About Me, Acceptance, Blog, Depression, Love, public speaker, Strength, susie reece, Susie Reynolds, susie reynolds reece, Thoughts, Writing

Learn From Us

You don’t necessarily know me. You may not understand all the facets of why I function as I do, or all the aspects of my anything-but-simple life. But there is one thing you should know, putting words around my thoughts and expressing my struggles has saved my life more times than I could ever count.

It started in journals. Dozens and dozens of journals have been filled with terrible grammar and punctuation throughout my decades. I scribble illegible notes everywhere. I have hundreds of half-started pieces in my phone. There are books in different stages on my computer begging to be finished.

I write. Even when you don’t know it, I write. I have since before I can recall anything else.

When I share things publicly, please understand it isn’t necessarily a way of asking for attention but a way of sharing a piece of my soul to you in a moment I felt led to do so. Not all of my soul is beautiful, or clean, easily explainable, selfless, sensible, or even parts I’m proud of. There’s a lot of me I’m not proud of.

But still, I write.

Sometimes when I share, it’s done on days like these where my mind cannot stop. Days where I know misspellings and cluttered thoughts may make me sound like a rambling mess, but still I write. So here I am, exhausted in ways I’ve never experienced before in my life, lying in my bed knowing I need sleep, writing because it is the comfort I can grasp at in this one second.

I need to say this, please, please, I beg of you Learn from Us.

Don’t let me be misunderstood here. I don’t want to teach you anything. I don’t want to share some poignant life lesson in the hopes of coming off as having learned some valuable wisdom. I don’t want credit here. I don’t want kind words saying how beautiful anything is, all I want is for this pain, this soul-wrenching pain to do one good thing. Just one. Please. I’m begging you now, don’t let our pain be ignored. Please, learn from us.

This hurts. It hurts every part of me. My family is broken right now. Pieces who belong here with us were stolen. They are now the empty spaces at our ridiculously large table. They are laughter, and memories, and beauty that we cannot look across our plates and laugh along with. Our family is dynamic. We are diverse. We are the epitome of resilient, but man, we want nothing more than to be whole right now.

And what hurts more is the fact that each and every one of us who is left is broken at this moment. Everywhere I look I see pain seeping out of souls longing for peace. This hurts beyond words. These words are meaningless compared to what could be said. But what should be said?

There is much I never stopped to consider. I never realized so many things. I don’t know how anyone could endure something like this alone. I don’t know how it wouldn’t destroy the humanity of a person.

You will not sleep. You will not eat. This week has been a rollercoaster of emotion. Grief has been woven into things that must be handled, quickly, efficiently, without any mistakes because we want everything to be perfect. But we are not okay.

We have moments where we put our faces on and someone says, “man you’re doing good for someone who…”

No. Just no.

We don’t know you. Our family is me. I am them. We are not the same but we laugh. We joke. We work our asses off. We are a force unmatched. We are intimidating women who will get it done and that is what we are doing now. We are working because they need us to. We need to. Everything is depending on it. We are depending on it.

And the second we can, we break apart all over again. The second we sit down, or drive, or see a photo, we fucking shatter. Understand this, that word is the closest I have to express how badly we shatter.

We can’t remember who said what. Who was where. Where we are. We can’t remember our people. We walk out of the room and don’t know why. We’re looking for our phones that we’re holding. We get lost driving. We can’t remember how to finish our own sentences. And to anyone who has no idea, we look absolutely abnormal.

We have been judged all week because we laugh and push through in front of those who have no idea what has happened. But believe me, we are not okay. We simply have the grace of being a part of a huge family who is leaning hard on one another right now. When one is strong she takes the lead until she can’t. Then another picks it up. And this was definitely not planned. This is simply how I have witnessed it for us, through us, these past few days.

Please learn from us.

Stop moaning about having to put your pants on to go be around people. Stop putting the events off. Stop avoiding the memories simply because it means you can’t binge watch tv.

I swear. I absolutely promise you, the second or third thought you have after your heart shatters will be regret for every missed opportunity to share time, love, and memories with those who have been ripped from your world. And that word, that 6 letter word, it eats into you. Even when you know better. Even when others try to comfort you and say it isn’t a logical feeling. It doesn’t matter. Regret will win.

So, do the thing. Love them. Be with them. Don’t waste time on people who do not love you. Don’t waste energy on the people who want you to look bad. Don’t waste time on half or partial feelings. Go all in. Love them more than you’re capable and show them. Please. Please I’m begging you, show up. Stop finding excuses why you can’t or why you shouldn’t. Stop being lazy. Stop giving yourself outs and okays. Set your issues down and work through them if they’re worth it. Go to them. Be with them. Make memories. Hold your babies. Please hold those who live in your heart in any way as tightly as humanly possible for as long as life will allow you.

Because let me tell you this, we are not in charge of life and death. It will happen and it will destroy whoever you think you are. And all you will be able to do is push the pieces of yourself back together and hope it makes a new workable version of you.

Please, please, as I’m crying in the dark, please learn from this pain. Let it do something good. Let it be for some reason. Let it help someone because right now, it’s all I have to offer anyone.

That and my imperfect love. I love you all. I really, truly, deeply do.

All.

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Blog, Choices, Depression, Fear, Help, hope, public speaker, Relationships, southern fried asian, Strength, Suicide, suicide prevention, susie reece, Susie Reynolds, susie reynolds reece

A Chapter’s End

Today I closed the door on a huge part of the past three years of my life and I now find myself starting a new journey. As of this evening, I am no longer employed with CHI St. Vincent. 

Some of you know me because of the work I’ve been doing, some of you may be aware, some of you may not know me at all. Over the past few years, I’ve found myself doing my best to explain what I do to others and getting puzzled looks. I think the best way to say it was what wasn’t I doing? 

My heart has been in suicide prevention for as long as I can remember. It started as something quite personal and grew beyond me. I felt something deeply that I didn’t necessarily understand and I began a journey to learn more. That journey allowed me to witness opportunities to help and through relationships, support, and people believing in me, I was able to build on those opportunities. 

If you get to know me, I’ll tell you honestly that a great deal of my effort was based in selfishness because I gained so much from it. I loved what I was doing and it drove me to be a better person in so many ways. I never once dreaded a Monday of work. Not that I didn’t hesitate at the thought of early mornings or late nights, it’s just that I gained something immeasurable on an almost daily basis. 

Don’t get me wrong, some days were definitely hard work. Work to find the energy to push forward. Work to figure out ways to address seemingly impossible problems. Work to build relationships beyond the superficial. But in the end, I can honestly say that when you are passionate about something, it will never be work.

It would be easy to sit here and find this a failure. It would be so simple to see these past several years coming to a close and find myself bitter and resentful or fearful of the future, but I simply can’t. Not because I am an optimist, because I am most definitely not that. But because I have been blessed in innumerable ways. I have met many of you because of this opportunity. I have heard stories of hope and compassion. I have learned a great deal about who I am becoming and who I will never be. And I have found great joy in the work of suicide prevention. 

I write this to all of you now to let you know that although my employment has changed, my heart has not. These past few months and really year, has been quite difficult. Even now, I hold a lot of uncertainty in what my future will hold. But what I can tell you is that I will continue to serve those who ask for my help. I will continue to volunteer and work to better the communities I come into contact with. This may look different over the coming months. For me this will mean finding new ways to support myself, my family, and my future. If you find opportunities that I might be a good fit for, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I am still and will continue to act as the Executive Director of Suicide Prevention Allies. It is currently and has been a non paid position, although that may change in the future. 

Before I officially close this chapter of my life, I would like to ask that if you’ve met me, saw me speak, or gleaned anything from the work I’ve done over the past few years, please share it with me. I would love to be able to see the impact of the work I’ve done, it would mean so much to me to know that I did something of worth. 

Thank you all for allowing me the opportunity to serve as I have. I pray that I will continue to be able to share the knowledge and skills I have with as many as possible. 

A few lessons I’ve learned along the way:

*Consistency is how trust is built and maintained. What we consistently do becomes our habits. 

*Take the time to build properly. Impatience may help you get things done quickly, but it won’t help you do them in the best way possible. 

*Nothing, absolutely nothing can replace the bond that comes from working alongside someone toward a common goal. 

*Life is terribly short. You have every right to decide who can join you on your journey. Choose your travel mates wisely or you’ll waste unnecessary time struggling with unnecessary stress. 

*Oftentimes there are more sides to a story than can be counted. 

*Not everyone will share your passion, and that’s more than okay. But be deadly cautious of those who are jealous of it.

*Even now in 2019, your word is your bond. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. If you’re unsure, just say so. People will respect that more than a broken promise. 

*Be careful what you tell people and when. 

*Timing is everything.

*Base your judgement of a person on your personal knowledge of them and not what others say. Everyone has their own perspective, motivation, and stories. And some people simply don’t want them to be liked.

*People want to feel heard. They will reach out to someone who will not dismiss them and sadly, that someone is often a stranger. Love those around you. They need to know it often.

*The people who care about you will show you. It may not be obvious at all times, but they will. Never forget those who check in on you in their own way. They do it because they care.

*Asking for help is harder than it should be and this small incapability is taking our lives at a devastating rate. 

*If you know something is ending, don’t wait. You’ll find yourself stuck in the most terrible way. If the relationship, job, current situation is bad or coming to a close, let it go. It won’t be simple but holding on won’t make your life any easier. 

*Don’t forget to look for the beauty. We learn invaluable lessons by looking for them when times are tough. That is how we grow strength and resilience. We must examine our lives, take note of our missteps, and move forward with knowledge we didn’t have before in the hopes of finding a better way. 

*And last but not least, no one, let me repeat that NO ONE has all their shit together. Don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise. 

Although I don’t believe I save lives, for those who’ve asked, my superhero name is Seoul Survivor. 

Name and Photo Courtesy of Jeff Fuller-Freeman

-Susie Reynolds Reece 

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To My Children

Your lives are going to be much harder than mine. Not because I want it to be that way but because the world has gotten darker with time.

You will need to be more careful of your actions because every detail of your lives will be immortalized through technology for all the world to see.

You will need to be more wary of other people because many parents today are not putting an emphasis on morality and goodness. Honestly many parents today are being selfish and not parenting their children at all because it actually takes effort and work to do that.

You will need to work harder and longer because the cost of living will have gone up so much by the time you are adults. You will need to have lower expectations because even though you will work harder there will be less people who will actually take pride in the work they will do.

You will need to be tougher because so many people like to tear others down and there are fewer people who want to build others up. Each of your days will be filled with bullies and jealousy. People are filled with anger and selfishness now and because of that you will suffer even if you are strong.

You will need to be smarter because those same people will like to see you fail. You will also have to go to school longer because there are already so many people with two degrees and no jobs.

You will need to be wiser because there will be more things to tempt you and tear you down and I will not know them all. I will not be enough to give you the wisdom I have learned.

You will need to be more than what was needed of me and my generation and it’s because my generation is providing you with less. I’m sorry for what we aren’t doing for you, for what we aren’t teaching you, and for what we aren’t providing for you. We are leaving you a legacy of a life filled with hardship.

Be strong, be wise, and be kind because you are being taught differently and because the world will need you.

Your Mother-

SR

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