Suicide prevention doesn’t always start from the outside.

As with the suicides of Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell, there are an outpouring of posts giving the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and calls to reach out if you need to talk.

And of course, there’s the usual backlash of, “You should reach out to check on us if you’re so concerned!” It’s a back and forth I’ve seen repeatedly, and frankly, it’s getting very old, very fast.

So here’s my take on it, as someone who has reached out to others in the past, who’s talked people down from the ledge, who pulled a fucking knife away from a friend’s wrist when he was about to slice it open:

THIS GOES BOTH WAYS.

Yes, you want people tor each out to you. I get it. But I’ve also had times, more than I care to count, where I have reached out, and the reactions were:

1. Denial- “No, I’m fine. Really, I’m all good. You don’t have to worry about me.”
2. Silence. No response, no answer, no call back, no reply email.
3. Annoyance- “I told you I’m alright. Stop bothering me about this.”

As someone with psychological training as part of my education, it is incredibly frustrating to hear that. Why? Because you can’t force someone to get help, even if you know they need it. Their rights as individuals supersedes what you want for them. They don’t want help? It’s their choice not to get it. You can’t make them unless it’s under very certain circumstances.

Here’s another detail: Most people do not have the experience or training to tell when someone’s in the midst of a depressive episode. It’d be great if they all did, but they don’t. Without knowing what to look for, they have no way to tell what’s going on with you UNLESS YOU TELL THEM WHEN THEY ASK OR YOU SPEAK UP.

As for the hotline number, it’s not being done to foist you off on a stranger. It’s being done to guide you to talk to a person or group that has the training and knowledge to get you the help you need. Again, most people don’t know how to handle this, and their instinct is to try to direct you to someone who can. It’s done to help you, not make you feel rejected or neglected.

Oh, and did I mention that one person, with the daily trials of work, family, relationships, and general life maintenance, may not necessarily have the actual time to reach out? Realistically, the number of people you communicate with on a regular basis shrinks over the years because you don’t have the time to maintain all those relationships. They weaken, they grow distant. People move away, they have kids, they get married. Things happen, and the energy and time they consume makes it difficult to keep abreast of everyone you know. You got things to do. So do they. Expecting a one-sided conversation initiation is unfair.

So don’t be critical of those posting that number or asking you to reach out. They’re doing what they can to help, even if you perceive that it isn’t enough.

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The heart vs. the real world.

There comes a time when you have a decision to make about matters of the heart. You know you have to make it, you know you can’t put it off, but the possible consequences are potentially devastating. And you don’t want to deal with those consequences. But remaining silent will do nothing more than agitate you.
So you fret and fuss and overthink the shit out of it, wondering what to do. It plays on your mind, driving you even battier than you already are. But finally, you make the decision to speak to the other person, to tell them how you feel, consequences be damned. You have to be honest and true to yourself, even if that means nothing good will come of it.

And then, the decision is made for you. And as much as you’re relieved you don’t have to make it, it bothers you that the choice was taken away from you. It’s your call to make about how you communicate. You’re not upset with the other person; in a way, they’ve made it a lot easier for you to accept the situation and make peace with it. But you still wonder from time to time, what could have been, one way or the other.

It’s a familiar story, one whose refrain I’ve heard a lot over the years. But it’s very, very different when you’re the one making the decision. Very different indeed….

A tired soul in a tired world.

I’m tired. Tired of a lot of the noise, garbage, and bullshit in this world. I need a change. I need new friends, a new job, and a much higher alcohol tolerance. Owning a bar would be nice as well.

I just don’t have it in the gas tank anymore. I exist and continue existing out of sheer inertia. I think I need a fresh start and perspective, but that’s not forthcoming.

Think I’ll hit the Burger King by my house later, grab a cup of coffee, and do some writing.

Some random thoughts while I go to make dinner…..

I have a follower! Hello, person from WordPress. Glad to see you find what I post interesting enough to want to know when I post more. I’m here very infrequently, so keep your eyes peeled. 🙂

On the subject of dinner, it’s going to be a loaded Nutribullet. Yes, David Wolfe is a fucking lunatic who talks out of his ass, but it’s the only way I can stomach veggies. And what I make is pretty tasty, so there’s that.

I’ve been writing quite a bit lately offline. Yes, I’m one of those crazy people that writes using pen and paper in addition to on a computer. I’m a legit fossil. 🙂 But when I look at what I’ve been writing, it’s been a big stack of wish fulfillment. It’s probably due to how rough things are for me at home, but that’s how things roll on occasion. It might change once things improve for me. We’ll see.

For a change of pace, I switched from Diablo 3 to Skyrim on my 360. I forgot how fun it was to play. The kill shots are a kick, and the aiming is fun, especially when you put an arrow in someone’s head. What, did you think I’d say knee? Come on, arrows to the knee are just so 2013…

I smell pizza. I had pizza yesterday, but the odor still lingers. Dammit, no pizza 2 days in a row! I gotta cut back on the carbs and cheese a little.

I follow politics a little, and I keep my responses on my Facebook page. This blog is more for the assorted other shit that pops into my head or needs to be said. Oh, don’t worry. Those who know me IRL and in other online areas know my take on things. I just need to keep this clear of that. Other things need to take priority.

Well, time to actually make dinner. Peace and chicken grease!