Do you believe that suicide is preventable?
Do you understand how suicide affects you even if you are not the one who chose to take your own life?
Like many others in my younger years, I thought suicide was what people do when they were mentally weak or selfish. I did not understand that when people make that choice they are in so much pain and so much fear that they see no other way in that moment to end the suffering they endured.
Many people think the bullying will never stop, that they will never beat their addiction, that they will never stop burdening others. They think they will never know success, never know love, never have relief from their circumstances... and then they choose "Never" forever. However their pain doesn't die with them. It transfers to those who loved them or worked with them. It transfers to their children and families. It causes more grief.
I am so happy that a year ago I chose to help change the "never" into "someday" for those who are willing to be helped. For every completed suicide there are so many more attempts.
This month is Suicide Prevention Month. Like me, you can volunteer with the AFSP or affiliate organizations regarding suicide intervention, and help raise funds for research that helps us continue to understand the factors that influence the behavior in order to intervene.
Suicide deaths are not just about the deaths. They are also about everything that happens afterwards. They are also about the homes that fall apart, the businesses that suffer due to lack of planning, the children who become orphaned or uprooted, the years of therapy for those dealing with the trauma, the seniors left behind unable to care for themselves, and so many other repercussions that affect society as a whole.
"Doesn't this make suicide selfish?" Is this what one would say about a serial killer or a child molester? Or just people struggling to manage their everyday stresses? One is about avoiding punishment or to live with guilt. Another is the only form of medicine in their mind that the person can seem to access in which they can control their own peace.
Both examples represent people, yes PEOPLE, when they feel they have no control over how they will live so they must control how they die.
Not everyone is willing to accept help or to reconsider their choice but for those who are, we can help make ourselves available to address the root causes of their stress and pain. Counseling and therapy alone cannot solve this worldwide struggle. However when we consider that suicides are beginning in ages as young as eight years old, attention and action must follow.
The daily struggles we all face sometimes have no foreseeable end date. Now is a great time to get in the habit of checking in on those people in our phone that we haven't spoken to in over 3 months or the veterans we know and the caregivers we know. We need to check in on our loved ones who are in financial distress, academic overwhelm, fighting health battles, or employees who work with the public. When children start showing signs of solitude or extreme mood swings, don't just punish them without addressing the real issues they may be coping with.
In Virginia Beach, our Out of the Darkness Walk takes place on September 25th at Mount Trashmore. You can donate online to the efforts previously mentioned above, register to walk in honor of someone, volunteer to help service events or programs, or donate snacks and drinks to participants.
Although research shows that the largest at-risk group for suicide is middle-aged white men, women attempt at a much larger rate than the men who complete. Some say that death is easy and life is hard, but even in the darkest moments, when we learn to not take things for granted and to find even tiny reasons to be grateful, then light can be found anywhere.
Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, simply transferred. We all exist as energy. We are already born with it. Each night we make it back home safely and wake up from sleep, we get another chance to transfer or transform our energy into the world. Some days we will need to choose self-preservation and other times we will need to choose selflessness and impact to others.
My wish is that we not only remain conscious of the effects of suicidal behavior throughout September because any of us can be attacked by a form of it at any point throughout the year. Never assume that you or your loved ones are not capable of doing such a thing because most people did not think they were capable until the 5 min to 1 hr of making the choice. Don't assume that someone is too happy, too smart, too financially secure, to pretty, too popular, too young, or too old to have a moment of irrevocable despair.
If you find yourself coming to one of those moments, I urge you to ensure you get out of your own head, seek someone empathetic to talk to, and be open to listening to encouragement. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-TALK. The lie is believing that we are alone in our experiences when in fact, millions around the world in this life and in the past, have been there.
If there is no one to speak to and you are not willing to call a hotline, you can reread posts here at Madam Uplift or similar sites until you pump yourself with more positive charge than negative charge. Visit a church service or meeting for addiction. Pray for your own healing and for a stable mind until that's what you get. Watch favorable content on YouTube. Get yourself into a position of