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Sharing – One in 100 deaths is by suicide

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I want abuse survivors to know that healing is possible. I want people dealing with mental health issues to have hope that they can get better. I work hard to get that message out, but those 700,000 people who died by suicide in 2019 won’t ever get to read what you just read. They aren’t here.

I’m tired of that. These numbers are so much more than numbers.… Read More

Sharing – Our mental health crashed in 2020. Recovery could take years

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The article below gets into a lot more of the details of how different groups have been affected in a variety of ways, but the thing that I found myself nodding along to was this idea. This is not going to go away this Summer. People you know who have struggled, and have anxiety about things opening back up again, or are dealing with grief and depression, or the aftermath of all of the trauma that we’ve borne witness to over the last couple of years, are not going to just be “back to normal” and ready to hit happy hour like nothing happened.

We’re not there. We’re not going to be there for awhile. Give those people, and yourself if that describes you, some grace and patience.

Most of all, don’t stigmatize anyone for not being OK for a bit. We’ve all been dealing with different levels of trauma and anxiety, and you likely don’t even know half of how much people around you have been dealing with.

So, just be kind, OK?… Read More

Sharing – Can I Just Tell You: With So Much To Mourn, We Must Allow Time To Grieve

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

One of the things I learned in 2019, and saw repeated over and over again in 2020-21, was that there are a lot of people who are so uncomfortable with the idea of death, that they become almost unbearable to be around when you are grieving yourself. They are so uncomfortable with grief, that they really, really need you to get over your grief so that they don’t have to feel uncomfortable anymore.

It’s a weakness. One that cuts people off from their own emotions, whether it be hurt, pain, anger or grief. It hurts people, all in the name of someone else’s comfort.

We see it when people complain about child abuse public service announcements, put in the “required” time at a funeral, avoid people they know dealing with mental health issues, and so on. And it’s not going to change, until it’s them or someone they care enough about to make an effort to get past their own discomfort.

Or, maybe it won’t change. Maybe they’ll continue to isolate themselves from anyone who is hurting. That’s a choice, one any of us is free to make.

Or we can choose to allow people to hurt, and grieve, and simply be with them. Simply care more about that other person than our own discomfort.… Read More

Sharing – People Aren’t ‘Addicted’ to Wearing Masks, They’re Traumatized

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

‘ve been describing it to friends and coworkers as “the inability to just turn off the fear of other people and their germs”. Because, in some ways, that’s exactly what it was. I’ve spent a year plus barely leaving my house. Sure, I worked from home even before the pandemic, but it’s an extreme sport now, going into the back yard is an adventure into a strange and exotic place, let alone being around other people.

Yesterday, however, I did manage to get out and meet up with a friend and former coworker. I won’t say it wasn’t awkward. But, it wasn’t as awkward as my anxiety had built it up in my head, mostly because I think we both knew it was awkward, and went out of our way to figure out what we were comfortable with. We met in the office building where she works, wearing masks. She asked if I wanted to keep being masked walking to lunch, and we agreed to not, and to sit outside to be safer. And she asked before giving me a hug after lunch.

It was an important lesson to me, that we need to navigate this together with the people we care about, and meet them at the level where they are comfortable. It’s not about racing to be the most “normal” group, it’s about making sure everyone comes along, and is comfortable, because we’ve all dealt with various levels of trauma over the last 14-15 months, trauma that will show up in a variety of ways. There’s nothing wrong with people who are slower to feel comfortable, they are just doing what they can. I’d rather meet them where they are, and where I am, than not see them at all anymore, or shame them about their own hesitation. It’s not a race.… Read More

Sharing – Allowing Survivors of Suicide Loss to Be Honest

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

As Brandy shares, processing grief can sometimes mean being angry, or feeling things about the death of a loved one that don’t always jive with how we’d want suicide reported, but these are not spokespeople, advocates, or reporters, they are people dealing with their own pain.

Maybe, if we want people to speak their truth, we need to give them the room to express it the way they feel it, not silence them in the interest of not hearing terms we don’t love.… Read More

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