I Haven't Shared This With People Too Often
I’m going to tell you something that I don’t share with people too often. For context reasons you should know that I kind of lack confidence, although I’d say in the last 5 or so years, I’ve definitely gained more than I used to have. Due to this lack of confidence and the fact that I’m not the type of person to tell the world my problems, when I do share parts of my story here on social media, it’s because I feel that by putting it out there, someone else might be helped. So, here’s the thing I want to share.
I’ve contemplated suicide a few times in my life.
Why Did I "Confess" This Very Personal Thought About Suicide?
That’s scary to write. It’s not a thought that I’m proud of having. I feel some shame when I say it. It’s scary too. I don’t like to recall those very dark moments. Now that I’m out of those dark places, my heart aches for those that are currently experiencing them. I even had a loosely thought out plan, yet I never actually attempted anything since I was always too afraid. There was also some glimmer of hope that kept me hanging on. But what takes someone from thoughts to actions? And how can we help them before they get to that point?
Just to set you at ease, I do not feel this way now. I am so grateful that I never attempted to go through with any of my thoughts, because now, I am so grateful for my life. I feel super blessed to have won the life lottery, even though the dark times still do come around.
So why am I putting this out for everyone to read? Well, for starters, it’s #suicidepreventionmonth and I’ve just learned that one of the 5 Steps to helping someone dealing with those feelings is to talk about it. I find it so interesting that this goes right along with how I feel when I’m creating my art about emotions. It has always helped me to either talk, write or paint about my feelings. Ignoring them and stuffing them down certainly doesn’t help. So, if by admitting that I have felt suicidal, it allows others to feel that it is okay to have those feelings, talk about them, and that it is safe to reach out to me or someone else for help, then that is worth any vulnerability in exposing myself.
We Can Help!
You know, there is something that makes me feel sad. Even though I’ve struggled with those thoughts myself, when I hear of other’s who might be struggling with those thoughts, I freeze. I honestly don’t know what to say to them. It scares the crap out of me. I want to help them so badly but am so afraid to say the wrong thing. I sometimes wonder if it’s better to let a therapist do the talking. This unfounded fear is why I decided that I needed to make a post about this subject. I found a site that lays out 5 Action Steps for communicating with someone who may be suicidal. You and I, we all can help!
5 Actionable Steps When Someone Talks About Suicide
I Feel Better Now That I Know How To Help
I know that I feel better as a mom and as a friend knowing there are actual solid steps to take if I notice someone in my community showing signs of feeling depressed, or suicidal. I know there are resources available right on my smartphone. I know it’s okay to be direct, as long as I show that I’m being supportive and understanding. I guess that is why we have designated days and months. These movements bring light to subjects that are difficult to talk about. It’s also part of the reason I decided to paint and share my emotions. We can’t be afraid of the difficult subjects. Only when we shine a light on them, can we take away the stigma and power that silence holds. Only when we talk about the difficult things in the open can we create safe spaces to help those who are suffering. And only when we acknowledge the difficult emotions, allow them space to be felt, give them oxygen to heal, can we make room for the positive emotions to return.