Thirty Days Has September

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Another month is coming to a close and the holiday spirits are fast approaching with tricks, treats, reminders to be thankful for living to see yet another season of giving. This time of year we become consumed by everything we believe we must do. So, before we get too busy carving the pumpkin, stuffing the turkey, and decking the halls, I think it is only fitting to pause and ponder the biggest day of our lives. Certainly getting married, graduating, cradling your newborn baby for the first time all count among the big days. There are others for sure, but none comes close to that biggest day, the day that has the potential to be fantastic, momentous, exhilarating, and unforgettable.

That day is tomorrow.

Yes, as Little Orphan Annie belted out, TOMORROW. Ever waiting to be explored. Never ceasing to promise more. Always opening another door, better than the day before. Rising faster, ever higher lofty goals and dreams inspire our loves, our lives, our education. Fear and strength our own creation. To my marrow I long to see tomorrow’s blissful reverie.

Sadly, some people don’t know tomorrow can be the biggest day of their life. To a person who is depressed, thinking that tomorrow is the biggest day of their life may seem, well, unthinkable. They may believe the biggest day of their life has come and gone and left them with nothing but debt, heartache, disappointment, and loneliness.

A person suffering from depression may not reach out, they may not throw a red flag, they may not draw attention to themselves at all. Friends, family, and co-workers can miss opportunities to offer comfort to someone who is depressed simply by listening.  Determining if a person who is suffering from depression might cause harm to themselves or others can be difficult. Even the experts don’t always get it right.

Common misconceptions about suicide:

FALSE: People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.
Almost everyone who commits or attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Do not ignore suicide threats. Statements like “you’ll be sorry when I’m dead,” “I can’t see any way out,” — no matter how casually or jokingly said may indicate serious suicidal feelings.

FALSE: Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy.
Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane. They must be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing, but extreme distress and emotional pain are not necessarily signs of mental illness.

FALSE: If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop them.
Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, wavering until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to die. Most suicidal people do not want death; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever.

FALSE: People who commit suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help.
Studies of suicide victims have shown that more than half had sought medical help in the six months prior to their deaths.

FALSE: Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.
You don’t give a suicidal person morbid ideas by talking about suicide. The opposite is true — bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.

One Hundred Dozen Healthy Things We Can Do To Fight Depression

DANCE•VOLUNTEER•WRITE•GARDEN•EXERCISE•MEDITATE•PAINT•SING•TALK•LISTEN•DRAW•BLOG

Today I am reminded to reach out, to pay attention. Got ideas? Please share. If you are interested in knowing more, check out these links:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/suicide_prevention.htm#signs

http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/SignsOfCrisis/Identifying.aspx?gclid=CPiG-Ibr17kCFVNo7Aodpn4Aig

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12 Responses to Thirty Days Has September

  1. artsifrtsy says:

    Well done – it’s good to remember that the holidays ahead are tough on some. Being observant and listening can make all the difference in the world.

    • Honie Briggs says:

      Okay – I’m starting to find that there are many comments I have not responded to. This is only one of many left hanging out there. It struck me as odd when I received the notification for your reply to a comment of mine from 2012, but after reading your post today, I understood. HA! Too funny. Then I started wondering how many times I haven’t replied. Wow, there are more than I realized. I don’t have an excuse.
      Forgive me.

      Anyway, now that the holiday season is in full swing, depression begins to sneak in and wait for just the right moment to attach to a song, a scent, a random memory. All the best to you for a mentally healthy holiday! You’re right, being observant and listening are important. I’ll try to do a better job of that going forward. ;)

      • artsifrtsy says:

        OMG Steph! I’m afraid to go back and look at how many were unanswered. Preparing for my post today I thought I would go back to see when you first commented and was stunned to see that I just never replied. Sadly, you were not the only one. At this point I am just going to let those go and move towards keeping up in the future! Happy holidays to you too!

  2. Thanks for sharing. I dated somebody who was clinically depressed, and she often described it as akin to being in a glass box, able to SEE the other side, but impossible to touch it. I tried so hard to help, but never could. Had she been able to pull through and get better, my life would be looking very different today.

  3. Lyle Krahn says:

    That was a well-written, thotful and compassionate post. There are so many misconceptions about depression. It’s really sad that the seasons that are supposed to bring out the most happiness also can do the opposite for some people.

  4. Well said – and timely as we head into the “warm fuzzy family holidays”…and all the disfunction of government/ugliness of modern society.
    (Excellent illustration. such depth, and meaning with the post – OK now, what/where is it?)

    • Honie Briggs says:

      I like that, “warm fuzzy family holidays”.

      The pic is a fixture at Rockefeller Center NYC. We visited the top of the rock on our last trip, and I got some nice shots of the big apple.

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    Such an important post, Honie. Thank you for listing some of the myths about suicide. It’s one of the most common causes of deaths, a horrifying fact for sure.

  6. Excellent “false” points that you list. Thank you!

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