Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Awareness
Please note: This post has been made for World Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and addresses death and depression.
First and foremost, I’d like to thank my amazing friend, Eva Pohler, for putting together the Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Day Prevention Facebook event. She is an incredibly caring and giving person, and I admire her bravery and dedication for putting this all together.
Today is my day to share my experiences with this tough subject. So let’s get to it.
At first, when Eva asked me to be a part of her event, I was hesitant to say yes. I know how deep and dark this topic can be and I always try to avoid it. It’s not that I’m afraid to open up, it’s that I’m reluctant to let my mind go into that space. You see, I’m a person who absorbs feelings and emotions. My mind is highly sensitive to suggestion, situations, and events. Some people call it being sensitive, others call it empathetic. I’m undecided on what to call it. Sometimes I think it’s a blessing that I can connect with people on this level, other times it’s a curse. I can imagine the most wonderful and beautiful things, but I can also visualize the most horrendous and dreadful. This can be very helpful as a writer, but extremely damaging as a human. So as I explore this topic, you’ll have to forgive me if I’m vague.
My experience with depression involves a dear family member on my husband’s side. This person lost his son to a terminal illness. The death devastated him to his core. He had already started drinking heavily when his son was diagnosed, but when he actually lost his son, his drinking amped up. Over time, he found himself divorced and living alone. He kept working, but at the same time, kept deteriorating. And then, one horrible day after losing his job, he was found near-death in his apartment. I’ll never forget arriving at the hospital and seeing an unrecognizable person. He was comatose, swollen, and discolored. Tubes and devices were hooked up all over his body. I rotated vigil with other families for a few days until the heart-wrenching decision was made to remove all artificial life sustaining machines.
I was there when he took his last breath.
According to the Addiction Center, “Alcohol abuse is rampant among sufferers of depression. At least 30%-40% of alcoholics also experience a depressive disorder.”
According to the MCES Organization, “Alcohol is involved [in] over a quarter of all suicides in the US (approximately 7500 per year). Suicide is 120 times more prevalent among adult alcoholics than in the general population. Alcohol abusers have higher rates of both attempted and completed suicide than non-abusers. More than one-third of suicide victims used alcohol just prior to death.”
If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255. If you or anyone you know is abusing a substance, including alcohol, please call 1-800-662-4357.
I could say more on this topic, but I just don’t have it in me. So I’ll close with this... we need to look out for each other. All the time. Every day.