When I think of blogging I feel I must begin with this topic. ... suicide.
|photo source: Calgary Journal|
As I stated earlier, I am in a new season.
-I am done with school.
-I am employed in my new career field.
-I have reunited with my son (of which I will write about later).
I don't know if you ever picked up on it, or if I even wrote enough or clearly for you to realize, but my greatest support network has come from here ... online. I was on an open support group, a private support group for mothers of adoption loss, and welcomed into an adoptee support group, all before FB bloomed (or mushroomed, however you want to view it). It created an incredible network of so many people sharing of themselves and their stories, giving their support and love, and patiently teaching me... this network truly helped me survive and grow.
IRL or in real life I do have a few friends. I have blogged about two of them over the years. There is this post about My Best Friend, and a post about Gigi - both of whom were close friends, and yet I could not talk to them about adoption - or it took me many years to try to talk to them about adoption. This is my first time referencing a fellow I used to work with, I'll call him My Silent Support. I did not know that he accidentally found out about my being an original mother. He knew for years but did not tell me he knew about the adoption until I finally worked up the nerve to tell him first. Since that time he has listened and been incredibly supportive! Our sons are about six months apart.
Not long ago I was talking with My Best Friend about reunion stuff. It seems my son feels a connection and wants face to face contact with us (me and his original dad - Mr. Cheerio) and I was excited about it! As I shared this part of the story with My Best Friend, it resurfaced memories from back in 2005 - 2008.
I shared with her a vivid memory I had of driving home from work one afternoon. Because of the adoption related pain, I had been having thoughts of suicide and dying (it was ongoing for about three years). On my home from work that day I had the thought (and I don't know if it was God speaking to my heart, or if it was the Holy Spirit, but I do believe it was Divine intervention -- *if I give up now [by ending my life] then they win and I lose. If he ever needs me in the future, I would be hurting him by not being there. I can not let them win.* That was the turning point for me, and I did not really struggle with suicidal thoughts since that time. I expressed to My Best Friend, that I am glad I didn't give up back then.
Several weeks later I was talking with My Silent Support, and I shared with him the same memory above.
As I was sharing it with him, the light bulb came on....
He and She, they were my closest friends,
never let on to either one of them
about how much I was struggling with the suicidal thoughts.
They did not know I actually had a plan with a place and method mapped out.
In fact no one in real life knew (and I am not sure if anyone online knew either - until it was 'over') .
I am NOT writing this post to judge or condemn my friends.
I am just putting it out here as a reminder - that was so poignantly clear to me recently -
if you notice someone is struggling - or maybe even not quite them self,
I know it feels awkward, but ask how they are doing? do they have thoughts about death? or dying? thoughts of harming them self? do they feel like things are never going to change or get better?
Without being prompted, the other person is most likely NOT going to tell you they are contemplating suicide.
LISTEN and help them connect to resources
Maybe start here ... https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/, which has both a phone # (1-800-732-8255) and a live CHAT Line.
Suicide - Ask About It