Thoughts and Feelings

Many people at some time in their lives think about suicide. Most people struggling decide to live because they come to realize that the crisis is temporary and death is permanent. On the other hand, people having a crisis sometimes perceive their dilemma as inescapable and feel an utter loss of control. These are some of the feelings and thoughts they may experience:

Can’t stop the pain
Can’t think clearly
Can’t make decisions
Can’t see any way out
Can’t sleep, eat, or work
Can’t get out of depression
Can’t make the sadness go away
Can’t see a future without pain
Can’t see themselves as worthwhile
Can’t get someone’s attention
Can’t seem to get control

If you experience these feelings, seek help. If someone you know is showing signs of suicide or depression, be there, listen, and offer help!
Suicide lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or text GO to 741741
#savealife #youmatter #dontgiveup #AlwaysHope

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Fourth of July Reflection

I started this week thinking about birthdays and memorial reflections. Each day is someone’s birthday and each day was someone’s birthday. Many of us remember the day we lost someone to death, but I like to remember the days I gained someone through new life. In my experiences, the pain that influences suicidal thoughts and suicidal actions is triumphed by the love and compassion that helps save a life and helps unite survivors of suicidality.

I am reflective of all the independent choices that help save a life from sorrow, isolation, and death. Independence, the will to do something meaningful, of one’s own volition, and in service to others is what I celebrate this week.

When my sister tried to take her life, she called to say goodbye. I have known others who were not so fortunate to have their loved-ones request for help be so obvious. My heart aches for the losses sustained and my heart beats for the survivors who can experience another day to fight, survive, thrive, and celebrate not only America’s birthday, but those of the people close to them.

My hope and goal is to build that connection of people I think about when I want to celebrate birthdays. That connection of people who I want to feel less sorrow, less isolation, and who I want to be able to celebrate living for as long as the earth gives them breath. I want to open my eyes so that if you are feeling pain, you can see you are not alone and together we can survive, together.

For those who have gone on before me, know you are not forgotten, your birthdays are still sacred, you are still remembered. I have seen how a collective of independent actions can save and sustain the lives of us who remain in your place. Happy Birthday wishes United States. Peaceful Birthday wishes to those who have died from suicide. Hopeful Birthday wishes to all survivors.

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Be Kind

This morning as I was driving to the grocery store, a guy zoomed past me in his car and flipped me off.

At the Starbucks drive thru, the barista wasn’t as nice to me as she should have been. And then she messed up my order.

Last week at work, a lady was extremely rude to me on the phone.

My friend blew me off for the third time this month.

Guess what. The guy who drove past me, he was driving to the hospital hoping to make it in time to see his mom before she passed away.

The girl at Starbucks had just broken up with her abusive boyfriend and was going through a difficult time.

The lady on the phone, she just found out she and her three kids were being evicted from their home and didn’t have anywhere to go.

My friend – he was dealing with some pretty dark depression and was contemplating suicide.

Our own personal life is only one of millions of other story lines being written on a daily basis. We need to remember to be kind – to family, to friends, and most importantly, to strangers. Seth would say to never judge anyone. You don’t know what they’re going through or what they have gone through. We, as humans, understand how hard life can be at times. And that, before anything else, is why we need to extend grace to other people. Give ‘em a break. Cut them some slack. However you want to phrase it, be kind. It doesn’t have to be some big, grand gesture. A simple smile or kind word can be sufficient. No matter what the circumstance is, remember everyone is going through something.

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Crisis Plan

Everyone at one time or another has done a fire drill or tornado drill. We do these drills to know that if an emergency happens we are ready and know what to do. This is almost exactly what we need to do for ourselves for any potential future crisis that may arise. So what do we need first? A plan. And once that is completed, you can practice it just like a fire drill.

Ever get really upset and not know what to do when you are feeling triggered or on edge?

Start with something basic.

List 6 things you can do when you are feeling upset and triggered.

-Maybe it is something as simple as watching your favorite TV show, maybe it is going for a walk, how about an art and craft? Or a favorite video game?

Got an idea of things you can do?

Okay, Write it down.

—What if you go through your 6 things you can do, and you’re still feeling upset?

Then you move on to your list of people you can contact. (try and have at least 3 but have as many as you would like)

Make a list of friends, family members, teachers, counselor, principal, co-workers, supervisors, someone from a religious community or support group.. etc.

Someone that will be able to listen to you and help calm you down, someone that will come over for a little bit, go out to lunch with you, or depending on how you are feeling, someone who can spend the night by you till you feel safe.

Can you think of those people?

Write them down.

—–What if you exhausted all of your things to do, and talking is just not helping and you’re beginning to feel unsafe?

You can have a plan set in place with someone who would be willing to drive you to the hospital to talk with a professional and see what some next steps are to getting you safe.

Have a list of emergency numbers you can call when you are feelings suicidal.

Write them down.

Have all of this plan somewhere you can get easy access to it.

Reach Out, Get Help.

If you are feeling unsafe and suicidal, please reach out to a professional or someone who can get you connected with a professional.

You can also call the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255

Here are some other numbers that can give you support any time you call: http://namiillinois.org/crisis-info/

If you never have an escape route, then you may not know what to do when the emergency arises. Don’t wait until it’s too late, have an escape route in place for if that time happens.

No one plans a fire drill expecting to have to escape from a real fire. It’s preventative to make sure if a fire ever starts, that you will have the plan to be safe and not be anxious as to what to do.

Make a Crisis Plan. You may never use it, but the moment you need it, it could be a life saver.

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