“It is safe to assume that, no matter how it appears, the attempt probably did not come out of the blue. Look for clues. Some possibilities include a family history of mental illness, a history of abuse, unusual or stressful family dynamics, prior diagnosis or evidence of a psychiatric disorder, and/or bizarre behavior long before, or in the days or weeks immediately preceding the crisis. Part of your job is to be a detective, assembling the pieces in the puzzle that is depression.” ―Andrew Slaby
I am quite extreme in my openness and honesty in regard to suicide. The more it bothers someone, the louder my voice will become. This is not a subject to be shy, passive, or hush-hush about. It requires a powerful voice. No one has ever accused me of subtly.
In 1993, I lost someone very dear to me to suicide. To this day, it affects me deeply. His battle altered the course of my life, steering me in directions so that the same mistakes would not be repeated. I couldn’t have done anything to save him, but is there a way to save someone else by being me; by listening with both ears, as well as with my mind, and heart? YES.
Four years ago one of my best friends lost her brother to suicide. I knew something was very wrong as soon as i saw her e-mail. There was something about the lone message sitting in my inbox, a quality to it that shimmered with agony. Having not opened it immediately, I was sick to my stomach the instant I saw it. Reading it and having the realization hit me was mind-blowing. I was, and will forever be, devastated for her and her family. I still see her brother in my mind’s eye as being full of life.
I, myself, struggle with the idea of living every single day. It is not, nor will it ever be, an easy battle. I have very little support to help keep me going or to help bring me back when I am ready to end it all. In fact, I have been told “Just do it already, I’m sick of hearing about it.” I have also been told “No one gives a shit if you live or die.”
There is an exceptionally long list of things you do NOT say to someone who is suicidal, or who you suspect is hurting so deeply that the wrong words might send them in a direction you are not personally ready to be responsible for emotionally. We all have a responsibility to look after one another.
You can claim to care about a person until the cow’s come home, but when you’re truly there for someone, you don’t let them go over the ledge. That’s REAL. That’s CONCERN. That is HUMANITY. The rest? That’s just someone trying to make themselves feel better or make themselves seem like a good person when they aren’t.
Each day, we make a choice as to what type of person we are. Me? I’ll save you from a ledge, EVERY SINGLE TIME. Even if you’re a stranger. And no, I don’t need anyone to think well of me for it. I’m just being me.
copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.