Suicide Trending Up in Idaho and Across the Nation – What Now?
We lost another. David Spade's sister-in-law, Kate Spade apparently took her own life on Tuesday. Yes, another suicide. That was the first line of this blog I'd been working on since that news broke on Tuesday.
I had to go in an revise this because there's been another suicide and it's gonna rock the news world. CNN's Anthony Bourdain took his life and is dead at age 61. I never knew either of these people but the commonality of this topic is alarming.
Kate Spade was a fashion icon known for her vibrant purses and was only 55 years old. Kate had a $2 billion dollar empire and Anthony Bourdain was a multi-millionaire chef with one of the most watched CNN programs in Parts Unknown. Retired Boise State Professor and suicide prevention advocate, Peter Wollheim, was another prominent person in our community that took their life. We witness our teens here in the Treasure Valley fall fatal victim to depression and those numbers continue to grow.
They say money doesn't buy you happiness. I know most of us would like to try but this is just another indication that all the money in the world can't take away the pain of depression. None of us have the answer and that's why you see tweets like this.
I read this tweet and it's interesting how true it can be. Harsh? Yes. True? In a lot of cases, yes. I think it's like anything Jeneisha when it comes to tragedy. We don't care about donating to the St. Luke's Children's Hospital until our kids lay there in the mercy of those heroes. We don't pay attention to cancer research until our loved one is stolen and all we can think of is finding a cure. This is life Jeneisha and we suck. You are right.
I deleted a post years ago after I quickly commented on the death of Robin Williams. I'm a true fan, loved his movies, and envied his emotion. Robin had the "secret sauce". All of that said I spoke out of emotion and didn't think that my words would have consequences.
What could have been so bad that you would take your own life Robin?
Mind you, that is written from a place of heartbreak. I was a big fan and didn't write that in a derogatory way at all. Then again, not everyone can read your expressions in between letters. I'm no writer and that quick expression upset people. I still feel bad but I have grown in the last four years to be more sensitive to a subject that I'm not an expert at. I'm looking for solutions because I'm a loss.
I don't think people disregard mental illness. I'm just not sure we know what to do and therefore, life takes back over. The discussion about mental illness begins to fade until the next tragedy strikes. So, we lost another and that's not mentioning the non-famous humans we've lost that will NEVER make a CNN alert. We've mourned our own share of local stars right here in the Treasure Valley. We've lost several teachers that teach this exact subject. We've lost students that will forever be known as bright memories that will only be followed by these comments, "we never saw it coming." Something is happening and I just don't have the answer. What do we do next?
I think we start talking about it, discussing it, and doing more than just talking AT people. Look what rapper, Logic did that catapulted his song to #1. His single had only numbers that took you to the suicide prevention hotline. This video has almost been viewed 300 million times. This is what action looks like.
Let me at least give you the hotline numbers and text lines. It's important you have them. Goto HELP ME NOW.
I know that God has given me this unbelievable platform to do more than give away some pretty exciting prizes. I truly believe that my on-air position changes and things like this are more than a news story - it's my obligation to make a difference. I promise to do my best and in the meantime, let me leave you with this.
I'm not sure where this idea came from but I had to think fast when I gave out this advice. I want you to think of someone who has died or taken their life. Take yourself there for a few moments and include you emotions IN that delicate moment. I want you to relive it and go over every inch of destruction it gave you. How did it affect you after? What are you dealing with today because of what happened yesterday?
Stay there for a few minutes. Write every feeling down. Take as much time as you need. Put that in an envelope and seal it with a label - My Life Reminder
If you EVER decide that things are so bad I want you to remember where that letter is. OPEN IT. READ IT. Remind yourself.
Would you ever want to put someone else through that pain? I want you to use that letter as motivation NOT to harm yourself or give up. I believe it's easy to sit back and quarterback you through this but it's kind of sad to think we somehow have the answers to the things you might be going through. We have no idea.
Everyone wants to help, but nobody really understands how. I think that's okay but I also believe you need to insert yourself all the time. We might not have the answers but we can be nice. We can choose to be concerned.
Let me ask you to find someone you don't know today and commit a kiss of kindness act. What's that mean? Be kind. Buy someone a $3 dollar coffee, give a compliment or just take 60 seconds to say thank you. Discipline yourself to listen more and talk less about one conversation. Empower their thoughts.
We wield more power than we might want to believe. Take that power to someone you DON'T know and try NOT to look for praise. Let all the goodness reside in your heart. Keep it there. THAT is when it becomes special.
I wish I could give you the answer to your demons. I could tell you to open a bible and start reading but that's my faith speaking to you. Depression isn't something that just goes away and trying to do this alone is just unfair to yourself. So, where does that leave you?
We grow and make mistakes in life. I think a lot of time we destroy ourselves with every mistake and then that is amplified by everyone you know. You have to talk. Speak out. Let others know that you're struggling with something. Call for help with some of these numbers that are chat and text. Everyone else? Open the door. Just open the door. Listen. Be approachable and stop what you're doing when they come to you. That's a start.
Here are some resources to save your life at every corner. Put this info in your phone like you have 911 on the home screen.