains silent™

“Okay… I’m- I’m giving you 10 minutes to show up!! If you don’t show up…”

**Tick**

**Tick**

**Tick**

**Tick**

**Tick**

**Blink**

**Blink**

**Blink**

**Blink**

**Blink**

God Almighty™ was given multiple 10 minute opportunities to show up.

God Almighty™

remained

silent.

I truly believe if so much as a branch tapped my window I would have considered it a sign from God.

Dude couldn’t be bothered to even push some wind my way.

“If somebody shows you who they are, believe them the first time!”

Maya Angelou says while feasting on a lime TastyLaser™

At some point 17 year-old Dave Griffin on the Wrong Medication™ with

red elbow pits

cigarette burns

and Bleeding Junk™

realizes that God Almighty™ ain’t coming.

“How am I supposed to care about myself if even God doesn’t care about me?”

“Well… that’s it.

I’m done chasing it.”

A. decision. has. been. made.

All of my suicide attempts have been spur-of-the-moment, crisis-driven, impulsive suicide actions.

And what I mean by that is that even though I may have suicidal ideation… I was never the type to fantasize about all the dramatic ways I wanted to die, nor did I ever write many suicide notes in the moment, or prepare at length in any coherent manner. My suicides were not well-thought out methodical processes which should give you an indication of how not-in-my-right-mind I am as I think you can tell by the work here I’m a rather methodical deliberate person.

Not when I’m suicidal. I am a ChaosMonkey™ in those moments.

I have had plan making thoughts and rumination… usually in the lead up to these super dark moments.

I have been depressed enough to write suicide notes in a crisis moment, but never attempted on those nights. Somehow the writing probably usually soothed me… but the attempts I’ve followed through on, all of them were unexpected and unplanned and shocked me. Nobody has ever been able to tell when or where it will set off– although you can tell when I get super low… it’s not a mystery.

But everyone sorta gets acclimated to how low Dave feels and so there’s no… discernible ramp up in a way that you might think you would recognize.

I did not wake up on any day that I have attempted suicide thinking that this is the last day I will be alive.

I have been suicidal for super long periods of my life… I’m currently in a five year stretch as I write this, for example. So it’s sadly normal for me to just be constantly suicidal for long stretches but I don’t actively try or seek it out. I just feel like shit most of the time and each day ticks on by.

And so it’s these rare moments of disruption where suddenly this caged beast gets loose and wreaks havoc in my world. Sometimes medications can help with that low level longterm suicidal feelings… other times it’s a matter of circumstances that I’m trapped in. ALL my suicide attempts were accompanied by a reality of being trapped in a situation that was killing me that I can’t get out of. If I had the autonomy to change my situation I probably would not have these moments occur– this is a working theory not yet proven in my life.

I hope some day to have the chance to build a life I’m not trapped in and test to see if my Depression and suicidal ideation is affected. I suspect it might be.

And a point I really want to drive home in this piece is how chaotic and unclear my thinking process is here.

This is not vanity.

This is not some dramatic teen angst thang where I need some attention and a butterscotch sundae and it’s all better.

This is a severe mental illness meltdown due to a misdiagnosis and a Wrong Medication™ regimen coupled with being raised in a religious environment that does. not. help. me. no. matter. how. much. you. tell. me. God. Almighty. ™. helped. You.

Another point I would like to make here… due to the spontaneous nature of my suicide attempts it is critical for me to point out a very important factor in being the reason I am alive to write these words.

I am alive today because my parents did not keep guns in the home.

If I grew up in a home with guns and had easy access to them I would have blown my brains out so many times it’s not funny.

I say that it’s usually 360 days a year I’m fine… but 5 days a year…

if i have easy access to a weapon like a gun…

I would use it on myself.

I am alive today because my parents did not keep guns in the home.

Suicide is the leading cause of gun deaths in this country.

As a mental health patient it’s a reason I am profoundly anti-gun.

Which really sucks in this gun-obsessed ChristianNation™ where FuckingEvangelicals™ DON’T beat their swords into plowshares.

How do mental health patients who really should not have guns, protect themselves against all you “sane people” who DO have guns?

Everybody’s sane until the moment they are not.

You all think this story can’t happen to you– this particular story is a little unique– but believe me Major Depressive Disorder can hit your life and it can kill you just as dead as any other life-threatening illness.

The difference between any other deadly illness and mental illness is that at least your community will care about you while you are sick and our community dies homeless and alone. Or in prison. While being blamed for being sick and told we are demon possessed sinners.

Maybe that’s why God Almighty™ remains silent.

Now the reason I bring all of this up is because it’s at this moment that Wrongly Medicated™ 17 year old Dave is suddenly realizing that even though it’s time to die… I don’t really have a plan.

And there’s no guns in my house.

And my parents have hidden all the kitchen knives– things got so nerve-wracking in my family for years that the Chef’s Knife block of knives would be hidden so I couldn’t use them to kill myself.

Which was unnecessary because I was not a cutter. And even if the knives had been there…. I’m OCD. I don’t like a mess. Even if I’m dead.

And it’s 3:00 AM and there’s no traffic to run into…

And hanging and electrocution seem cumbersome and like some preparatory effort and bandwidth I don’t have at this moment in time would be necessary to pull those techniques off…

What is available to me to end my life?

And at some point Wrongly Medicated™ Dave Griffin’s MolassesBrain™ realizes that I’M ON A SHITLOAD OF PILLS.

There are hundreds of pills in the house– I think we had recently reloaded some prescriptions which may also have signified a recent med dosage change which may have kicked this whole event off. I remember I knew the medication was in a brown paper bag under my Religious Parent™’s sink.

And I recall the bottles were rather full.

Well that’s it.

Sneak into the house while everyone’s sleeping. Quietly tip-toe to the master bathroom which had a door that could be accessed without waking the slumbering parental units… and quietly open the cabinet where the paper bag full of NotSoTastyMeds™ resides.

And this is how I found myself in the bathroom of my parents in the middle of the night wondering how to get that crinkly paper bag out without waking my Religious Parent™ who is a light sleeper and wakes at the slightest sound– probably nerves have been frazzled this year wondering what crazy shit L’il DaveyBoy™ is gonna do next would make it hard to sleep. Sorry family.

How do I get that bag without making a sound?

I can’t. The moment I grab that bag it’s gonna crinkle and the pills will rattle and the whole thing is gonna be a cacophony certain to wake up Someone Who Will Stop Me™

Sometimes… in my moments of greatest stress and strain, is when my greatest genius arrives.

I can’t prevent the sound of the bag…

But maybe I can mask the sound with an even louder sound that sounds normal!

What can I find in this bathroom that is a normal loud sound at 3:00 AM?

Flushing toilets in the middle of the night aren’t unusual in this house.

And a flushing toilet will be loud enough and buy me enough time to get the CrinklyBag™ and I can be back in my GarageRoom™ before the toilet stops running.

This is fucking brilliant!

There’s. no. way. this. brilliant. idea. backfires. on. me!!

I flush the toilet and sprint three steps to the open cabinet and grab the paper CrinklyBag™ full of medicine bottles and exit the master bathroom and sneak out the front door and arrive back in my GarageRoom™ with no one the wiser.

God Almighty™ remains silent.

He could have stopped me at any time if he wanted to.

He’s literally God Almighty™.

For those of you who will pin this entire incident on me… I asked for help and received none. Many, many, many, many times.

And there will be those who will say, “You shouldn’t have tested God. You Fucked Around and Found Out.”

And others may say, “Don’t blame God for what is clearly your personal responsibility and sinful nature in action and bad life choices.”

Okay. I’ll grant you those points… but here’s mine…

Good God Almighty™– the god you believe in and that I believed in– knew that 17 year old Dave Griffin who played Jimmy Barclay on God’s favorite kid’s radio show that affected millions of lives around the world… God knew that kid was on the WrongMedication™.

God knows this because God watched Dave be put on that Wrong Medication™ a year earlier because a doctor didn’t believe that God Almighty had cast Dave Griffin as Jimmy Barclay… remember?

This whole mess I’m in is because God Almighty™ remained silent then, too.

And so, even if 17 year old Wrongly Medicated™ Dave Griffin is making a bad life choice because he’s out of his fucking mind or a demon possessed sinner…

Wouldn’t God care enough to stop L’il DaveyBoy™?

I’m literally begging god for help all night.

Been begging God for help all year.

Because a lifetime of begging for help.

never.

worked.

either.

And

God Almighty™

remained

Fucking Silent™

to a 17 year old kid begging him for help who is suicidal and on the
Wrong Medication™.

Good God Almighty™ would have to suspect I’m serious because I had two prior suicide attempts.

Wouldn’t he care enough about Dave Griffin… the. actor. who. played. Jimmy. Barclay… to show up or send help? Nobody had a prophetic dream and called my house waking the family? None of my friends or neighbors who live all around and know I’m up all night saw my light on while they were walking their dog who mysteriously whined at the bedroom door in the middle of the night and came to check and see if I was okay?

Like… this could be the story where I tell you there was an irrefutable miracle and this was the moment that saved me when God showed. the. fuck. up!!!!

**Hallelujah!!**

Praise Jesus!!

I wish that was the story I had to tell you.

That version sounds so much more fun.

In this story

God Almighty™

chooses

to remain

silent.


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2 responses to “A Strong-Willed Child™ Pt 2”

  1. Leslie Cowles Avatar
    Leslie Cowles

    I love you

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