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The gem I carry with me is that I can have only one thought in my mind at a time and I control what that thought is. I can choose to pay attention to the present moment and let the past and the future take care of themselves. Holding onto this gem helped me through a very dark time in my life.

The last relationship I was in was very rocky. It started out well; however, things slowly declined as my boyfriend lost his job and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. After about a year the relationship ended when he was arrested for assaulting me. A year long restraining order was put in place. I made every effort to get his stuff out of my place so I could start over.

Then, in June 2006, I was confronted with his suicide. He hung himself in the basement of a friend's house. My first thought was, "What could I have done to save him?"

That gem shone through without my conscious awareness. My next thought was, "Stop. You are not responsible for his behavior. Take care of yourself now." I went to a support group for survivor's of suicide and went out to dinner. I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to deal with this. I did the best I could with the resources I had at the time.