I went food shopping with my husband the other day. Not a big deal except that when we shop together the bill is higher. It’s like all of a sudden we’re excited about items on the shelves.
“Did you see this?!”
I looked over and saw him holding up a squeeze bottle of something. “No, what is it?”
“Taco sauce of some kind. Wanna get it? Are we having tacos anytime soon?”
“We are now!”
Silly things like that end up in the cart because when it’s just me shopping my goal is to get out of there and get on with my day. When it’s us, it’s part of our day. Strange, huh?
One of the items we got excited about (aside from the squirt taco sauce) was a Halloween skull full of lollipops: Chupa Chups. How cute is this guy?
We also found this pumpkin full of candy. Maybe it will last until Halloween night. Maybe.:
On a more serious note, this is suicide awareness week in the United States. We had a training seminar at my place of employment and it was outstanding. We were introduced to a great crisis text line: Text the word home or hello, or help to: 741741. It can be reached from anywhere in the United States. The trained Crisis Counselors help people struggling with suicide, anxiety, depression, emotional abuse, bullying, self-harm, and loneliness. They are there to help, listen, and support you and until you are feeling emotionally better. All for FREE. How amazing is this service? I love it.
Many of you know how important the topic of suicide is to me. I lost a dear friend of mine when he took his life leaving behind his wife and children. As you know, I came close to ending my life when I was young. It was by the Grace of God that I chose not to pull the trigger that day.
You may also recall that someone very close to me has PTSD from the violence he witnessed while deployed in Afghanistan. He attempted suicide multiple times. Thankfully, he’s in a much better place today thanks to counseling, support groups, and his therapy dog.
My husband also had thoughts of suicide right after disclosure day. Although I told him I would stay if he entered into recovery, the shame and embarrassment he felt was overwhelming. When he shared how he was feeling with me, I made an emergency appointment with a counselor and we called a suicide hotline.
The statistics are astounding. It is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. Every twelve minutes, someone dies by suicide. There is one suicide for every twenty-five attempts. Think about that for a second. One for every twenty-five attempts. That means there is an opportunity to help. An opportunity to ask someone, “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” Don’t worry. You’re not putting the thought inside their head. If you’re concerned, ask the question. Be direct.
Know the signs:
They may talk about feeling hopeless, helpless, or like they have no purpose in life.
They may feel trapped or in unbearable pain.
They may stop taking medication or begin stockpiling medication.
They may mention feeling like they are a burden or say something like, “You won’t have to worry about me much longer.”
They may begin using drugs, alcohol, or acting recklessly.
Their sleeping patterns may change. Sleeping more or not at all.
They may have sudden mood changes and start isolating.
Watch for “cluster suicides.”
If you’re in a dark place or you’re struggling and need to talk to someone, help is out there. There are SAFE people you can confide in and I want you to know, you are NOT alone.
I’ll talk more about this at my podcast Elsie’s Corner next week. Hope to see you there!
Have you bought Halloween candy yet? Do you know anyone who can use this number?