#ff0000;">**to my family and friends:
#ff0000;"> this will be a hard read for you… i suggest you don’t do it… just skip over this one please. i posted this for another who is struggling…
#ff0000;">ASHLEY, DON’T READ THIS. I MEAN IT. (and if you do, please know that it has nothing to do with you but completely with me and my mind.)
#ff0000;">not one of you, my family, is responsible for what happened to me. my mind was broken and i didn’t know how to fix it. i didn’t know how to tell you, i didn’t know how to ask for help.
#000000;">many years ago, i made a choice to die. i had lost my daughter in a custody battle and i was devastated. i curled up on a twin mattress (the only thing i owned) and stayed there. i didn’t eat, drink, or do any other thing that was pertinent to life. i made the choice and was sticking to it.
#000000;">my landlord was going to evict me because i hadn’t paid my rent… i hadn’t gone to work or anything. apparently, she didn’t know i was inside dying. she put a lock on the door from the outside so i was trapped. which was fine.
#000000;">about a week into my death mission, a friend came to find me. she had been trying to call me and of course, the phone had been turned off. when she arrived, my car was in the lot. she found the landlord and demanded to be let into the apartment.
#000000;">and there i was. a filthy, starving, dehydrated mess.
#000000;">she rescued me.
#000000;">she packaged me up and took me out to Los Angeles where i had another friend who could take care of me and help me. i didn’t argue or fight it. i was completely apathetic.
#000000;">shortly after i arrived, we went for a walk. we ran into a tibetan monk. he saved my life. he taught me the principles of buddhism, the precepts, the noble truths…. he taught me how to choose happiness. he centered me and saved my soul.
#000000;">that was 21 years ago. to this day, i wake up every morning and CHOOSE happiness. i have been diagnosed with chronic illness in the past few years and sort of lost my way. but i am back to the happiness now.
#000000;">anyhow, i hope this helps… i can’t explain how i choose happiness… i wish that i could. the only thing i know for sure is that it’s those buddhist principles that help me. i am a roman catholic and i believe in God. i have a rosary right here next to me… i pray to God and the angels and the saints. all of it… but buddhist philosophy saved my life and taught me compassion and loving kindess that i have never learned anywhere else.