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July 14, 2014

Lisa Madras: Is this goodbye for us? That’s a great question

NEW CASTLE — So we’re down to two now. Two blog to go.

So close to the end, yet so much left to say. (It feels so much like the end of a relationship!) No more questions. I’ve asked enough of those. I figure I’ve been writing this blog for around three years now. That puts us in the ballpark of about 150 blogs, with about 150 questions asked.  (I’ve never had a relationship that could survive that many questions.)

I’ve been thinking about this for several months. How to end this blog, I mean. (Do I go with the old “it’s not you, it’s me” speech, or maybe “we’re going in different directions now,” or perhaps “I’m not the same person I was when we met.”)

Yes, that’s it for sure. I’m not the same person I was when we met. That’s such a good thing in so many ways that I actually just threw my head back and laughed. That’s what joy feels like — a feeling of goodness and rightness that literally bubbles up out of your body. I had days (months, years) when I didn’t believe I’d ever feel that again.

But I feel like I’m saying goodbye, and I don’t mean to do that yet. That’s next week, when the cold, hard reality of my departure will feel more like anxiety than bubbles of delight. No, I’m not saying goodbye just yet. What I want to say now is not a statement, but a question, and I’ve JUST said that I’m not going to ask any more of those.

If I WAS going to ask a question, it would be “Did I help you at all? Did coming along with me on my journey help you to connect the dots somewhere, or light a little spark of inspiration in the darkness, or even bring a smile to your heart for just one brief moment?”

But I’m not going to ask that, because I said I wouldn’t.

What I am going to do, though, is tell you what I hope happened somewhere along the line. I hope that you fired up your computer on a Monday morning, and at some point you thought, “Hey, I have to check out Lisa’s blog,” and you read. And you smiled, or you laughed, or you cried. Or you wondered how somebody you’ve never met (or briefly met, or have known your whole life) could know so much about the secrets you’ve never told.

I hope you knew, even though I couldn’t come right out and tell the details, that I’d survived things that nobody really wants to tell the details about: suicide, betrayal, sexual assault, abuse, injustice, poverty. I’d lived through every single one of those nightmares and came out on the other side still fighting.

I hope that you haven’t had to live through any of those things, but I doubt you’d be here reading this particular blog if you hadn’t. And I hope you came out on the other side still fighting. And I hope you continue to fight, not only for yourself, but for everyone else who needs you to fight for them.

I hope you continue to read blogs like this one for one reason: so that you know, without one little shed of doubt, that no matter what you’re going through in this life, you are not alone. But don’t forge all your connections through a computer screen. Go out into the world and connect with people in real life, too. That’s where I’m going. That’s why I’m leaving.

The next step in my journey is to power down this computer and take everything I’ve learned in my time here out into the world, to help others heal, and hopefully, in the process, continue to heal myself as well.

This is starting to sound an awful lot like goodbye, and I suppose that’s part of who I am, too — the girl with the long, drawn-out, protracted goodbyes. But not yet. One more blog to go.

Almost goodbye, but not quite. See you next week.


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