Light THIS Candle, Bub

So… September is Suicide Prevention Month. I’ve read a few hundred posts about it, due to my connection with the mental illness community. Instead of feeling inspired to ‘make people aware,’ however, I’ve become downright ticked off.

What are we hoping to accomplish?

Why, we want fewer people killing themselves, obviously.

OBVIOUSLY? I think you’re missing an ‘LI’ in that word. The correct term is OBLIVIOUSLY.

Granted, I’m not suicidal. I have not been, technically, since I have not sat upon a bridge or held a bottle of pills or even touched a razor to my skin without intending to use it to remove body hair.

I have stood at the top of the stairs, the edge of a parking structure, and the balcony of a massive performing hall -and sensed the sweet boundary of vertigo gravity beckons with. I’ve thought the question. I have wanted an end.

Dark thoughts for a Sunday? They won’t be eliminated by a candle, that’s for sure.

jarl-schmidt-557318-unsplash

Perhaps the tiny flickering glow in a few windows or on a few websites will warm others’ hearts, but that sort of ‘support’ has the opposite effect on me. Given that my depressive mindset is echoed by nearly every mental illness sufferer with Depression I’ve read, I feel confident setting down my little soapbox and ranting.

For example, a Facebook acquaintance of mine posted a very moving message regarding suicide. S/he admitted to having clinical depression and attempting suicide and how s/he felt about life sometimes. Writhing a bit in envy I read her/his 50+ comments of We love you, Thank you for sharing; you are brave, and You’re such a great person so don’t feel this way.

Internet hugs.

I’m sure a few people also managed to send out a text. You know: Saw on FB you’re sad. 😦 LMK if I can do anything. *Hugs*

After envy, I felt mad.

Want to prevent suicide, people? For real? Not just say or write so but feel and love so? Get away from your phone or keyboard and connect with people. Pull your head out of your apps and talk to a human -especially if that human has displayed signs of depression and/or suicidal desires.

Not sure what those signs are?

  1. Negative perspective to the point of poor self-esteem and a terrible outlook.
  2. Loss of interest in activities or life in general.
  3. Irritability.
  4. Extreme fatigue and lack of motivation.
  5. Over- or undereating.
  6. Insomnia. This may exhibit in late-night social media messages.
  7. Withdrawal. If a person stops writing online, doesn’t answer texts, or has literally said, “Goodbye,” alarm bells ought to be going off.

Maybe you feel like you can’t do everything for everyone and the candle-lighting will give you that small “I did what I could” pat on the back. I can relate; I feel overwhelmed by the amount of work life already takes, plus I’m depressed and can barely see outside the walls of my own house some days.

Still, we can do little things.

Try a vocal phone chat instead of a text. Run a store-bought cookie over to your friend and sit down and have a conversation. Pause for longer than a, “Fine,” when passing on the street and listen to a person’s day. Put your phone down, make eye contact, and act like you care. For bonus points, invite a neighbor out to lunch and a good visit. Heck, even hand-write a note (you know, with pen and paper, maybe even inside an envelope) and mail it to them if you can’t get to them easily.

A little thing may actually save a life. And that’s our goal.

If you, yourself, are considering the pull of gravity on the edge of life and can’t possibly talk to your family and friends, use the hotline (1-800-273-TALK). Heck, there’s even a text line if you’re too shy to talk (text NAMI to 741-741). They’re nice people. They care. They’re safe.

10 thoughts on “Light THIS Candle, Bub

  1. Maybe I’m just cynical but I do feel that half the time people respond with these messages just to ease their own guilt and in an effort to make themselves look like a good and kind person in the public social networking world that we live in. In truth, unless behind the scenes they are telephoning, visiting and not just once, but regularly, I think it’s all a load of twaddle. Certainly when I was at my absolute lowest, someone sending me a smiley face and a love heart would not in a million years have lessened my pain. However, someone with open arms and the ability to just sit, weep and howl on the floor in front of a completely non-judgmental person for an hour, now that would have brought me back from the edge, not a emoji.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You and I can sit (and weep) in the same cynical boat. That is EXACTLY what I feel others are doing -easing guilt and looking better.
      They’re all sitting a few feet away from the problem, extending a pole with a fake hand attached, patting the weeping person with a, “There, there.”

      Liked by 1 person

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