I make it a point not to solicit for causes on social media.
So when I do, you can bet it's for a good reason.
At the end of the previous century, the suicide rate in the US had been declining. However, since the beginning of the new millennium that trend has reversed. Over the last decade suicide rates in the US have steadily increased. Today, suicide is the tenth largest cause of death in America. In 2010, the last year complete figures are available, 38,364 Americans died by their own hand - or about one every fourteen minutes.
Why? Well, that's a good question, isn't it?
My friend, Janiece Murphy, recently lost her daughter to suicide. Her grief is still horribly raw and she's trying very hard to find a way to deal with the tragedy.
Her friends are rallying around her and her family during this terrible time. Two of them, Stacey and J.R. will be participating in the upcoming American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Westchester County Walk Out of the Darkness Community Walk on October 6th in honor of Janiece's daughter, Maureen "Mo" Ramey. The walk raises money for the AFSP's ongoing efforts to answer the question posed above, why? And to do something about it.
I think this is a worthwhile cause. I'd like you to take a moment and visit J.R. and Stacy's pledge page on the AFSP website. I'm NOT demanding that you donate, I'm only asking you to think about it. Note: If you choose to give, you can elect to keep your donation anonymous. Nobody needs to know how much or how little or even if you did at all. Again, I'm not demanding that you donate, only that you consider it.
You can learn more about Mo and Janiece on the Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men blog, which Janiece writes.
Why? I can only speculate, but 12 years of war in far off places, chronically high unemployment, the foreclosure crisis, etc etc. This last decade has been an incredibly lucky one for me. I'm happy to share a little of that luck with folks that are hurting ;)ReplyDelete
I think one of the reasons suicide is up is that our uniformed men and women are committing suicide at an alarming rate. They are not getting the mental health care they need ewhen they return home. I also think the I've got mine, you're on your own attitude of so many today leaves the most vulnerable feeling that there is no reason to go on. I have myself cosidered suicide but l am tougher than I seem, and luckily for me, I am getting the help that I need. Not everyone is so lucky. I believe that supporting this cause is extremely important either monetarily or any other way that you're able. You don't ever know when a smile or a kind word, can literally save someone's life.ReplyDelete
Jim, thank you so much for promoting this cause in my daughter's name. As sundaysue notes, kindness matters.ReplyDelete
While suicides are up in the military, don't think they're not up for the non-military world as well. I lost a nephew to suicide. I encourage every one to support this cause.ReplyDelete
As a lifelong sufferer of Depression as a result of Childhood parental abuse (We used to joke in my unit that I was the only guy there to go into the military with PTSD), I can sympathize with anyone having suicidal thoughts. And suicidal thoughts and depression have cost me some pretty big things in my life.ReplyDelete
I found this list online, and it applies to me and the "Black Dog" that follows me around. Having the list and being able to refer to it helps me when that little evil whisper starts in the back of my head. Maybe it will help some others as well. Remember, what you're hearing from yourself is all lies, and you DO deserve a long happy life.
Jim, I hope you don't mind if I post it here:
Ten Lies Your Depression Tells You
1. You are a bad person who deserves bad things.
2. You are unhappy because you are lazy or lacking in willpower. Happiness is a choice, a choice that you have failed to make. Somehow, somewhere over the course of your lifetime, when faced with some metaphysical fork in the road, you chose the wrong path. You brought this curse down on yourself.
3. Your sadness is the baseline by which the rest of your life should be measured. This sadnesss is your norm, and any other emotions, especially positive ones, are exceptions to the rule. Yes of course there will be good times, of course there will be flashes of joy; you will certainly, on occasion, experience the pleasure of a good book or a ripe juicy peach. However, those experiences will be few and far between. Your bad days will always outnumber the good.
4. Your family and friends do not love you. Your family people who feel obligated to spend time with you because, as luck would have it, you share a similar genetic makeup. Your friends are people that you somehow tricked into thinking that you, as a person, have some kind of value, and now they don't know how to extricate themselves from your pathetic, needy grasp. No one spends time with you because they enjoy it; they do it out of a sense of duty, a feeling of pity. Whenever you leave a room everyone breathes a sigh of relief.
5. Your family and friends do not want to hear about how sad you are. No matter how sympathetic they may seem, no matter how sincerely they might ask how you are feeling, remember that it's all an act. The more that you open yourself up to them, the more you pour your heart out, the more resentful of you they become. Do not fall into the trap of sharing your feelings; do not give into the temptation to draw back the curtain and, like a tawdry magician, reveal your grotesque sadness. Your sadness is a choice, remember? This burden is yours to bear alone.
Janiece, Nothing I can write will ease your pain and loss, but my best wishes go out to you.
Jeff I can empathise and identify. I, too, am a lifelong sufferer of depression. I had not seen the article ten lies before, it realy struck a cord with me. Thanks for sharing.Delete
Thank you Jeff, I lost my sister to that very same "Black Dog". To Janiece, I am so sorry for your loss. I too know it will not ease the pain but know you have people out here that are feeling it with you. I hope this is some comfort. Hope was my sister's name maybe it will be.Delete
When I was younger, I tried to take my own life once. I was 16, I'd just been diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes (because of that alone, I was convinced that I'd die young; at best, I was sure that I wouldn't live to 30), and a cascade of other things caused me to walk away in the middle of gym class one day and find an empty room. I still had my insulin pen with me, so I stuck a fresh needle on the end and cranked it up as far as it would go; I planned to inject it all and force a seizure which, as I was alone, would have eventually killed me. If the school counselor hadn't found me when he did, I would have succeeded.ReplyDelete
It wasn't until later that I realized that suicide was just another way to run away from my problems; dying by my own hand wouldn't actually fix anything, it would just force my problems onto everyone else. And so, here I am, and it's amazing all the things I would've missed if I'd been allowed to go through with killing myself.
On a much happier note, a friend of mine saved a life by trolling once. As a hobby (he has some pretty weird hobbies, but I digress), he trolls Yahoo Answers (it's both surprising and disturbing how many of his answers get voted "best response"). Anyway, he's trawling through one of the sections (I think it was "Sex and Relationships," but I don't exactly recall), and he comes across this entry titled something along the lines of "Should I Kill Myself?" As you can imagine, it read like it was written by an angsty teenager looking for attention. However, this being the internet and all, there was no way of telling if the OP was seriously considering suicide, and the number of replies that said things like "do it," "the world would be better off," and "i dont care" were disturbing and saddening to say the least. So, my friend types up the response, "Don't do it. It won't change anything," and put under as his source "Personal Experience," (his favorite source when trolling), and submitted it.
He comes back to check later (because trolls troll because they want attention), only to find that his comment got the most upvotes of any of them, was selected "Best Response," and even got a reply from the OP thanking him for his comment and telling him that suicide was off the table for dealing with his (or her, the internet's pretty vague when it comes to things like that) problems.
The moral of the story is that sometimes, only sometimes, trolling saves lives.
Thanks for sharing this. The worst thing, I believe, about suicide is the horrible consequences to everyone involved. There is no making sense of it.Delete
Depression has been in my life but, thankfully, not to such a debilitating degree so as to see how one could believe there is no other way. I count my blessings.
Jim, just a side note for those who care about checking things out. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has a 4 star rating (the highest possible) with Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.com). I always look at profiles before donating or sharing.ReplyDelete