Hugs

Hugs, they can seem like another form of greeting like a handshake. They can be quick, include a pat on the back, big and burly, small with a peck on the cheek, full of tears, full of laughter, so long you need to come up for air; but have you ever thought how truly important they can be to someone? How important they can be to a person feeling isolated or suffering from depression or anxiety or maybe even someone grieving? They can give strength. They can serve as a reminder of friendship and compassion. They also give back. They can give you strength too just by giving.

The next time you see someone you love and care about, remember that in this world of technology and “likes” a hug can go a long way to give someone the confidence they may need to tackle the next five minutes, the day, or maybe even the week. Sometimes a hug is a lasting memory you cherish. Give one today; give lots!

hug

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Surviving and talking about suicide

People we are defined by many things and we all are identified by the many roles we play in our lives. As for myself; I am a daughter, a friend, an artist, and a counselor. I have also known someone who committed suicide and know the impact suicide has on a family.
Many of you can be given the identity of survivor and so can I. Whether you truly believe it or not; if you know someone or if you yourself has attempted or thought of suicide and are still here because you are giving life a chance, you my friend, are a survivor.
My whole life was impacted by the loss of my aunt. Seeing that many years later, the loss doesn’t go away. The pain of the lost loved one is never really gone.
Many people truly believe that suicide is the only way out of their own pain and will spare the lives of those closest to them. I cannot express enough how much it is exactly the opposite. Death; but especially suicide, creates a ripple effect that no one can predict or truly understand until you are the one living threw the loss. One death by suicide divided my family and it is still being repaired slowly to this day. Everyone played the blame game and no one won, everyone lost. Not only my aunt was lost, but now family was split in two and stopped talking. Loved ones, in my experience after a suicide, have an instant sense of blame and they run through the million possible outcomes that may have happened, “if I had just…”. It’s like living in a constant state of self-doubt and self- blame.
So why talk about this? Because I bet you there was a time in your life that you may have thought about suicide, even passively, and you’re still here. There is a reason you decided to make that choice to live. It doesn’t matter how small that reason may be. The fact that you chose one more day makes you a survivor and I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone.
It’s a passion of mine to help those who struggle with suicidal thoughts and to help those who have lost someone to suicide because it’s not an easy path to walk, especially alone. Everyone no matter how strong needs a helping hand now and again. It just takes one step towards help. One call to a crisis hotline, telling a close friend or family member that you’re struggling, one call for an appointment with a counselor, or coming to one meeting of the “On the inside group”  that project Seth began and I help facilitate. One step, even a baby step towards help, could mean all the difference.
To those of you who know someone struggling, don’t be afraid to use the word suicide. If someone is considering suicide, saying the word won’t push them over the edge or be hurtful. It’s good to know right away if someone is suicidal so then you can help as soon as possible. It also shows that you care and sometimes that is really what a person needs in that moment.
Remember, the suicide lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 or call 911 in a crisis situation. You can also text GO to 741-741.
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Have a Purpose and Hope!

“What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?”
― Ralph Ellison

This quote is all so true. I often look back in my thirties and wish my twenty year old self would have strived for my wish instead of what was expected. Life is about passion and dreams and not what is expected. Have purpose and hope!!! Project Seth believes in you and your purpose.
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Just Listen

As part of Project Seth’s commitment to educate and talk about suicide and depression we are sharing “lessons learned”. May is mental health awareness month and if never hurts to share what you know. Here are some tips of what to say and what not to say to someone struggling with depression from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. We are not meant to fix everyone else’s problems, but we are able to be a good friend and listen. Just being there for someone speaks volumes about what they mean to you. #BeAFriend #DepressionAwareness #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

listening

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