When I started blogging it was my first attempt. It started as a way of personal growth, sharing what I was feeling with strangers in order to help me get over my shyness. I have watched the numbers grow with the views and it seems that many people are enjoying reading these. I have always wanted to be a writer so perhaps this is the ground work for what is to follow in the future, I don’t know. I believe that everything happens for a reason and maybe this is part of my road to the future, to new beginnings as silly as that may sound.
When I posted the blog about the death of Rusty Flynn I had no idea of the power a few words from my heart would play out over the internet. It seems that many old friends who had known him as well as family members started googling his name and some how my blog climbed into the top 5 results. It was then that I realized 2 things…one was that the internet really does work in connecting people in the strangest of ways, and two, that Rusty was loved by more people than I think he could have ever imagined. I have gotten emails and phone calls from people all over who knew Rusty, had found out about his death and in an attempt to find any information they could started searching online.
When I posted the blog about Rusty I just wanted to let go of my thoughts and leave something kind behind, I had no intentions of connecting with anyone it was more for me than anything. However, I did want to remind people how precious life is and how we take so much for granted especially our time spent with others. That blog as well as my others have helped me find comfort with life. I have suffered with depression throughout my life so there is a special connection to Rusty’s situation I understand. My way has always been to disconnect with others, lock myself away and wait for it to pass, his was to strike out. I have never shared that part of me because it makes me feel weak and it is the reason I always try to end all of my blogs on a positive note. I have always wanted to help others not bring them down.
Ok…not to get off the point of this blog but let me share for a moment in the hopes of maybe reaching out to someone else who deals with depression. Rusty is not the first friend who struggled with thoughts of suicide. I have another friend who tried to end his life a few years ago but thankfully he was not successful. In my past at my weaker moments thoughts of not being here had entered my mind but I never actually contemplated the act. Even through my divorce (the darkest time in my life to date) I was down but never could have gone to the extent that Rusty did, my depression was not as extreme as his. I guess the reason I am sharing this is that people who have dealt with long term depression deal with things very differently than those who dont. A simple pat on the back…and things will get better doesnt work. The main thing to understand is that if you deal with depression you are not alone…even though you feel as though you are. If you do not deal with depression but have someone in your life who does the best thing you can do is listen, not judge and be positive and loving. My turning point has been self therapy and the desire to be a better and healthier person. Desire is the key and unfortunately many do not have that. My new beginning started several years ago with an introduction to metaphysics. I feel that my life has forever been changed. Recently I read the book Beyond Positive Thinking by Robert Anthony and found the experience to be a huge turning point for me. I am not saying that I will never get depressed again because life does get difficult and we are all weak at certain times of our lives. I am saying that my way of thinking about things is what guides my happiness with in myself and that is what has changed, it takes work and I dont always have a handle on things but it has helped me. I wish that Rusty had been able to pull himself from his darkness and could have learned how to love himself, I hate that he was unable to see the lighter side of life. Maybe by opening up here someone else out there will be able to lift themselves from that dark place. Don’t get tired, believe that there is something better, that you have a purpose in life…we all do. Best of all surround yourself with positive people and learn to love (both yourself and others).
I think Rusty used a hard edge in order to deal with his depression probably for the same reasons as I…so that he did not appear weak. I think he had one true love in his life that he was unable to ever get over, he talked about her when I first met him 18 years ago. I think he always had a dog as his best friend because it made him feel loved in an unconditional…unjudgemental way. I think that he struggled with an inability to connect with some of his family members because of deeply embedded conflicts that there was no resolution for…he carried that everyday within his heart. I think that he dealt with the hurt by being difficult…it was his way. Beneath it all, under his razor sharp lash that could make a grown man wither, under his higher intellect that could make you feel really stupid and beneath his dark and depressing humor there was a man as weak as a little boy who wanted to love and be loved only he didn’t know how. He once came to visit…maybe 3 years ago and brought a movie called Magnolias. He said “this movie feels like my life”, as we watched I was confused and horrified because it felt so dark and sad to me. When he was here a month ago I remembered the movie and asked him what it was called because I wanted to watch it again…honestly I don’t remember a thing about it other than one scene when frogs were falling from the sky, I think now would be a good time for me to rent it.
All of the people who have emailed or commented have proved to me that sharing helps us all. For those of you who sent emails with kind memories of Rusty I thank you. I wish that he could have known how special he was in all of our eyes…perhaps it would have helped, I don’t know. All I can hope for now is that he is in a better place and is truly at peace. Last week Rusty was cremated and today I am unable to make the service because of the distance. My thoughts and prayers have gone out to him, his family and all those who knew him. I am so grateful that I had the chance to see him a month ago as he was passing through Nashville. To spent a few hours with a mentor…and an old friend. He shared his endeavors and his music…he always had the best collection. I had plans to call him for some help with some photo techniques he was willing to share in the new year but now I will never have that opportunity. I know in a silly sort of way with his twisted humor he is smiling down on us all, watching us stumble with his passing and with his strange way of saying goodbye. He will always hold a special place in my heart.
Much love to an old friend and for his memory that will never be forgotten. If you are watching over me and if I did forget to tell you before you left my house Rusty Flynn…I love you, and I will miss you.