September is suicide prevention month and there are probably many people, especially veterans, in your life that you take for granted and think they're just fine.
They have a job, a family, they're getting good health care.
But most importantly they're the strong one in the family, in the religious community, or in the workplace.
They've been around the world and back again and have the tee shirts, photos, and stories to prove it. You don't need to worry about that guy.
She's the toughest woman you know right? Well most of you would probably say that about me but you'd be wrong. I've wanted to die twice in the past four-years--and I acted on it.
There's something that you don't know about me
My boyfriend--now husband, Miguel, saved me once. The second time, my service dog woke up Miguel and acted, without prompting from me, on her training to "get help" if any of a list of things that she had been trained on, happened--and she did. Bless this man because he still asked me to marry him after putting him through all of that.
Anxiety, depression, and PTSD left me feeling hopeless
I was left feeling hopeless by the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. A few weeks before this no one, not even Miguel, would've thought that I would soon be so hopeless that I wanted to end my life. In reality, I didn't want to die, I just wanted the emotional and physical pain to stop. With all of the mental health tools that I had, I just couldn't engage them.
Here's what you need to know about suicide prevention
I'm telling you my very personal story because there is probably
someone that you know, intimately or casually--veteran, active duty, or civilian, who are feeling hopeless right now and they just need a little pull in a positive direction to continue fighting for their lives. I found my pull--and it wasn't Miguel.
It turns out that what I needed was already inside me, I just needed to connect with it and heal.
Today, I'm a different and sincerely stronger person, but this isn't about me. This is about the people that you come in contact with that may be struggling with a mood disorder like depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
What you can do to help prevent suicide #BeThere
Show that you're sincere by saying something like this:
"I can see that you're going through something, you don't have to tell me what it is if you don't want. But if you do, I'm here to listen without judgment. Just know that I'm here for you in whatever way you need me to be. I can drive you somewhere, call someone, do some research for you, or help out with something else. Just tell me how I can help you?"
Then wait for it--their response, even if it's an uncomfortably long time, let them speak first.
This gives them time to absorb your words, consider your sincerity, and work through their own thoughts on whether or not they're ready to accept the help that you're offering.
If you or someone that you know is struggling with their emotional state try to get them to talk to a mental health professional. In October, I'm hosting a free workshop to tell people about an innovative approach to recovering from the debilitating effects of a mood disorder.
Leave a comment if you want it to be live streamed on Facebook if you're not in the Raleigh.
I'm also here if you have comments or questions about getting help for yourself or someone you care about.