Looking Back From 1993

I’ve never seen anyone jump in front of a Metro train, but it seems to happen more frequently in the DC area than I would like to admit. And most times when it does, people grumble about the delays and inconvenience, myself included.

Sometimes, I think of what was going through that person’s mind. And when I walk down the stairs to the platform, and then along the raised, bumped edge to get through the crowd, I think how easy it would be to just fall or jump to my right. In a split second, I would be no more.

But then I think about the train driver – how they can see the entire scene play out, and there’s nothing they can do about it. If they try to brake, it may only put the passengers at risk, whereas the jumper knew the consequence of their actions. And even though the driver is not responsible, that is something they must take with them for the rest of their life.

Mental health, an often overlooked sector of health care, is so important to surviving the daily grind. It is why we shouldn’t take for granted that someone won’t jump in front of that train. And we should always ask why. When the mind starts to reason ending life, then it can reason a lot of things. Continue reading

The Same Route Twice

Sometimes, I wonder how much more my body can take. At some point, I’m just on auto-pilot, and at the end of my 16-hour day, I’m surprised I’m still functioning, considering I’m one of those people who tries not to take the same route twice (for safety reasons and to mix it up a bit).

Today is one of those days. In addition to physical stress, I am overwhelmed by a whirl of emotions, a reaction to pending changes in my life. I’m preparing to move (again); helping other friends prepare to move; finding new friends and some desperately needed R&R while working for a promotion at the first job I’ve ever cared for. Some may say I’m 27 – this is normal.

But with the additional management of a chronic disease, changes in insurance status, filing claims, switching doctors, acquiring new scripts for that coveted 90-day supply, it’s a wonder I accomplish anything. And as a side note, what’s the point in having an FSA debit card if I have to submit receipts, explanation of benefits, etc. every time I use it?

Rewind 10 years…

I sit on the swing set of a small park near my best friend’s apartment in Louisville, Kentucky. As the sun fades, the crickets come out. I love their sound as long as I don’t have to step near their ugly brown spotted bodies that used to roam our basement and give me daymares.

My best friend Maria and I agreed to meet here one evening in June, the summer before we left for college. She would stay in Louisville. I was destined two hours north for Cincinnati.

We met freshman year of high school waiting for our moms to pick us up outside the new building to our all-girls school. We started talking about politics and cultural events. We philosophized about life and love and by the end of the year, we had become best friends. Continue reading