Thursday, July 30, 2015

AM~Erica is Talking Suicide

So anyway...

If you've been around for a bit, you know I've stepped up in my advocacy & education for mental health & suicide awareness. I've blogged on it quite a bit (reminder HERE), but I just want to come out and talk about a few things. Just outright.

It's what we should be doing. Amm-i-rite? Having the open conversation to keep it real & honest? It's supposed help break the stigma surrounding it. Right...RIGHT?

Well, this is what we need to be doing.

Found this perfect gem on's FACEBOOK PAGE.

I've said that I need to talk out my struggles so I don't act on them. It's what's worked for me lately. I'm not on medication now, and haven't been for a long time. That wasn't always the case. Trust me, when I was on my meds...I needed them!

Some people need to be on them all the time. Some don't. All of our journeys are different. We cannot forget that. What is working for one person doesn't mean it works for the next person. Just as we were all made differently, different treatments will affect us differently. I can tell you what worked for me, but that doesn't mean it will work for you.

Just like all the different mental illnesses & disorders out there. They are not the same! Many can have the same symptoms, but it's different for every person who has to live with any of it.

Much like those of us who suffer with suicidal thoughts. The thoughts I have, plus the means I would use in my skewed reality, might be very different than those someone else might think or try to use.

(means & methods of suicide to be discussed here)
~if need be, scroll to 'END TRIGGER WARNING'~

I was recently having a conversation with someone who had a run-in of sorts with a guy who was putting down those who have suicidal thoughts. He called anyone who brought up taking their own life a coward, then he said if he heard someone say that, he'd test their cowardice by handing them his gun to see if they'd do it. Then doubted they would, because, you know, they are cowards and all.

OMGoodness!!! Isn't that just horrible?

This is obviously someone who needed some education. I know the person I was talking to tried to explain to this guy that how it's not cowardice, but a cry for help. Also, this person asked the guy if he'd really be OK with someone taking their life by his accomplice of handing his gun to them...what if they used it?

I want to talk about this a bit more. About the means & methods.

When I attempted my suicide, I took a lot of pills. Not an overdose of one thing, but one or two of as many pills I could get my hands on in the house while swallowing them down with one can of Coke. I had enough pills to last me thru every sip or two of that can. And I do mean sips. There were no big drinks taken...just slowly consuming the pills & sipping enough liquid to get them down. I don't know what all I took, or even how many all together, but I do remember 1 or 2 Anacin being in there.

That was my means of choice in my skewed & blurred reality, and it all just needed to end.

I obviously survived it. So, I have lived experience. And, I know I'd never use that type of method again since it didn't work.

I also know what my next means would be in an upcoming attempt I would use. I don't want to! JUST. KNOW. THAT. But when I'm that low, I can feel it...

Here's the deal...
If you know someone who has suicidal thoughts, they probably already know how they want to end things. So if you know what they have talked about using as their means...please make sure they cannot get to it...or that it would be difficult for them to try to use it. Don't leave the opportunity open to see if they'd try it! If that's the case, and they use the means, they are successful in completing their suicide because you didn't think they would...that's on you. Harsh? Yep...because it's true.

Now then, remember that guy that would test the cowardice of someone talking suicide by handing them his gun? If he heard me say I was having suicidal thoughts, and if he handed me his gun...I'd use it.

My original means was to overdose. This was even before I knew I had a mental illness of any sort...I just wanted it to end. But I didn't want to hurt myself. (Remember? I was in a skewed reality...and a teenager.) If that guy heard me talk suicide at that time, and handed me his gun, I wouldn't use it. Why? It wasn't the means I wanted or the method going thru my head. So I guess he would have thought I was a coward. Even though he had no idea what pain I was feeling...the hurt I was dealing with every day of feeling like a worthless failure. I just wanted it to end. But not by someone walking up to me with a firearm & telling me to use it.

Nowadays, when I'm low, I do sense the cold feeling of the metal barrel. I used to feel it against my temple for quite some time, but it has very recently moved position, but the same means, nonetheless.

This is why I cannot have a firearm in my house! And it's why I have the feelings I do about guns & it's connection with anyone with mental illness. (read it HERE, if you dare)

But guess what. Just because that's what I'd use, someone else with the thoughts have a different means lined up. If you walked up with a gun to someone who is actually thinking about hanging themselves, overdosing, jumping off a high spot, cutting themselves, asphyxiation, or anything else...the gun won't suffice.

Don't get me wrong, there might be a few who might be willing to use any method "necessary", but for the most part, a method & means is already in their heads...and that's where the focus is.

By the way...that guy was part of a Christian motorcycle group. Think about that for a moment.


I know that was heavy! But I hope it makes sense. We are supposed to be talking about this, right?

Part of why I wanted to bring this up, too, is the fact that we all can look for signs of someone in crisis. If you turn your back, pretend you don't see it, or prefer to stay oblivious to it, it could be a matter of life & death. Literally.

Words are important, especially in promoting a cause or a charity. I try to step up to track down journalists & bloggers who are careless in their wording in articles or on the news. I won't do it publicly to shame them, but will send a private message to them, if possible, to let them know about how words matter. But if that option isn't available, a public comment may have to be the route...if even that's allowed.

Recently, I learned about some more change up in wording & terminology. I'll share them with you, then I'm going to give my take on it as someone with lived experience. So, here goes...

The term "Warning Signs" is now passé. We are supposed to use the term "Invitation."
So, if someone is showing signs, it's supposed to be an invitation for you to maybe take action in some way.

I have no issue with striking the alarmist word of "Warning," but I want to talk about "Signs" & "Invitation."

These are two very different things. They cannot really be lumped together.

If I am having a conversation with you about where my head is at or that I'm feeling low, that is the invitation. I don't do that with just anyone. It would be my hubby & maybe another person or two. But it's directed to anyone I'm discussing my darkness with, especially in the moment.

Now, just because I haven't invited you into my conversation, it certainly doesn't mean you can't spot signs of crisis. (reminder of the Five Signs HERE) <<=== *IMPORTANT LINK*

The invitation is talking about it. The signs are what you show.

When you go to the DMV (oh yes...I just brought that up), you are invited to check in to where you need to go. Then you head to your place, but you can see the signs of what is happening for others there at the DMV.

Invitation; Signs. Two different things. Yet both are extremely important!

When you're driving, that stop sign ahead is meant for you. *Invitation*
As you pull up, you can see the other stop signs or yield signs & you know what the others are supposed to do when they see them. *Signs*

Not necessarily the best examples, but just a thought process into the difference between the two. They cannot really be lumped together. But they can achieve the same thing in the end. In this case, it could be about life or death. Much like in the vehicles...if you ignore the invitation, or if the other signs are ignored, it could be very ugly!

Also, we are still having the issue of having the word "committed" paired with "suicide."
Let me be clear: this continues to add to the stigma. It sounds like a crime has been planned out. This is NOT the case! And we have to stop using it, as well as calling out others (even media) for using this terminology. The individual died by suicide, completed suicide (I'm not fond of this one, but it is used), or took their own life due to fatal complication of mental illness. The fatal breaking point is maybe the worst side effect/symptom of mental illness.

The thing I do is commit to live...not commit to die. Let's not forget that!


Whew! There's a lot to unload here. But vital things in the realm of mental health/illness & suicide conversation & understanding.

The more you know, people. The more you know.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

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