Yesterday, the organization called, BringChange2Mind shared a link on Facebook, of an art exhibit called, Man-Up Against Suicide, being held at the Foster Eastman Gallery in Vancouver. I watched, Dr. John Oliffe, describe the exhibit in the YouTube video, “Man-Up Against Suicide-Depression Documentary,” on the Men’s Depression and Suicide Network. (Warning–YouTube automatically posts recommended videos on the right side of their site that may differ from the tone/purpose of the link).
The featured artists lives were touched by suicide. Some talked about dealing with their own thoughts, others of family/friends contemplation or completion of suicide.
One speaker, Doug, talked about his friend, Ron, (3:32) having thoughts of suicide. He described his friend as a “very strong person…very warm heart, very kind, very giving, but he doesn’t see that in himself. Here’s this…shiny happy person on the outside, but there’s a lot of darkness and turmoil going on within him.” This was my experience of Dave. I’m attracted and others are too, to Dave’s Continue reading →
The night before, Dave was getting his tax papers together for the accountant. He was late, very late with the taxes. This was his secret. And he had been carrying it for awhile, alone. Financial issues like this set the stage for attempts in the past, so it should not be a surprise that Dave made a gesture. Nothing life threatening but it’s a red flag. (I didn’t know about the delayed filing of the taxes at the time, but it makes sense, if he was struggling with that, no wonder he was so sensitive as he was already spinning negative thoughts that can lead him down dark paths).
Dave and I through the years have both struggled with the question –Should I stay? Should I Go?
There have been a few critical pieces that contributed to us staying together, 1) our Christian faith and values 2) engaging in couple’s therapy and 3) engaging in individual therapy. By engagement I mean taking to heart what we learned about ourselves, each other and our relationship style; applying strategies; taking risks to do new things; bottom line–doing the hard work to change things for the better.
I just wish we got help sooner. By waiting until we desperately needed help, our marriage had Continue reading →
Right after Dave’s second attempt, I felt like I was falling apart. I would come home and see Dave’s car in the carport and think, “Oh please, don’t let me walk in there and find him hanging!” If he was getting a little irritated with me, I feared he was tipping toward an attempt. I was afraid to voice my irritations with him. Fear and anxiety were taking over my life.
So two months after his second attempt I requested individual therapy.
Individual therapy helped because I didn’t have to censor what I said. My therapist helped me process my feelings about my husband, Dave, in it’s very rawest stage, in the safety of four walls. During the session I could craft the language in a style that Dave, my husband, could hear and take in and prevent him from walling me off or spiraling towards suicide.
I got to hear over and over again that it was not my fault.
I got to process the trauma. Grieve. Heal.
Though Dave’s last attempt was over a year ago, I’m still processing it. It still affects me. The fears and anxieties still erupt and Individual therapy has been critical in helping me get through that year.
I am doing individual therapy to take care of me. To help me. To support me. It’s what I need and I’m doing it to take care of me.