Two Organizations Work To Decrease the Stigma of Mental Health Issues & Suicide

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

Suicidal, Again?!

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).

Seeing him make a gesture, flooded me with my own fears and put me Continue reading

Do I Stay or Do I Go? (Round 2)

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

Do I Stay or Do I Go?

I’ve wrestled with the question “Do I stay, or do I go?” especially at times when Dave makes an attempt or when I feel he’s sliding toward it.  My therapist explained it as holding both fear and hope.

On the one hand I’m struggling with Continue reading

Blogging Less as Sense of Urgency Decreased

Just a quick post. Sorry I haven’t been posting as often.

1) I got a job in 2012 that really consumes a lot of my time.

2) There isn’t much to report recently.  Dave and I are going to individual therapy. We’re really working hard on our individual issues and working hard at growing in the areas we need to grow in.

3) We are beginning to Continue reading

Individual Therapy–Self Care For Me

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.

Calling 911

Note: If you are dealing with a possible suicidal person–seek professional help for example, call a suicide-crisis hotline, take the person to an emergency room, or call 911.  This post is an account of a day in my life.  It is not meant as a substitute for a professional advice.

It’s almost been a year since my husband Dave’s most recent serious attempt.

One afternoon last summer I picked up Dave after he finished work.  Waiting in his office I noticed marks Continue reading

A Panic Attack

At a staff meeting my boss shared news that shocked the entire staff.  I couldn’t breathe.  I took deep breaths–but my lungs felt void of air.  The room felt heavy, somber. Tears filled my eyes rolling down my cheeks.  My boss looked at me, knowing my background and said, “looks like that hit a nerve.”  I nodded and said I was okay. She shared her own worries.

I continued to tell myself to take deep breaths. My air supply returned and I stopped tearing.  The staff meeting continued as usual. My throat tightened as I commanded myself not to cry, not to feel. Continue reading

6th Year Anniversary of Dave’s First Attempt

It’s June 2nd.  Wow!   The 6th year anniversary of my husband Dave’s first attempt has come and gone.  (I’ve been posting about my experiences after his first attempt in the “aftermath” thread).

The significance–this is the first year that I didn’t count down to the anniversary date. Instead in the month of May I counted down to my daughter Beth’s 12th birthday.  I enjoyed Mother’s day.  I mapped out and watched for Beth’s end of school events.

I lived life.

Life’s going well for us.

1) Dave’s taking his anti-depressant medication consistently.  He really is a different person off of it or maybe withdrawing from it.  Edgier.  Irritable.  Irascible.  In both attempts he went off his meds. Continue reading