Talk To Someone
I really don’t know what to write about how I am feeling about all of this. My best answer to someone when they ask me, “How are you doing?”, is “I’m working through the process.” I’m about to head to a funeral of a great friend. Christopher J. Bigelow (‘Bigs’) was a friend and fellow football coach with me this fall for our Homeschool Football Team. Bigs was the Offensive Coordinator and I was the the Defensive Coordinator. Every game we would stand on the sidelines and I’d look at him and tell him if we would just score more points, we would win. Of course, he would look back at me and tell me if I would keep the other team from scoring, we would win. We had a great relationship.
We rode to football games together, ate together, watched films from previous games together and talked on the phone nearly every day we weren’t at practice. I always saw the giddy, funloving side of Bigs. I had no idea he was hiding a secret and the secret he was hiding ended up exposing itself in a horrific way.
Talk To Someone – Now
I knew Bigs had been deployed. I knew he had been in some places in Iraq that he didn’t like talking about. I knew he had been on medicine for depression and PTSD. I knew people in the past had accused him of having anger issues. Heck, I’ve had people in my past accuse me of having anger issues. It seems that is the default nowadays. If we get mad, people say we have anger issues and suggest anger management. They even made a movie about it. It was a comedy but it is now a part of our culture.
Again, I didn’t see that side of Bigs. His Mother told me he hid it well, even from his own family. When he went into the states of depression, he would withdraw from people because that is not the person he wanted to be. I knew his relationships with people, including his girlfriend, were sometimes rocky but like everyone else, it would go through a rough patch and then would get better. I didn’t see his problems as any different than those that any of us have gone through in the past.
I had breakfast with a friend who is also an Army Chaplain last Friday morning. He said something that made a lot of sense to me. I’m still putting it together and formulating it but splicing together my thoughts and his has made me start thinking about things in a different way. Basically he said, some people are like tennis balls and some are like eggs. If you drop a tennis ball, it bounces back and is no worse for the wear. If you drop an egg, you have a mess and it doesn’t bounce back. I was telling Bigs’ Mother about that conversation last night and she basically told me I had no idea how many times he had bounced back. He had worked through issues his entire life, went into the military, got deployed, saw and was involved in some things that didn’t help that situation and then had a hard time with life after he got home.
Talk to Someone – For THEIR Sake
Like I said, I’m working through the process. I’m not sure what all of the steps are, but I’m going through it. Everything from shock, sadness, anger, acceptance, etc and everything inbetween. Some days are better than others. As his girlfriend’s son told me last night, “This is not the best day”. And there will be good days and bad days I’m sure.
The thing that made me mad was when my son broke down and started crying Saturday night. My thoughts went from sadness to madness because I was thinking “How DARE you be that selfish and do that to my son and the other boys on the football team that loved you and adored you and saw you as a brother??!!” I don’t understand or know how someone can get to that state. I’ve been sad and depressed before but I obviously have not lost all hope. I imagine if you are reading this, you haven’t either. I don’t understand PTSD and I don’t understand depression to the point where I want to end my life. But, I do know this. I didn’t know Bigs. I knew him, but I didn’t know him. We always talked about fun stuff and football and there was always a smile on his face. We didn’t get into the deep stuff in his life. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to. It’s because I didn’t know it was there. BUT, I didn’t ask either.
We are so used to asking someone how they are doing and when they respond “Fine” we let it go. I was told a little while back that FINE meant Frustrated, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional. We need to have deeper relationships with people and not let it go at FINE.
Talk To Someone – There Is Hope
You cannot do this alone. You need to talk to someone who can help you. Find someone who knows Jesus Christ. Get to know Him. There is hope there. If all we do is lean on our own understanding, we will be disappointed every time. We can’t reason it out. Life makes no sense sometimes. Life is hard. Life is scary. Find someone you can trust to talk to and most of all, lean on Jesus.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
If you need help and you are reading this, if nothing else, reach out to me. BUT…find someone you can talk to. Ending your life is not an acceptable solution. It may relieve pain for you, but the collateral damage it does to everyone around you is not worth it. TALK TO SOMEONE!!