Being the oldest child gave me a few privileges growing up. One that I remember clearly was being able to stay up later than my brother. It was probably only 15 to 20 minutes later, but being eight or nine years old at the time, it seemed like I was up until midnight!
The other day, my 8th grader got into the car after school, chipper as always. We started the usual pleasantries: how was school, what did you eat for lunch, any tests coming up? We carry on for about 5 minutes until he says, “Someone at school tried to kill himself today.”I didn’t say anything at first because my immediate instinct was he was kidding. He said it so nonchalantly and he has a tendency to say crazy shit to garner a reaction; he is a teenager after all. Instead of the “just kidding,” I was waiting for, he continued with the story. ...more
Why didn't they reach out?
Why didn't they say they felt that way?
Didn't they have anyone to talk to?
Why did they do it?
Even worse, "How did they do it?" or "Did they leave a note?" And the biggest punch to the gut question that people ask with a suicide, "Were they depressed?" (meaning: How did you miss the clues?)
Depression is an intensely private struggle, and suicide makes it public. When someone takes their life, every question in the world is brought out into the open. We need to stop asking the wrong questions, and start to ask What can we do?
Today is No Shame Day, a day of remembrance, solidarity and support for those we've lost to suicide and those who continue to struggle. If you've read me for more than a month, then you know that I have bipolar II disorder and that I am open and honest about what I go through every day to stay on this side....more
I went to bed at 9:00 p.m. that night. Exhausted after a long week on the road. At 10:30 p.m. my phone rang and I ignored it. At 10:32 p.m. my phone rang again and I turned it off. At 11:00 p.m. I awoke to my husband gently shaking me and telling me I needed to get up. He’d been in another town visiting friends when he got the call. He made the two hour trip home to be sure that he was the one who broke the news. My mother had been institutionalized after an attempted suicide and would be held in the facility until someone came to claim her....more