When You’re “Stuck in a Moment”

by Sara on September 9, 2010

A Memory Never Dies

I’m rushing to get to the store before it closes, but the traffic is at a standstill. I think there must be an accident ahead. As the cars slowly creep forward, I see flashing lights and eventually the police cars come into view. Something’s happening at the gas station, but I still can’t see what it is. Perhaps it’s a traffic check or maybe a drive-off, but then I see the yellow tape.

Because I watch CSI, I know the yellow tape isn’t a good thing. As I begin to drive past, I see a woman in a small dark green truck. Even from a distance, I can see her pale face, short dark hair and white t-shirt. Her head is resting on the back of the driver’s seat. At first I believe she’s been in an accident, but I don’t see any damage to her truck.

Then I notice there’s a man crawling into the truck from the passenger side; this seems odd. Why is he moving so slowly? Why isn’t he checking on her? I realize that she hasn’t moved. Is she unconscious or asleep? Somehow I know this isn’t the case. It’s been too long and the police are not rushing to give her aid.

Then it hits me with a stomach-dropping certainty. She’s dead.

All this happens in the five or so minutes it takes my car to move pass the scene. Like an image burned into my eyes after looking into the sun, I see this scene again and again. She looked like she was just resting her head…resting in her truck forever.

I later found out through the news that she had committed suicide. That made me very sad; she was so young. I preferred my imaginary ending to the real one. 

Learning from a Memory

I’m sharing this story with you because there was a time in my life when I contemplated suicide.

It happened while I was in college and was dealing with my dad’s death. I was suffering from a condition that was loosely described as delayed grief depression, which consisted of me crying most of the time. I was also very depressed. It was a scary time for me, my family and my friends.

I remember sitting on the steps of my dorm thinking, “What would be so bad about dying?” I wanted so desperately to not feel the pain of my grief. Suicide seemed like a valid option. That’s the sneaky thing about suicide; you come to believe it’s an appropriate choice, even when it’s not.

Fortunately for me, I got professional help and was able to recover from my depression. I will never forget about sitting on those steps and contemplating whether I would choose to live or die.

Humans are the only living creatures that can actually choose to commit suicide. Animals may cause their own death and others may follow them, such as whales beaching themselves. Yet, no one has proven that animals make a conscious decision to live or die. People do.

Moments in Life

I look back on the time when I thought about suicide and realize how much I would have missed. I was so young and yet, I fully believed that my life was never going to change.

Depression makes you feel stuck. Consider the lyrics to U2’s song, Stuck in a Moment: “You’ve got stuck in a moment and now you can’t get out of it.”

I was lucky because I had supportive friends and an excellent therapist who helped me through my time of being “stuck in a moment.”

It took me many years to understand that the time I was depressed and had thoughts about suicide didn’t make me a weak person. The opposite is true. I reached my moment of choice and chose life. It’s made me aware that I am a survivor and that I am strong.

Now, as a woman who might be described as “over the hill,” I look forward to climbing my next hill:~) I have learned that life is full of many moments, some sad, some happy, and some absolutely amazing. One of the responsibilities of living is to experience ALL the moments we are given to live.

I still sometimes dream about the woman in the truck and driving past that scene, but in my dreams she wakes up and smiles.

National Suicide Prevention Week

I wrote this post because this week, September 5-11, is National Suicide Prevention Week. It is a time when we need to stop and think about ways to prevent suicide in our communities, towns, states and countries.

Fortunately, there are many resources available to help. Here are a few suggestions I’ve found. Because suicide knows NO nationality, I purposely included international resources:

I want to highlight a blog post, The CPR for Preventing Suicide by Lisa Firestone. I loved this post because she included common sense information about preventing suicide. She also approaches suicide with a humanist touch, rather than seeing it as only a psychiatric disorder.

Befrienders Worldwide – This organization works worldwide to provide emotional support and reduce suicide attempts. On their site you are able to conduct a search by country to find suicide hot lines and other forms of assistance.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) is another excellent source of helpful information.

If you know of someone who seems depressed or even suicidal, encourage that person to get professional help, support them and let them know that they are not stuck and will get through this life moment.

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynn September 9, 2010 at 8:32 am

What a terrible thing to witness, Sara. I’m sure that is an image that you won’t soon forget. And certainly important to highlight suicide prevention. The same thing that happened to you happened to one of my good friends after his brother died unexpectedly. He spoke of suicide and fortunately got the help he needed.
Lynn´s last blog post ..Keyhole- soothing and so sweet

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Sara September 9, 2010 at 12:40 pm

@ Lynn — Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Suicide, and the prevention of suicide, is a subject that needs to be aired. In many ways, suicide still has that “dirty little secret” aspect to it. That’s why I think it’s important to let people know you can make a different choice and that, for most people, depression/suicidal thoughts are a temporary state. I am pleased that your brother’s friend got the help he needed…I’m sure he’s stronger for it:~)

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Mike Goad September 9, 2010 at 8:48 am

One of our friends committed suicide a little over 6 years ago. It was just before Karen and I were to leave on a business trip, so we didn’t make it to our funeral. She had health issues related to diabetes. She did it away from home so that it wouldn’t mess up the house and so her husband wouldn’t be the one to find her.

For me, besides the loss of a friend, that event provides a marker for my blogging. One of the very first posts on my first blog was on her suicide, shortly after we got back from that trip. That post also garnered my first blog comment, from a lady up in Alaska, as I recall.

Our friend is still missed.
Mike Goad´s last blog post ..Categories

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Sara September 9, 2010 at 12:50 pm

@ Mike — I am sad to hear about your friend. It’s interesting that your first post was about your friend’s suicide.

Major and chronic health issues can be indicators of potential suicide, but this is tough one because the illness itself can mask some of symptoms. However, like any death of someone you care about, suicide does leave a permanent mark on the people left behind.

Thanks for sharing and I understand that your friend will always be missed.

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desk49 September 9, 2010 at 9:59 am

Sorry you had to see all of that.
I think we have all been there.
desk49´s last blog post ..No Hope-

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Talon September 9, 2010 at 9:59 am

I’m sorry you had to witness something so extremely traumatic and tragic, Sara.

Suicide has touched my life many times and it’s beyond heartbreaking and difficult to accept especially when the people involved are getting all the professional help that is available.

It’s good that there is becoming less and less stigma attached to mental health issues and depression in particular. So important to reach out when you know someone is “stuck in a moment”…
Talon´s last blog post ..The third season

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Sara September 9, 2010 at 1:18 pm

@ Talon — I think that reaching out when someone is possibly suicidal can be difficult. We often don’t want to face the fact that the person might be considering death, which is another reason for this post. I think it’s important to know the “signs” and not be afraid to ask someone who is depressed, “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It sounds so direct, but it can be a way to get the person to face the issue.

I beg your forgiveness, Talon, but I’m using your comment to briefly stand my soapbox. I want to comment on what you said about the stigma attached to mental health issues. I agree there is less stigma around depression today, but I wish a more holistic approach was used in its treatment.

I think antidepressants are very important, but they only part of the person’s recovery. Empowering a depressed person and helping them feel whole and capable of getting through a difficult time is also important and often overlooked.

Thanks for your comment and letting me use it to make a few points:~)

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The Exception September 9, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Suicide is an issue that is increasingly in the public spotlight, especially in populations with larger numbers of teens. It is hard to see that the same things that we give kids to help them might also hurt them… and the choice is always there for each of us to make. My life has not been touched, to an extent, with suicide; yet, it is an issue that touches my heart.

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Sara September 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm

@ TE — I almost missed your comment. What’s really scary about teens is that suicide is literally “contagious” in some populations. I don’t know if this is understood yet, but often when one teen commits suicide, others in the same community will also kill themselves. All the more reason for people to NOT BE AFRAID of talking about suicide. I believe the very fact that it is still “a dirty little secret” may actually make it attractive to teens. Just my thoughts.

I appreciate your thoughts about the issue of suicide touches your heart and I am glad your life has not been touched by it. I hope it never is.

Thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts…it means a lot to me when you stop by:~)

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Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point September 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm

You are so right that suicide is a sneaky thing and has a way of presenting itself as a viable option in those darkest of times. Yet, it’s always so shocking when someone else actually goes through with it with success. Thank you for writing about this and thank you, Sara, for choosing life.

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Sara September 9, 2010 at 10:38 pm

@ Belinda — Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this. It is shocking when someone commits suicide. It’s hard to believe someone could choose to end their life, which makes it all the more important to address the issue of suicide.

For whatever reason, God gave us freedom of choice regarding life. I have to think there’s a purpose for this. National suicide prevention week is one way we can all learn how to help someone who may be considering suicide and give that person the help they need to get past the moment they’re stuck in.

God has many ways of teaching us how to value our lives. I know I learned the hard way, but I don’t regret it. I am glad I chose life…thanks:~)

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Davina September 9, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Sara,
When I first read this post I didn’t stop to consider how you felt about seeing that woman in her truck on the side of the road.

When we “chatted” in email I felt guilty after because I hadn’t reached that point where I could empathize with you about what you’d seen. I felt a little guilty. The reason why I didn’t come from that perspective was because I was caught in my own memory… and it was a memory I share with you after having been in a similar position.

I have contemplated suicide over 7 years ago. I understand having reached that edge. It takes a woman of great strength to go to the edge and come back. To make the choice to LIVE… so many people are living but are living behind a mask of pretending to be happy. That mask is what can lead to depression. Not looking behind it and facing it. Carrying it around; pretending it is not there, bears a lot of weight on our shoulders. No wonder we feel down!

I had to sit and sift through my guilt and after that I realized it was because I was already empathizing with you, but not from the perspective of having seen the other woman; from the perspective of understanding you.

I think it’s important to talk about this and not be ashamed by having been there or from having been depressed.

You have a LOT of wisdom because of this and I bet… a LOT more compassion for yourself and others. It shows in this post. Hugs to you. Thank you for putting this out there.
Davina´s last blog post ..Stoic &amp The Opening Line

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Sara September 9, 2010 at 10:15 pm

@ Davina — This comment made tears flow. I thank you for sharing. I think it’s difficult for people to understand this. The idea of suicide is hard for some to accept for a variety of reasons, but it is real and people do consider it…and some even kill themselves, but there are many who do not.

I regret what happened to woman who died in the truck. Most of all, I wish I could have talked to her before she took this action. By that time, I already knew that there was so more to life than that one moment when everything seemed to be at an end. I wish I could have shared that with her.

My hope is that someone who is thinking life isn’t worth it will read this and pause…to let that moment pass in their life. You and I both made that decision. I know I don’t regret it and I doubt you do either:~)

It is important to talk about suicide and not let it sit in the closet. The more we share our times of reaching the edge and stepping back; the more we offer help to those approaching the edge.

So, I thank you for your honesty. Who knows who might also be thanking you at some later time:~)

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Jeanne September 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Sara,

Thank you for writing about this very important topic. I wrote a post about this topic today myself. Due to the nature of what I write about on my blog (chronic illnesses and chronic pain), I decided to post the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline contact number in my blog’s sidebar a couple of months back… after I became quite concerned upon receiving daily traffic to my blog on search strings which included the term suicide.

I’m sorry that you witnessed such an upsetting scene when you were driving. About two years ago, we were in a coffee shop in our small town, paying for our food, when someone called the shop owner to report that something was going on around the corner from the shop. As it turns out, someone has committed suicide in a house nearby. When a gunshot was heard and reported to the police, they were unable to enter the home initially because they needed to verify who was or wasn’t in the house for safety reasons before going in. When I heard that night what it was that had happened, I was very upset. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for you to actually see what you saw.

Thank you for sharing your story. It is so important for people to talk about this topic. The stigma attached to suicide quite literally causes more lives to be lost.

Jeanne
Jeanne´s last blog post ..World Suicide Prevention Day September 10- 2010

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Sara September 10, 2010 at 8:20 am

@ Jeanne — It was a good idea to put up the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline contact number when you realized that people we using the word “suicide” in their search for your site. You may never how many people that one action helps:~)

It must be doubly difficult when a death like the one I witnessed takes place in a small town. Perhaps my image of a small town, but it seems you might immediately wonder if you know the person. Fortunately, in my case I couldn’t see that closely and I don’t even know how the woman committed suicide.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment:~)

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Barbara Swafford September 10, 2010 at 2:12 am

Hi Sara,

Thank you for sharing your story. By you sharing, your words will undoubtedly help others.

I personally don’t know anyone who has committed suicide, but when the economy took a down turn and the housing bubble burst in our area, two or three men took their lives. I’m guessing they realized they had lost all they had worked for all their life and were now completely upside down, financially, but it saddened me to think how money (or lack of) could push someone over the edge.
Barbara Swafford´s last blog post ..Blog For Sale

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Sara September 10, 2010 at 8:22 am

@ Barbara — I hope that others will see something positive in this post and realize that you can make a different choice, instead of ending your life.

I am sorry about the men who took their lives. That’s a tough one. Your comment about the housing bubble burst made me think of the Great Depression, when the suicide rate went to an all time high. When people feel trapped, I believe they may be more susceptible to suicide. Again….it goes back to that “stuck in a moment” comparison. If we help people get past that belief that there’s no way out, there’s more hope that they can choose life.

One last thought — in difficult economic times, it’s the all the more important to aware of suicide risk and the indicators of depression/suicide.

Thanks, Barbara, for sharing your thoughts:~)

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Jeanne September 10, 2010 at 9:24 am

Sara,

I posted the link to this excellent article on my Facebook wall today. Thank you for posting this!

Jeanne
Jeanne´s last blog post ..World Suicide Prevention Day September 10- 2010

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Sara September 11, 2010 at 2:36 pm

@ Jeanne — Thank you for doing that:~)

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Hilary September 10, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Hi Sara .. thanks for this – from a personal point of view. I’ve seen suicide and have experienced depression .. fortunately not me .. but I know enough ( like you – as a woman over the hill!) to be aware, but also to have had family take their own life, and a great friend suffer from depression .. fortunately she has got better.

Your ‘story’ is disturbing because we never know what’s going on in a situation ..and today .. so many are killing themselves .. it is truly a situation that the authorities should insist that the financial organisatons do something about .. sadly it will not happen .. as in the Great Depression.

With thoughts – Hilary
Hilary´s last blog post ..Emoticons- Book Packaging- ebooks what was the future- is now the past

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Sara September 11, 2010 at 3:07 pm

@ Hilary — I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and experience about this subject. You are right…these times do seem to resemble the Great Depression. Add to economic issues, the continuing war and battle-weary soldiers, you have a time when even more people may become seriously depressed.

I agree about the authorities taking more action, but I also think there are so many things that we can do to help depressed or even suicidal people. One thing that comes to mind is talking about suicide openly with a depressed person.

I believe it’s actually helpful to ask a very depressed person,”Are you thinking about suicide?” I think there’s fear that bringing up this subject might somehow suggest it. In most case, however, if someone is suicidal…it’s already in their minds. At least by talking about it, we open the door to getting that person professional help quickly.

Sorry about the long reply…I really do appreciate your visit and your comment:~)

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Keith Davis September 10, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Hi Sara
I almost didn’t read this post but you tackled a sensitive subject in such a constructive and hopeful way.

A friend of ours committed suicide some years ago without any apparent warning. I remember thinking that surely we should have noticed something and helped him. All too late by then of course.
Guess he must have felt stuck despite all the people he could have turned to.
Keith Davis´s last blog post ..Two way traffic

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Sara September 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm

@ Keith — This is so tough. It’s hard when someone we know kills themselves and we don’t know why or there weren’t any warnings. Suicidal people often isolate themselves and they may not turn to loved ones for help.

Usually, however, there are warning signs, but they aren’t always clear….like extreme depression or dramatic changes in behavior. It’s important to know all of the signs and be alert when someone does show them.

That being said, a person who’s made the decision to kill themselves may actually seem better and even happier.

So, you can’t beat yourself up about this. All I ask is that each of us take time to educate ourselves about suicide and not be afraid to address the topic.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts:~)

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Linda September 10, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Sara, this topic really hit home with a lot of people. I am sorry you had to see such a tragic sight. I don’t know how I’d feel or react. I do feel fortunate that I’ve not been touched by this, at least not directly. A friend of a friend was suddenly dealing with some emotional issues from maybe her childhood. I’m not sure what they were now, but it eventually cost her her job, marriage and children. She attempted to take her life by jumping off a bridge into traffic. She survived with injuries, and is physically recovering. Emotionally…?

I imagine there are many factors that put people in the position of thinking there is no hope. For all who have been to that point and stopped, I feel a great sadness, yet am proud that you pulled through, and discovered that life is indeed worth living.

This post, along with the comments, is a powerful piece of work. I hope many people read it and find the help they need. There is always a way out, and suicide is not the answer.

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Sara September 11, 2010 at 4:04 pm

@ Linda — I regret seeing the woman in the truck, but most of all, I wish desperately I could have shared my experience with her. I wish I could have let her know that life does get better….we just get stuck sometimes and can’t see this.

I didn’t have that chance, but this post is for both of us. It’s for me because I’m not hiding the fact that I did reach the point where suicide was a consideration. I chose life and this experience made me stronger. It was a very important life lesson.

It’s for the woman in truck, and the many others who kill themselves, because we can help prevent this by bringing suicide out into the open and not be afraid to talk about it, just as we do now with domestic violence, rape, hate crimes and many other topics that used to be the taboo or “things nobody talked about.”

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about this post and I did indeed discover that life is worth living. In fact, it’s very precious.

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Julie September 10, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Sara, you’ve written a heart-filled post about a soul-wrenching topic. Only someone close to the subject could have instilled so much loving compassion into this message.

My own stint with suicidal thoughts came in my teens. It wasn’t until much later that I understood I’d been suffering from Seasonal Affect Disorder. There are MANY reasons for suicide.

My father’s reasons for taking life are forever lost to us, but I believe I know what contributed to it. And it’s a fallacy to believe that “signs” are always visible. Dad was a very introspective man and knowing myself to be the same, knowing how much of my world is lived within and how just a small portion of that world is exposed to others, I can easily see how we could never have known what my father chose to keep private.

Pain is intensely private, and I believe those among us who are intensely private people more often than not opt for trying to “fix” their issues themselves. Rather than showing their other face to the world, a face of “failure” of any kind, they choose, instead, to find a more immediate escape.

I can still recall seeing my father lying on the back patio by the pool, his revolver by his side. I can only imagine the desperate isolation he must have felt.

There are so many if-only’s in every person’s life. We all have them. We all attempt to handle them. Sometimes we can’t manage on our own. Sometimes others can help.

I often think suicide would become a rare thing if society as a whole were more loving, more open, more embracing on an individual level. When people really take the time to be present to others, with both ears, both eyes, and both arms, and an open heart, then real honest-to-goodness connection is made. And with the snowball effect, people connecting with people all over the place, our whole society would change. And when there’s connection, there’s understanding and compassion. There’s belonging. There’s safety. There’s room for love, for help and aid and care. There’s room.

It starts with one heart, wide open.

Thank you for sharing this, Sara. xoxo ~Julie
Julie´s last blog post ..Celebrating Sunrise- Dance of the Water Bugs

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Sara September 12, 2010 at 11:37 am

@ Julie — Your comment brought tears to my eyes. Losing your father to suicide had to be very difficult for you and your family, especially if he gave no indication of his intent. You are right, this lack of “signs” does happen. It may be as you said, some people are so private about their pain, that’s it’s not visible to those around them.

I love your ending line in your comment, “It starts with one heart, open and wide.” That’s a beautiful way to see the connections you mention. I think it’s true that if we were more open to each other, it might easier to make more “healing” connections that don’t necessarily require words. I know I’ve met people in my life that seem to have that ability. You feel a comforting energy in their presence.

What comes to mind is the movie, Avatar, which I recently watched. One thing stood out for me in this movie was the greeting the people gave each other, which was “I see you.” In the movie, this meant the person “saw” the other at a soul level because the movie about connections. Perhaps if we did “see” each other, suicide would be less likely.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about this subject. You always give me a new way of seeing something:~)

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JC September 10, 2010 at 4:59 pm

I’m very glad you chose Life Sara!

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Sara September 12, 2010 at 11:38 am

@ JC — ME TOO…Choosing life gave me a chance to meet you and I really am glad I did:~)

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Brenda September 10, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Sara,
This is such an important post! People need to hear that you can handle pain that you do not have to end your life. There are choices. You can reach out.

I see far too many people who are devastated by a suicide in their life. it is so hard to recover from.

I hope this posting is circulated far and wide and Sara, I am so glad that you chose life!!
Brenda´s last blog post ..What is Wrong Sweetheart

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Sara September 12, 2010 at 11:55 am

@ Brenda — Thanks for your support. This has been a tough subject. I’ve seen from the comments that suicide is something that needs to be discussed more openly, but it’s also a very difficult thing to talk about. When I wrote the post, I hoped that it would start a dialogue and it has, but it also has brought up pain and memories for many people who have known someone who killed themselves.

While not true of all people, I believe it’s critical to talk openly with someone who is depressed about the possibility of them taking their own life. We can’t do this if we’re afraid to talk about suicide among ourselves. That’s why National Suicide Week is important, as is learning the warning signs. You never know what might make a suicidal person hesitate and then make it through their time of being “stuck in a moment.”

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for visiting:~)

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Joy September 10, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Sara,
My goodness…
I tell this story when I speak to audiences…Three years ago I lay on a rock on the jetty hoping a huge wave would crash and take me to sea..I would pray to God to please take me..I was in an abusive relationship and the pain was so great–the pain of carrying my abuser, of being responsible for his every breath, I hadn’t even felt my own pain yet…I thought surely the only way out was death.
God didn’t take me..I was a bit incredulous at that..I figured since I was “here” I better walk through it all then, and I chose to step out of chaos into peace..perhaps that sheds some light on why peace is so incredibly important to me. I grew up with chaos and it took me a lifetime to step out of those patterns..
I’m sorry for what you witnessed…death may be a shock..at the hospital I work in I see people beg for one last second, while I watch some of the people around me in life ‘quit’ and beg for the last moment..
Thank you for sharing here today…you have touched hearts and I am appreciative of that…
Joy´s last blog post ..Fearless Fun Friday- Celebrate Your Steps

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Sara September 12, 2010 at 12:06 pm

@ Joy — That’s a great beginning…”My goodness…” It made me smile:~)

Oh, I am so pleased that the waves and God left you alive. I feel that we have a kind of kinship in that our experiences made us stronger and able to face our own pain.

I imagine working in a hospital where people are dying, but trying to live every moment they have left brings a different perspective on those who kill themselves. But you’ve hit on a very important point. It’s all about pain. I think that people who kill themselves have reached a point where they don’t see any option because the pain is so great.

You and I were lucky. We had a second chance to consider our “choices.” Many do not and I deeply regret that. I do believe, however, that we can help if we reach a suicidal person and help them see they have another choice.

As always, Joy, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings:~)

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Kelvin Kao September 11, 2010 at 7:12 am

I am glad you chose life, Sara!

Thanks for posting about this, as it made me go and read a bunch of articles on the topic. Hopefully it increased my awareness about suicide and I have a better idea for dealing with potentially suicidal people. Thanks for sharing.
Kelvin Kao´s last blog post ..New Business Cards

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Sara September 12, 2010 at 12:08 pm

@ Kelvin — Thank you…me too:~)

Also, thanks for taking the time to learn about suicide. That was one of things I hoped people would do with this article.

Thanks, Kelvin, for your comment:~)

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Lori September 11, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Hi Sara,
I’m here in your comment box to tell you how much I appreciate you, fiercely care for you, adore your heart, and for touching us all with this important post. I can see from reading the comments how we are all affected by suicide. Thanks for being who you are and for sharing this with us.
You are an amazing woman, in every way.
Love to you!
~xo
Lori´s last blog post ..Fiercely Caring

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Sara September 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm

@ Lori (Surfer Girl) — Thanks for this comment. All I can say is that I feel your loving thoughts and send my own back to you…amazing woman:~)

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Zeenat{Positive Provocations} September 12, 2010 at 7:20 am

Sara, I could come there and hug you…..
YOU know only recently i joined befrienders india…and Even gave a motivational seminar at their world prevention day function on the 10th. I was blown away by the whole cause…and joined so fast. They need counseling psychologists to help them with the cases that come in…and I am only happy to help. When my hubby and I were discussing this….he said to me “zeenat, if you can save even one life….it will be amazing….” I really do hope we can all at our level see the signs in our near and dear ones and help when something is amiss.
Life is too precious and beautiful to end…with force.
Thank you lovely Sara for writing about a topic that so close to my heart.
Much love to you,
Z~

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Sara September 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm

@ Zeenat — I take the virtual hug. Thanks:~)

I loved what you’ve done and what your “hubby” said….“Zeenat, if you can save even one life….it will be amazing….” That’s the gift of sharing yourself and reaching out to others who are in pain. I’m proud of what you’ve done, Zeenat. It’s taking active steps, like joining Befrienders, that will help someone like me or the woman in the truck see other options.

You’re a very special person:~)

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Zeenat{Positive Provocations} September 12, 2010 at 7:24 am

p.s. just tweeted this article and started following you tooo….ok ok dont worry…I’m only following you on twitter ;)

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Sara September 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm

@ Zeenat — I love what you said about “following me.” Twitter language is so funny:~)

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Meredith September 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm

A beautiful and moving post, Sara. I’m so sorry you had to witness that and go through a deep depression — but glad that you used both experiences as fuel for creative expression with a purpose.

I’ve had suicide touch my life a few times now, starting with my mother’s brother’s death when I was 9, and I, myself, went to that dark place you describe, many years ago now. Fortunately, in my case, I picked up the telephone and dialed a therapist’s office. It takes guts to do such a thing, especially in cultures where this is a sign you’re crazy, but what a relief to turn to someone who knows exactly how to provide the help you need.

I love that you consider this a moment of triumph for yourself! More of us need to celebrate these moments openly, to end the stigma associated with reaching out for help.
Meredith´s last blog post ..hi

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Sara September 13, 2010 at 1:58 pm

@ Meredith — Welcome back…I have missed you, but understood. I agree totally with you more about reaching out for help. As you pointed out, people may be afraid to do the because of the stigma with depression and having suicidal thoughts. There have many excellent posts about National Suicide Prevention Week…it’s my hope that as people talk more about this, the stigma will not be so powerful.

If I hadn’t received the help by a professional therapist, I don’t know what would have happened. I think we are both lucky….and I’m pleased that you had the guts to pick up that phone:~)

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Tony Single September 12, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I don’t have words for what I’m feeling right now.

Sara, I’ve been a bit scarce these last few days because I’ve been feeling like I’m at a creative dead end. I haven’t had the motivation to do much of anything.

I think I’m meant to have read this. It reminds me that even though the black dog of depression keeps hounding me, that this isn’t the end of the story. There was a time in my youth when taking my life was a viable option to me. I don’t think I chose life, but I certainly didn’t extinguish myself either.

And for now, the candle’s buring a little low, so I have to be patient with myself. But I know that I will come out the other side. I always have before. I will again.

Thanks for your courage in telling your story. I might some day tell mine, if I can bear to do so. You are an inspiration. :)

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Sara September 13, 2010 at 2:07 pm

@Tony –If my experience taught me anything, it’s that we all have times when we get “stuck in a moment.” The real courage is being patient and continuing to put one foot in front of the other until the darkness wanes, which it will if you trust in yourself.

I am ever so glad that you have chosen NOT to extinguish yourself. You are one of the most creative, funny, gifted and lovely people I know. The world would not be as bright were Tony Single not be in it, nor would my life.

When you’re ready, you will tell your story! Think about it…I’m not 58 and just telling mine…so you’ve got plenty of time:~)Lastly, follow your wise self and be patient…you’ve been here before and “this too will pass.”

As always, thanks for sharing your thoughts:~)

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suzen September 12, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Hi Sara! I’m SOOOO glad you got help when you did! Your experience seeing the woman dead in her car would certainly give me nightmares! Because of what you went thru with depression severe enough to contemplate suicide, I’m sure you are a compassionate counselor/helper/friend to many!
hugs
suZen
suzen´s last blog post ..One FLU Over the Coo coos Nest

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Sara September 13, 2010 at 2:10 pm

@ Suzen — Thank you. I’m glad I got help too.

Just to be clear, I was a very different place when I witnessed the woman in the truck. I don’t think I clarified this in the post…it was ages after the time I thought about suicide. However, I was sad about the woman mainly because I knew there was another side of the darkness and pain she must have felt.

Thanks so much for visiting and sharing your thoughts…hugs back you:~)

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Liz November 17, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Thank you for sharing this so honestly. There was a very bleak moment in my life, too, when I thought about it. I am so grateful for my family, especially my mother, who dropped everything to come stay with me and help me recover some prospective. I work in behavioral health now, and it’s such a gift to be able to give back and help others. Thank you for helping raise awareness.
Liz´s last blog post ..NaNoWriMo

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Sara November 18, 2011 at 11:57 am

@ Liz — I’ve learned that our darkest times can strengthen us if we let them:~) Thanks for visiting this post!

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