Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month
September is Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month.
I am not going to bust out the stats on this topic. It is enough to know that there are many people, even people you know, that believe the world would be better without them in it.
I have never been a suicidal type. I guess I am lucky in that regard. There were times in my life that I wanted to escape (who doesn't have those?) They never resulted in "I want to die." Just a lot of books, video games, art, and sleeping (a cure all if you ask me.)
If I have never "been there" why am I writing about this?
My spouse's best friend committed suicide.
He jumped off an overpass onto a highway cloverleaf on ramp.
This was less than 1/4 mile from our house.
We, friends and family, will never really know what was going on in his head. We do know a few things. 1. Diabetes brain is real. When your blood sugar gets really high for a long enough time it gets thick and doesn't carry oxygen to your brain. No oxygen in the brain means the brain isn't going to work properly. 2. He had been living with depression (clinical depression) for most of his life. 3. He had a bad day. He left that information in a journal he was keeping.
His death devastated my spouse.
I have a few take-a-ways from this experience.
Check on the people that matter to you. Not just when they share a negative post or "when you remember." Take the time to hang out with them on a regular basis. Ask them to go places with you. Even if you KNOW they will say 'No.' Ask anyway. It makes a difference. It reminds them that you care and that they matter to you.
Be nice to everyone! You never know what is going on with any person. Their life could be at a really low point. They could be hanging on by a thread. They could be one bad coffee run away from killing themselves.
Just be nice. Say nice things to people, compliment them, maybe even let someone that looks rushed cut in line at the coffee place.
It doesn't have to be monetary, a second of your time is more valuable than money.
When I bring up the first point I get people that look at me like I am nuts.
"Why do I have to check on my friends? Why wouldn't they ask for help? They know I will help them with anything."
That is the thing. Whatever is going on prevents them from believing what they KNOW.
- We KNOW the world is spherical, yet there are people who insist it is flat.
Why would you ask for help if you believe that no one cares.
They may also be so lost that they don't know what they are about to do.
While you are not responsible for the actions of your friends and family, you can help them. If you know someone in your circle is having issues take the extra step and check on them.
Ask them how they are. Make sure they know you want the truth, "Fine" will not cut it.
Pester your friends that suffer from depression and the ones that have a history of attempts. Love the men in your life. Show them you love them. Tell them you love them (men have a higher suicide rate.)
Below is some of my art that directly relates to this topic.