Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Out of the Shadows, Into the Light 2014

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.  I don't, particularly given our euthanasia laws, think that all suicide is wrong.  However, it is such a final decision that I hope it is not the first option considered or tried.  And, as a solution to a temporary problem I do think it is wrong.  And it is always a tragedy.  A tragedy for the person who had, or believed they had, no other options and a tragedy for those they leave behind.

I spend time in dark places myself.  I have, and probably will again, considered suicide, and have come very close to taking that final step.  It seemed at the time to not only be the logical way to stop my emotional and mental pain but that it would also be better (and a relief) for the people I loved if they no longer had to deal with/put up with me.  I have heard people dismiss suicide as a selfish act, and I suppose it could be (though I haven't seen it and doubt it), but I think it is much more often an expression of intolerable physical, mental and/or emotional pain.  And, as an aside, many of the people making the selfish claim appear to be angry that something has been taken away from them.  Who is wearing the selfish hat now?

Neither do I think it a cowardly decision.  People chose to end their lives for a variety of reasons.  I suspect that depression and loneliness are common triggers.  Depression is an exhausting soul sucker and a powerful and convincing liar.  And in cahoots with so many other negatives to abolish hope - which is both fragile and essential.

Most of you know I do voluntary work with Lifeline Australia, a telephone crisis line.  Almost everyone who rings those lines with thoughts of suicide has at least a degree of ambivalence.  I, and all the other volunteers, will work on that ambivalence to keep the caller safe for the moment/the day and to help them see and consider other options.   Lifeline believes that suicide is often preventable and that the start of the journey to safety can be only a phone call away.  It is often a long and painful journey but should never be one that people feel condemned to walk alone.

Here in Australia suicide is still the leading cause of death for people aged under 44.  More people die from suicide each year than are killed on the roads.  Sadly the numbers of people we lose to suicide are rising again.

In 2011 Lifeline began  national suicide prevention walks - 'Out of the Shadows and into the Light'.  Symbolically, the walks begin before dawn and continue into the growing light.  The aim is to help raise awareness of suicide prevention and encourage people to seek help.  In addition it remembers those lost and those bereaved by suicide.

I couldn't attend the first walk, but have gone on the subsequent walks.  I made a commitment to myself that I would line up this year as well.  Which saw me heading off before dawn this morning.  

This year we again started from our National War Memorial and did a loop down Anzac Parade towards Lake Burley Griffin and back to the War Memorial.  Our Parliament House is directly opposite on the other side of the lake. 

Come walk with me, through the damp and cloudy dawn, into the light of a new day.


















Tomorrow is  RU OK day.  A question we should be asking every day.





Some numbers which may be useful for Australian readers include:
Lifeline 1311 14
Beyond Blue
Suicide Call Back Service

124 comments:

  1. That's awesome you did the walk this morning.
    A friend of mine attempted suicide - thank God he called his wife after he did and help arrived in time. Sad that's not the case with all.
    I think the rise in suicides is a testament to the hopelessness that prevails in today's society. There is always hope though. Just hard to see that when in a dark place.

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    1. Alex J. Cavanaugh: I am not certain that there is always hope. Often, but not always. Which is sad and bad. And yes, the ability to see in the dark isn't given to many of us.

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  2. Ah! Sweet sweet EC. How very dear you are to me. I know the darkness as well. I am reminded of a quote I want to share with you. "even in the gutter, some of us are looking at the stars!" Oscar Wilde I think..... The greatest power on earth is not atomic or solar, it is love. We need power generators like you to light our way!

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    1. mohave rat: It was indeed Oscar Wilde - who saw some very dark periods and rather a lot of gutters. I love that he also saw the stars.
      Me? Not a power generator - but thank you.

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  3. How wonderful that you volunteer with such a needed organization. I agree with you about suicide, though, so far,I haven't been tempted. But I know some who have and have gone through with it. I think it's saddest when it's a minor who hasn't yet tasted all of life. But, as you infer, who am I to say how much pain another should enure. Thank you for this post. And I found it interesting that I had just emailed someone to ask if he is ok. He's a blogging friend, but friend indeed. Glad that he IS ok.
    You take care.

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    1. Myrna R.: R U OK? is such a simple question - and so profound. Love that you asked it.
      I agree with you about the very young. I do hope that they can find a way out of or to live with their pain. Not easy, not always possible.

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  4. It is something that everyone comes across in their life when someone you know takes that final act. Thanks for making the effort to walk. I am pleased people are now more inclined to talk about suicide. Pretending it didn't happen was never going to work. You are owed a decent afternoon nap now.

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    1. Andrew: Suicide buried in the corners grows in strength I think. I am very, very glad that we are finally making steps to bring it to people's awareness. More to do, but a good start.

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    1. Kelly Steel: Very. Tragic. But for some there is hope and light.

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  6. I hope every ambivalent soul finds help.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: Yes. Beautifully summed up.

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  7. Friends and family had taken the final step, it's always very sad there is so much we do not understand and I admire any one who takes on helping a person in so much pain that they just want a way out.
    Merle........................

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    1. Merlesworld: So very much we don't understand. Reaching out is a start - but it is a long (and sometimes tortuous) journey.

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  8. "Out of the shadows and into the light." It sounds so hopeful.

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    1. Delores: It is a good slogan - but so much easier said than done.

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  9. It is such a final act, better be damn sure about it, and I would guess most suicides that are not medically driven (end of life), are results of depression and lack of love. I"m with mojave rat when he says thank you for being a power generator of love. I think there is a serious lack of love in this world. Thank you for what you do to make things brighter and lighter.

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    1. Strayer: One of the most final acts of all, with no room for regrets or second chances. I am one of many who try (and sometimes succeed). And so much more needs to be done.

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  10. I have lost friends to suicide and applaud all that you do to keep those numbers down. Understanding of what might make someone take that irrevocable step has grown in me as I've aged. Thank you and all who do what you can to help.

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    1. DJan: I knew you had lost people. Something which never goes away. Hugs.

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  11. A powerful post--thank you for working with Lifeline!!

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    1. fishducky: I get a great deal more than I receive.

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  12. Beautiful and heartfelt words EC. None of us should judge anothers choice, but I do believe the ones left behind always feel they could have done more, should have been more aware, could have helped if they had known. It takes courage to reach out for support when the darkness is great, so overwhelming. I am thankful that people can reach out to you and the other volunteers at Lifeline and that with that contact some will be saved. So glad you could make the walk this morning, and please in your own dark moments, reach out for there are many here who would mourn your loss, even if we understood that was the choice you made due to the journey you are on. Much love and cyber hugs xxx

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    1. Kakka: And that is part of the reason why it is always a tragedy. So many regrets, so much second guessing, and rather a lot of guilt. Reaching out in the darkest periods is very, very difficult. Even when we know it should happen. I will try - and thank you.

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  13. I am so thankful for people like you who work those calls on help lines. I couldn't do it, but we surely need those who can. Does it ever increase your own depression when you take those calls?

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    1. jenny_o: I hurt for and with rather a lot of our callers but no, it doesn't increase my depression. Often the opposite. I listen to people who are going through unimaginable horrors in awe. I suspect I would be under the bed refusing to come out - and yet they are still struggling. Inspirational stuff.

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  14. I love this post. In fact, I read it and went on to ask if someone I know is OK. This person has been on my mind and should have thought to ask sooner. Three simple words. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. ditchingthedog: I know that you walk the dark paths as well - and love that you reached out today. Thank you.

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  15. Suicide is also so often a taboo - at least here in the States I feel it that way. No one talks about it. This might have changed a bit since Robin Williams's suicide, but for how long?
    During what I call the "dark period in my life" I had considered suicide as well and was very close to it. While working for the crisis hotline, suicide of course was a topic as well. I still find it hard to deal with it - it is difficult. It will never be easy.
    This walk is so symbolic - from the dark to the light - I am so glad that there are people like you who take the time and the soul to work those help lines.

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    1. Carola Bartz: The taboo is lifting (slightly) here. Still a long way to go. And hopefully the ripples from Robin Williams death won't disappear.
      It isn't an easy topic, but doesn't get any better hidden in the darkness - which I hope you have left behind.

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  16. Scary subject. Glad for the increasing openess in talking about it and for people like you trying to reach out. Glad of the RUOK reminder....

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    1. Molly: Thank you. One of many - and very, very glad that it is no longer quite the taboo subject it was.

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  17. A wonderful post, EC...and it's a most worthy thing that you do.

    The dark alley that so many of us tread often, and some others not so often, can be a very lonely and forbidding place if allowed to take control. And some that walk that path find it difficult to reach out for help. It's equally difficult for others to recognise the signs, too.

    Well said, EC; and I'm sure there are many who are grateful for what you do. :)

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    1. Lee: To many of us spend time on the dark side for it to be hidden. It is not something to be ashamed of. Ever.

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  18. Suicide is also a large problem in my country. Like you, I am not opposed to all suicides, particularly when a lucid but terribly ill person opts for euthanasia. Doubly particularly if they are given a terminal diagnosis and would rather go in a morphine haze this weekend than hemorrhaging and convulsing for weeks.

    Yet where it takes people who were only the victims of mental health problems, who could not receive the proper support and help and were instead lost to that end, it is saddening. I've read statistics that in my country, more people kill themselves with guns than kill others. It's too easy a method, and when you take it away, even the mentally ill are significantly less likely to do it. Some mistake this to mean they are waifish or wishy washy, but it's precisely that kind of thinking to prevents people from getting the help they need. The disturbance of that factor is not condemnation of the victim, but how easy it is for a horrible loss to happen.

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    1. John Wiswell: Access to guns is a lot less common, and more difficult here. Just the same, people find ways to kill themselves. Too often. That said, I am not at all comfortable with 'the right to bear arms'. I think it is dangerous at least as often as it is beneficial. Probably more. I have also read that more family members are shot than intruders in fatal mistakes.

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  19. Bravo for going on the Walk. It is important to standup and be counted when we have an opinion on any subject. People do not like to talk about suicide, I applaud you for your voice on the subject. I think it is one of those things that hit too close to home....

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    1. Sienna Smythe: Thank you. It is something I do feel strongly about. Very strongly.

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  20. I am so grateful for you and people like you. In the dark past someone did ask me if I was ok, and I got help.

    Bravo, EC.

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    1. Alexia: I am very, very glad that you sought and found the help you needed.

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  21. You have my greatest admiration for the work you do with Lifeline. I know for sure that I couldn't do it. Our walk in Adelaide is on the 28th this month, do we need to register? I didn't do that yet. Does everyone wear an orange cap?
    I'm sad that you have actually contemplated suicide and very glad that you didn't go through with it.
    I remember my ex and his suicidal moments, several of which I talked him down from, he seems to be in a better place now, I haven't heard those words from him for a long time.

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    1. River: They would probably like you to register, but most of all would like you to turn up. The (ugly) orange caps were a gift to participants and no, it wasn't compulsory to wear them. For which I am grateful.

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  22. No no no no no, you thought to be a suicide case, no please don't do it.................EC.

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    1. Bob Bushell: I am still here, and hope to be so for quite a while yet.

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    2. Bob Bushell: Thank you for caring.

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  23. Our kids at school got on board with the R U Ok? day awareness a few years ago when I was coordinating the Senior leaders. The walk for awareness sounds like a great event. I wonder if they do it elsewhere in AUS? And that us a great view from the War Memorial across to Parliament House.

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    1. Carol in Cairns: There are lots of these walks being held across Australia, to be held over the next few weeks. This link should help you find one close to you.

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  24. the statistics you mentioned are shocking. did you know about don Richie who prevented many suicides by striking up a conversation with people and inviting them to tea.

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/culture-lifestyle/120514/don-ritchie-angel-of-the-gap-dead

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    1. Linda Starr: I did know about the Angel of The Gap. He, and his wife, did some amazing work.

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  25. What a wonderful way to write the post. I'm happy to see the sun shining so brightly in the end, and the symbolism it represents. Wishing you and everyone who calls, considers calling, or should call, a million more sunshines.

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  26. How wonderful of you to do this walk. I think these things are so important because they promote awareness. I lost an uncle to suicide in 2004...so sad when someone is feeling such pain.

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    1. Optimistic Existentialist: I hope to continue doing the walks. It is a cause very dear to my heart - and too much awareness is never enough.

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  27. Well done. The more this is talked about, the better.

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    1. J Cosmo Newbery: And I will continue to talk about. Shout about it. Nag about it.

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  28. this hit too close to home...prayers to you for your work

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    1. R. Mac Wheeler: I am sorry that this hit too close to home. Sorry for you, and for everyone else for whom it is true.

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  29. For many, it is their only answer; for those left behind, it is forever a question.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: Yes. You are very, very right. And I wish you weren't.

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  30. The walk I was going to attend (closest to home) was held on Saturday - which conflicted with my first spring market, sadly.
    That walk was to begin at 9am, but I have to say, I really like the idea of walking (literally) out of the shadows of the night and into a new day... seems more appropriate somehow.
    That's why I love seeing your images here.
    Canberra is such a beautiful place to take this walk - at dawn, and any time, really.
    I agree with so much of what you say, EC. Often, those who don't "make the call", have made their minds up. But, those who do call, are seeking that last bit of reassurance that there just might be a way out of the darkness that swirls within.
    People such as yourself offer that glimmer of hope that brightens the spirit. And, who better to be guided by, than by one who truly understands the pain...
    May those who seek help, find a way to cope and to find a kind of peace in this world.
    Thank you, for all you do.
    Hugs xx

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    1. Vicki: I saw that a number of this year's walks are being held later in the day. I assume that it to attract bigger numbers. Which I understand, but I am grateful that my centre has taken the symbolically more powerful step of starting early.
      I am sorry that you couldn't walk this year - but know that your heart was with us.

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  31. Thank you for sharing this and for your courage in sharing your personal thoughts. More importantly, thank you for taking the time to reach out and help others. I agree that the people who call are ambivalent. They are crying out for help, looking for another solution. The ones who have already decided on that course of action don't bother to call.
    You are truly a gem sparkling amongst the grains of sand and I bow to you for your strength in being able to withstand others' pain like that. We all need help at some point in our lives. It's incredible how alone we can feel with so many people surrounding us on a daily basis. Big hugs to you.

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    1. River Fairchild. Thank you. And hugs right back.

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  32. That you can volunteer for the help line tells me a lot about how strong and caring you are. I've been suicidal before, back around my 22nd birthday (I'm 69 now), when I had no hope and no clue how to get help. Fortunately I was a fighter and am really glad that I was able to get beyond that very deep darkness. One thing I know for certain is that contact with someone who cares, as you do, does instill hope. Even though I'm long since past that terrible depression, I remain grateful to those who use their pain in such a positive way. You are a blessing to all of us.

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    1. Jesusan: I am glad that you were a fighter and struggled on. And so very sad that help is often hidden - or not available. Or too expensive. Or all of those things. It always appals me how fast and easy the fall into despair is, and how very difficult it is to climb out again.

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  33. I hate when people say the "selfish" thing, too. Obviously someone doesn't arrive at that point easily. I think few people understand clinical depression who haven't suffered from it. Most pain in life is temporary, but when you have clinical depression, your chemicals are off and there's no way out. For some people, medication doesn't even work. It actually takes a lot of strength to battle depression each day, I think.

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    1. Stephanie Faris: Yes. And the battle has to be fought, and fought and fought. Which is exhausting and demoralising.

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  34. Suicide is so tragic....glad you can help with the phone! Nice pics too

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    1. Kim @ Stuff could...: A tragedy for all of us. The ripples from each and every loss spread for a very long way.

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  35. I'm so glad that callers who are in pain have someone like you to help them. That phrase walking "into the light of a new day" is so appropriate for this post.

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    1. Lynn: It is a very clever slogan. Not as easy as it sounds though.

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  36. Amazing that suicide is so high in Australia. Thought provoking post...not many people would admit they had considered it as an action. I have been so low that I too have entertained the thought. Such severe pain brings the thought to mind. Glad you have a large action of awareness going on there.

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    1. Bookie: There are a lot of us, and hiding the pain doesn't help anyone. And trying to attach shame is even worse.

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  37. Sitting in judgement of anyone who has obviously been in such mental anguish, I can't do that. It is neither cowardly nor selfish. It is an illness that needs to be treated with the right kind of help. We need to put ourselves in their shoes and try to find a way to help them. No, no judgements here. Volunteering your time that is a very loving thing to do.

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    1. DeniseinVA: Thank you. No judgements is so often the very best thing to do. And, like commonsense, rare. Too rare.

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  38. Sadly, NZ has similar statistics to Australia.

    And I would like to have a stern word with anyone who thought suicide was a 'selfish act'. From what I know (from relatively close quarters) it is far from the truth.

    You are a kind soul. And may you/me always see the stars - even if you/we are in the gutter.

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    1. Wendy: Stars for all of us. And if the only place we can find them in in the puddle in the gutter that is ok too.

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  39. When my dad was ill, my mom frequently wanted to end her life and I was always having to talk with her...to listen and give her back some light, some hope...I am glad you brought this out into the light...such a sad misunderstood thing suicide. I do not feel anyone is a coward...but to have so much of it is very alarming. I applaud you for doing something to help shed light on the darkness.

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    1. Donna@Gardens Eye View: I am sure you were a great support for you mama. I get a great deal more from my volunteering than I give.

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  40. I admire you for being on this telephone crisis line – it must be very difficult sometimes. I would not know what to say, maybe just platitudes such as life is beautiful, nature is wonderful, etc., which would not help. My across the street neighbor killed himself on Thanksgiving Day in front of his wife and daughter (my younger daughter’s best friend.) A co-worker, ready to retire, had his son kill himself and my other daughter’s best friend husband killed himself too – they had 2 young children. Every time I feel so utterly sad and powerless really to help – such a tragedy for those who are left behind and forever wonder if they could have prevented it. You are a very caring person.

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    1. Vagabonde: I am sorry that you and your family have been exposed to so much of this pain.
      Some of the calls we receive are confronting, some are heart breaking. The rewards are huge too.
      We get a lot of very good training before we go 'live' on the phones, and lots of further development too. A great deal of what we do is listening, hearing the pain, rather than talking.

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  41. I think my comment may have been posted under 'Steampunk Sally as I signed in with the wrong name tsk. If so, that's me. If not I'll come back and write it again x

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    1. All Consuming: Steampunk Sally is in hiding. Or didn't land.

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  42. What a lovely way to remind people about mental health issues.

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    1. ladyfi: I think it is a wonderful (and much needed) initiative.

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    2. Damn I hate it when that happens!
      I remember going on this walk with you last year, from a distance, rather than in person as I'd love to. I've been there too, I hope I never am again, but I genuinely cannot say for sure. I understand and sharing the understanding is so important. x

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    3. All Consuming: Never is too big a statement isn't it? I hope not is as definitive as I will get.

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  43. Suicide is a very sticky subject. When people say you're selfish for thinking thoughts of suicide, I don't agree. How can it be selfish when you're giving everything up? And you're right, it is not an easy step to take. It takes a lot of courage to go through with it. A LOT.

    The people who cry "Selfish!" are thinking about themselves. They think the suicide would take that person away from themselves and that it would hurt. I'm sure it would, but if the person is so ill or so gravely down a hard road with no exit in sight... wouldn't it be selfish of them to keep the person who wants to commit suicide in life?

    Then again, Life was a gift. There are so many contradictions here. I don't think anyone should take anyone's choices away but like you, I would hope they tried everything else first. Because if nothing else worked, perhaps they are truly stuck.

    You being on the phone line must be very very hard. Yes, it is helping people, but you also are exposed to the darkness repeatedly. I think it takes a very strong person to pass that darkness by on a repeated basis. You're a hero :)

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    1. furrybottoms: My heroes, often, are the people who call. It takes such incredible courage to take that step.
      And yes, I agree with you. There are soooo many sides to suicide. And so much pain.

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  44. Do you know what makes me sad? It is always the people with the good kind hearts that want to commit suicide. I hope you never feel in that place again. I guess we all feel like it sometimes. Things just really hurt to much once in a while, and the world can seem like such a scary lonely place.
    Bless you for taking the time out to help others and making it just a little less lonely.

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    1. totallycaroline: Thank you. I hope I can help. I hope I do help.

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  45. Dear EC, you are doing such meaningful and important work. The suicide of Robin Williams really startled many people here in the states. But when I read what some of them had to say I was surprised at the judgment and reasoning evidenced in the remarks. They all need to read your posting. Peace.

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    1. Dee: I don't think my post would change anyone's mind. Suicide is one of those areas (like politics and religion) that people form an opinion - and stick to it closer than glue. Sad on all counts.

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  46. Such a wonderful organization. Suicide is not an act of weakness, but one of desperation and tiredness and fear and more. When the challenges Robin Williams had faced for decades became complicated by Parkinson's, his death should not have been a surprise. Great post.

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    1. Susan Kane: And people carry heavy burdens for so long that the straw which finally breaks them is often smaller than Parkinson's. A long road. Sometimes too long.

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  47. Thank you for your wise words. I wish those who denounce suicides as selfish could really know what it is like for someone to be on the brink of suicide; there is no longer rational thought, only a desire to end the pain of existence. Unfortunately, people only commit suicide when alone, and it's not possible to keep an eye on someone 24/7. And sometimes there are no warning signs. People, particularly men, keep the pain inside, afraid of revealing their 'weakness' to others. The only way to reduce the rate of suicide is to encourage people to talk and seek help, and then to provide it unjudgementally. Our society, with its emphasis on the 'strong self-sufficient individual' as the pinnacle of creation, does not encourage this.

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    1. lynners: Yes. When I have been struggling most I have been able to conceal it, and men in particular are told that they cannot show weaknesss. Which is so very wrong.

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  48. A very special post, EC! What an inspiration you are. The work you do is beyond valuable and your photos of the walk are just lovely.

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    1. Carol: Thank you. Mind you, I feel as inspirational as a wet weekend.

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  49. thank you for being there EC on the other end of the line. I have not lost a close person to this but I have been in darkness myself. Sometimes it does seem selfish. A neighbor I was friendly with killed herself in such a way that her 2 young sons found her. I have to think she would have known the effect this would have on them. She did hide her pain well.l

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    1. Sue in Italia/In the Land of Cancer: Too many of us spend time in darkness. Your poor neighbour. Her pain must have been overwhelming for her not to have considered the impact on her sons. And no, I still wouldn't call it selfish, though I can understand why others would.

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  50. I wish everyone had your compassion and insight EC, thank you for another remarkable post

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    1. Kim: I am very, very ordinary. But thank you.

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  51. I don't see how you can continue to do what you do without it having a profound effect on yourself. I was thisclose to suicide in my 30's due to an operation that did not heal for 1 1/2 years. As I walked out the door with a gun in my hand (my wasbund told me to do it in the yard so I would mess up the house) I ran into my sister getting ready to knock. I sent her away without letting her see what was in my hand. Again, a knock on the door and it was my daughter. I was determined, but after so many interruptions, I had lost my determination. Sometimes all it takes is a pause in time.

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    1. lotta joy: I am pretty certain it does have an effect on me. Sometimes bad, and surprisingly often positive. I listen to people, am awed at their resilience, and am reminded that my life is not nearly as bad as I have been kidding myself.
      And yes, sometimes a distraction/delay is all that is needed. In my case apathy saved me. I had a plan, I had the means, but it required effort. Effort I couldn't muster. So I continued to sit on the floor, neither eating nor sleeping, ripping pieces of paper into confetti.
      And some days later I got up and cleaned up.

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  52. Such a valuable post and important work that you do with the crisis line. Suicide is also a leading cause of death among youth in Montana. More community resources such as your crisis line are needed and the stigma of mental health issues must be lifted. Thank you for having the courage to share your thoughts on this topic - I have more admiration and respect for you than ever.

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    1. Susan F.: Sadly I think these issues are world wide. And an emphatic yes from me to comre community resources and destigmatising mental health issues. And more support. Much more support.

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  53. I would never have a problem with a person choosing to commit suicide if there was just a perfect note they could leave behind that would totally erase any thoughts their loved ones would carry about what they could have done to save the person or to help them know they didn't drive the person away. The pain of suicide is for the living left behind.

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    1. Grannie Annie: I would love there to be that note. I would love it if we could communicate so clearly - long before it gets to that point. I wish.

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  54. EC,
    I have no doubt that I can commit suicide if I ever must go to a nursing home or if I were to have Alzheimers.

    As for the people who say a person is selfish to commit suicide, I say the attitude of the speaker is "it's all about me."

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    1. Practical Parsimony: I do find it sad that the 'all about me' camp can even take over someone's death.

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  55. I missed this post earlier, because I'm in the thick of planning our Out of the Darkness for suicide prevention. It's happening in 2 weeks. Your walk reminds me of the Walk in Oakland. They start at 5am and walk around a lake (3miles), as the sun comes up, and as walkers make strangers into friends. It's phenomenal. Thank you for sharing this EC, for your heart, and your words.

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    1. Rawknrobyn: It is a brilliant initiative isn't it. Strangers reaching out - over such an important issue. I hope your Out of the Darkness is an amazing success.

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    2. Lovely photos, as ever, and I love your garden. I wish I had more space. I was in your vicinity lsdt weekend and thought of you, and wished I had had the time to see you. Maybe next time. I will be away for a month, but will be keeping a lookout for all the news and views.

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    3. persiflage. Good luck on your holiday - and I would love to catch up with you when you are in town next.

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  56. Thank you for your courage and your heroic volunteer work in this area. As you know, I've been there too, and may be again. But I would never do it now, as I've seen the hole it rips in the survivors' lives.

    I think most people don't want to die - they just want the pain to end. And it can.

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    1. Riot Kitty: Too many of us have been there. And yes, wanting the pain to stop is at the back of it. And sometimes the front...

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  57. This post moved me beyond words. Your perspective comes at a time when we, in America, are trying to grasp the meaning of the loss of Robin Williams to suicide. I had felt that he was selfish in his choice ... but you are so right in that the choice may be the right one. We have only two states in our country that allow for assisted suicide and I have always been in agreement with them. In every other state the family is punished by not allowing payment of insurance if the dealth is caused by suicide. I would love to publish your thoughts everywhere so people could understand. I did however come over here to tell you that I have nominated you for an award. I know you don't accept awards, but I am nominating you anyway because you are deserving of this award and even if it doesn't go any further than this comment ... I want you to know how good you are and how you have touched so many people. The award is called the Butterfly Light Award and is for those who spread light in the lives of others ... that would be you. So, if you wish to, you can come over and take a look and you are welcome to pick it up because it is for you. I won't be affended if you don't. Be well my friend ... I am proud to call you my friend because you are quite an exceptional person.

    Andrea @ From the Sol

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    1. Andrea: Thank you so much. I had just seen your post, and I really appreciate your nomination. I am not going to accept it - but cherish the thought.
      Suicide is such a divisive topic, but I am so grateful that slowly and steadily more people feel able to talk about it. Very little that is positive thrives in the dark, and too much that is negative grows.
      Hugs.

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  58. Awesome post, the more light we can shine on this, the more help & assistance we can give those in a dark place, the better.

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    1. anna@shenANNAgans: Welcome and thank you. And total agreement. Suicidal thoughts thrive in the dark.

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