Jan 3, 2018 12:08 AM
"Fragile" is an adjective that not many of us like to use to describe ourselves. We like to think of ourselves a strong and durable and we are! We have withstood the pressures and injuries in life to be here today so of course we are strong and durable! But aren't we also delicate at times and meant to be handled with tenderness even when we are strong and durable? What if you were only durable and as a result, you were only handled with carelessness? I mean, it's fine! You won't break! What would it be like to honor your fragility and invite the opportunity to be handled with tenderness?
Sep 5, 2017 10:39 AM
A dear friend of mine is in pain, especially this week, as she grapples with the 19th anniversary of her brother's suicide. As a therapist and also someone who has been a very active EMT for 19 years of my life, I have heard a lot of people contemplate suicide and idealize suicide and I have seen a lot of suicide attempts and some suicide completions. How do I cope with that? I compartmentalize. As an EMT responding to a suicide call, I needed to in order to do the job at hand. As a therapist, I have to compartmentalize JUST ENOUGH to stay focused but not so much that I am unfeeling. While compartmentalization (which is a defense mechanism used to sort of stuff or numb pain) enables us to go about our day without having a melt-down, it also inhibits empathy. It is sometimes hard for me to imagine the enormity of the pain a person must have felt to have decided that suicide is THE answer. It is sometimes hard for me to imagine the amount of pain the survivors of a person who has suicided feels. I thank my friend for putting her pain out there so that I can be reminded of the pain people feel and my responsibilities to my fellow humans!
I had the fortunate opportunity to watch Kevin Hines speak at a conference. He is an amazing man who survived a jump from the Golden Gate Bridge in an attempt to end his life. He opened his speech up with this: "'How are you? Is there anything you need? Can I help?' If anyone had said any of those things to me, I would not have tried to end my life that day."
As he states in this video, it is okay not to be okay and recovery happens!!! It is NOT okay to NOT ask for someone to back you up. If you are contemplating suicide and someone asks you how you are, even if they are just making small talk, tell them you are not okay and ask them to help you to not end your life today. I know that you don't want to go to the hospital but remember that it is part of the healing process and that you CAN feel better! HOW YOU FEEL TODAY IS NOT HOW YOU WILL ALWAYS FEEL EVEN IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE THAT NOW! THIS IS NOT HOW YOUR STORY ENDS should you choose to keep writing it!