I’ve shared some stories with you about my experiences in suicide prevention and the investigation of successful suicides. This time of year, depression, desperation, and hopelessness are at year-long highs among a substantial portion of our society. This week tragically reminded me that suicide continues to plague my profession, my neighbors, and our communities.
I’ve had exceptionally low points in my life. I’ve never considered killing myself, never had a plan, intent, or motive; I have, however, faced the feeling and intrinsic perception that I was worth far more dead than alive, both for me and those around me. In those dark moments, I’m convinced that my mother saved me from descending any further. She blessed me with a high percentage of her work ethic and confidence, so I’ve always believed there’s hope. If I can do just one or two small things, tomorrow will be better. A few more, the next tomorrow’s better still. I have the gift of perpetual optimism. Not all are so lucky, and many face deeper, darker, and more massive demons than I’ve ever known.
We can’t afford to dismiss concerns about our loved ones. They’re called ‘warning signs’ for a reason. Act now.
If you realize I’m speaking directly you, and you’re struggling to live inside a dark and lonely recess, please understand these few things:
YOU ARE NOT ALONE…
PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE CARE ABOUT YOU…
YOUR ABSENCE WILL DEVASTATE YOUR FAMILY FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES…
THERE IS HELP…
TOMORROW CAN BE BETTER. IT MAY NEVER BE PERFECT, BUT IT CAN BE BETTER.
If you or someone you know needs help, don’t wait to act. Tomorrow may be too late. If faced with the choice, give the gift of life this holiday season. Yours. Theirs. Ours.
Nat’l Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255, https://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
VA Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-TALK (8255), option 1. https://www.veteranscrisisline.net
Be safe out there. Watch over yourselves and each other.