A view of the outside of Saint Mary's
The church

Thursday of next week is the second meeting of the support group, Kismet Out Loud. Odd name but let me explain. “Kismet” is Arabic. It means destiny, or fate.

In my mid-twenties,at undoubtably the lowest point in my life, I tried to end my life. At the end of the day I was still alive. I was also blind. I’ve been living with the consequence of my suicide attempt for almost 33 years. It might sound odd but I have no regrets about the path I’ve taken to this point in my life. By now blindness is really not that big a deal. Blindness, in fact, has given me quite a lot.

I chose to enter the profession of vision rehab after working at a Veterans Affairs blind rehab center as a volunteer. Where it all began.

In Full Circle I returned to the blind center, no longer a member of staff but as a public speaker.

The meeting of the support group next week represents another “full circle.” The meeting will be at Saint Mary’s on the Highlands Episcopal church at noon. We’re meeting in the living room of Drennan Hall. We believe that lives are saved, one at a time. The purpose of Kismet Out Loud is to provide a relaxed, intimate even, setting in which to talk, out loud, about mental health and suicide. We’re committed to these meetings for a year. If we save just one life we will have done our job.


This feels like another “full circle” for me. I grew up at Saint Mary’s. Mama and Daddy are buried there, in the garden. While they lived my parents never quite got to the point of being able to talk about my suicide attempt. But I think they’d approve of what we’re doing.

Before the meeting next week I’ll go into the garden to acknowledge my parents. I’ll thank them for the wonderful childhood they gave me. And I’ll dedicate the meeting to their memory.


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