Suicide. There I said it. No hiding what this blog post is about. It happens more than we know. Over 800,000 people die by suicide every year (according to the World Health Organization). Males complete suicide four times more than females, though females attempt suicide three times as often as males. (CDC) Most people are unaware of their loved-ones depression, unable to help because they don’t know there’s a problem. Why am I writing about this you may ask? Earlier in May a high school classmate of mind took his own life. From my understanding, it caught everyone by surprise, including his wife, friends & co-workers. It shocked my classmates, as no one understood this could happen to such a great, happy guy. His two children went to the same school as my sister’s kids, so this struck my sister & her son as well.
Brian & I were friends in high school, hanging out in the same circle then going our own way after graduation. We didn’t have Facebook to keep in touch; we went to college in different states and gradually fell out of contact with each other. However about four years ago we reunited at a high school reunion, connected on Facebook and like others do, used that to stay in touch & know what was going on in each others live (or so I thought). He didn’t post much at all, but commented or “liked” posts regularly, so you knew he was there. We exchanged comments every now and then, and there was no indication he was depressed.
His wife decided to go public with the story, rather than hiding his suicide, in the hope that it would make others more aware and would be able to help someone else who may be facing this same challenge. It has made me think about it often over the past few weeks, feeling so sad for his two children, his wife, and his own sisters. It just doesn’t make sense to me; I cannot understand why someone would do this or how they could do it to their own family. I’ve heard that people who take their own lives believe that others lives would be better, if they were not around. It is just so sad. I don’t get it at all.
I reached out to a colleague Camille McDaniel, a Licensed Professional Counselor who owns Healing Psychotherapy of Georgia, and asked her to write up something on this topic. Here is a link to her blog: http://www.healingpsychotherapyga.com/lies-suicide-thriving/
In addition, have you heard about Project Semicolon; ? Project Semicolon is a global non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love for those who are struggling with mental illness, suicide, addiction and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love and inspire. The semicolon is used when a sentence could have ended, but didn’t. The semicolon is symbolic for anyone who has ever self-harmed, has a personality disorder, or suffers from depression. The semicolon is a sign of hope, showing that you could’ve ended things but you chose to keep moving forward; your story hasn’t ended yet.
So this is my call out there, to those of you who may be contemplating this….talk to me, talk to Camille or someone at her office. Call the phone numbers that are offered. Visit Project Semicolon website. Don’t end your story. Your life is valuable. Know that there are resources out there, phone numbers to call, people to talk to. Please don’t do to your family what Brian has done to his, and what others have done to their family.