Focusing today on who I’ve become

Focusing today on who I’ve become

World Suicide Prevention Day. My 7th since becoming a survivor of suicide loss. With every passing year I become more distant from that event, although I still feel compelled- maybe obligated is a better word -to say something.

I haven’t written anything here in months. I was interviewed for an article for WomensRunning.com in the spring in which I said something about it not being a good idea to train for a marathon if you’re also starting a new job or planning a wedding or moving. The only thing I haven’t done this summer is move. Or write a blog post.

So, yeah. Kurt and I got married on August 24th. I’ve written a blog post about that – in my head. I went back to working full time with the Chicago Area Runners Association on June 22nd. I’ve written blog posts in my head about that too and a lot of other things but haven’t dedicated the time to put anything “down on paper” so to speak. I will. I promise.

Much of that, I believe – and my conscious decision back in January to no longer be a slave to weekly blog posts – is that much of the purpose this blog served was bridging the gap between who I was in the year following my husband’s suicide and who I was becoming. 

We will “Never Forget” 9-11, but the 20th Anniversary tomorrow, after eighteen months of quarantines, mask mandates, working from home, vaccines, and 4.6 million dead worldwide (674,547 in the US), will pass somewhat unceremoniously. We will be at the Cubs game.

I guess what I’m trying to say is life goes on. That’s what’s supposed to happen.

We cope.

We survive.

We grow.

We thrive.

We never forget, but we learn to live and love again.  And maybe we no longer want to be defined by the tragedy, but by who we’ve become. We honor our losses with our resilience. We become better people from the experience.

I will always be an advocate for mental healthcare. I will tell my story to anyone who needs to hear it. I will urge people to look out for each other; to never take a loved ones mental health for granted. I will support legislation that makes life easier to live. I will do all of that every day if I can.

I’ve had a lot to say in the last six years:

Please feel free to re-read them, and share them. I just think I want to focus now on who I’ve become. I no longer want be to someone who commemorates World Suicide Prevention Day with a blog post.

Vernon Hills, Illinois. September 2021
Suicide Prevention. Right now. Is everyone’s job.

Suicide Prevention. Right now. Is everyone’s job.

Today – September 10th – was World Suicide Prevention Day. I couldn’t go to sleep tonight without saying something.

Here in the U.S. this week (September 6-12) is National Suicide Prevention Week. This is the sixth National Suicide Prevention week for which I’ve been a survivor of suicide loss; the sixth consecutive year that I have felt compelled to say something.

Read more
How do we talk about suicide?

How do we talk about suicide?

This week marks National Suicide Prevention Week and Tuesday, September 10th was World Suicide Prevention Day.  Since I started this blog as part of my healing after my husband’s suicide, I have made it a point to acknowledge this week every year. Last year’s post provides links to the others as well as wealth of resources.

Suicide is a difficult subject. It was difficult for me to navigate in the hours, days and weeks that followed my husband’s suicide almost five years ago. It was difficult for us to tell others; it was somehow different than telling people he had died of cancer or a sudden heart attack or in an accident. But why? Because of stigma around mental illness for sure. But seriously, why? Read more

This week

This week

September 9-15, 2018. National Suicide Prevention Week. I’m in Seattle for a long weekend with my daughter. Sightseeing. Concert tickets. A visit with my college roommate who moved out here over 20 years ago. It’s my first time. First day’s impression: a little “San Francisco,” a wee bit of “Dublin,” and just enough “Newark New Jersey shabby industrial” to make me feel at home. Read more

Let’s talk about this – it may save a life

Let’s talk about this – it may save a life

This is National Suicide Prevention Week (September 10-16). We all know what suicide is. We hear about it. It’s something that happens to other people. I remember being touched by a documentary called The Bridge many years ago. I thought about it a lot when I had the incredible opportunity to run over the Golden Gate years later. I could never have imagined then how I would be touched by suicide.

WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

The more of these signs a person shows, the greater the risk. Warning signs are associated with suicide but may not be what causes a suicide.

Read more