A note of deep concern and worry
My colleagues of all stages, please take a moment:
There has been a rash of suicides and suicide attempts in my community and it has driven me to write this note.
After the devastating loss of a nursing student, I just....I don't even know where to begin. So I'll start:
Please, please, please remember that in taking care of others, one most take care of oneself. Please remember no matter how dark, how down, how trapped you feel, there are people that care--that love you--that want to help.
Surround yourselves by people who are a positive influence. Give yourself the benefit of people who will boost you, watch out for you, and save you from yourself. Get out of bad or toxic relationships, regardless of who that relationship involves.
Be your own advocate.
Do not be ashamed of what you are feeling or what you are thinking. It doesn't matter if "someone else has it worse". Please do not, for one moment, think that if you sought help from someone who supported you, that you would be turned away.
Just talk, out loud, about what is going on. Let people help.
There is no bill worth more than you life.
There is no test score that should make you feel as if you are invisible.
There is no relationship that determines your worthiness of love or life.
There is no day bad enough not to merit a dawn.
Suicide is the number 10 cause of death in this country. This is a fact.
And I, for one, decry a society that believes that depression is just a bad case of the blues. I have seen the black dog up close and personal, thank you, and it is very real. It is a medical condition. And it can kill.
So I declare myself a safe haven.
If you need a shoulder, I am here. I am not the most empathetic individual ever created, and I may not be able to fix it, but I can listen. I can be genuinely present in the moment.
I am here.
If you are in need of help, please remember the following resources:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Google free counseling services for your area. There are many.
Keep in mind that there are counseling services offered through many employers.
Do your absolute best to get help when you feel the slouch of depression. Listen to your loved ones that worry, that ask you over and over if you are okay. They are seeing something you are not--trust them. When they tell you they love you, internalize it, believe it.
Please, take care of each other and yourselves.
Written off the cuff. Grammar and spelling mistakes are all mine.
CheesePotato has 'Enough.' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Sleep medicine,Floor nursing, OR, Trauma'. From 'Down the Rabbit Hole'; Joined Jan '12; Posts: 241; Likes: 2,320. You can follow CheesePotato at Google+ Twitter My Website
Must Read Topics14Feb 8, '13 by CheesePotatoIt has been a rough week. But those come and go and I know they are all a part of the job. Thank you for asking after me, but I assure you, I'm all good. Thankfully I work with wonderful people and when I come home, I have Kid to smother me in adorable, if slobbery, puppy lovin'.2Feb 8, '13 by GinginRNThank you for posting. We all go through times of despair, and in this economy, I think many of us can identify similar situations with the post. I know of 3 people who took their own lives in 2012. Stay strong, and know that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.5Feb 8, '13 by MomRN0913Thanks for brining some awareness to suicide and mental illness.My mother ended her own life at the age of 47 after battling life long mental illness. I wonder if the outcome would have been taken more seriously if certain people stopped brushing it off as her " needing more attention "8Feb 8, '13 by wish_me_luckMom, I think your last sentence makes a very valid point. Many serious suicide attempts are brushed off as "attention seeking" behavior.
I had a very serious suicide attempt and I think many people looked at it as "being stupid" or "wanting attention". I want to point out when dealing with suicidal people (this is meant in a patient setting or John/Jane Doe out on the street), you need to actively listen to them and what they are saying. Often you can find that one thing that they will live for. I know, in my situation, my one thing was that I wanted to be a public health nurse more than anything. That's what got me to get help when I had done what I did in order to kill myself. That brings me to my next point.
I wish people would realize that keeping someone alive goes beyond just talking them out of suicide--after the attempt and them getting help, putting them in a situation in which they cannot find jobs and they essentially are forced to go on disability (believe it or not, many people with mental illness do not just wake up one day and say "I think I'll go on disability". They want to have a productive and meaningful life.) or in a situation where they find themselves hopeless once again and have another suicide attempt, will just cause a repeat in the cycle over and over again.Last edit by wish_me_luck on Feb 8, '13 : Reason: I can't talk tonight :)5Feb 8, '13 by leslie :-Dmy 23 yo dtr has lost 4 friends to suicide.
one in 2009 and 3 in 2012.
two of these people were sister and brother.
just last week i was speaking to the dad of the 2 siblings...
and he is going to be renting a hall to throw a huge party in celebrating life.
we are hoping this will unite all the despairing young people who are losing their friends to suicide.
kind of a 'reach out and touch someone' party...we adults are here for you.
to me there is nothing more tragic than suicide - attempted or otherwise.
thank you cp, for this profound reminder.
it seriously gnawed at my core.
(((noogies))), since you're not a 'huggy' person.
leslie4Feb 8, '13 by LadyFree28, BSN, RNQuote from buytheshoes11^ and on AllNurses as well.Thank you for this CP! It makes me want to print out lots of copies and hang them all around town.
This is needed to be drilled in each nurses mind YESTERDAY: be your OWN advocate.
Seek out help...create a safe haven to vent, work things out, etc. I LOVE my therapist!!! The best self care choice I made in the past 5 years...and well worth it!!
Thanks CP ((HUGS)) (even though your are not a "hug" person, THIS is when a hug is needed, IMO )5Feb 8, '13 by VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN GuideI don't know where I'd be right now without the support network I have, which includes not only family and RL friends, but my AN buddies and the most awesome psychiatrist alive. All y'all have kept my feet on the ground when I just wanted to disappear, and helped me dig out of depressions so deep that I needed light piped in to me.
In fact, I hope someday that I can make everyone understand what their efforts have meant to me.....I'm the suicide that never happened because of the people who cared enough to pull me back from the edge.