World Suicide Prevention Day

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) to host World Suicide Prevention Day each year.

THINGS TO SUPPORT WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY

  • Raise awareness at work/school
  • Reach out to someone
  • Listen well
  • Rethink attitudes toward mental health
  • Encourage people to get help
  • Awareness means changing the mindset

* Keep an eye open for the signs~!

  • Comments about suicide or expressing emotional pain online
  • Self-medicating in response to emotional or physical pain
  • Feeling alone or isolated
  • Feeling guilt, shame, anger or rage (revenge talk)
  • Feeling like a burden to acquaintances or loved ones
  • Feeling trapped or in immense pain
  • Expressing hopelessness or no purpose to live
  • Saying goodbye or making plans to escape
  • Giving away items that they previously valued
  • Describing methods of suicide

THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT SAY TO SOMEONE SUICIDAL:

  • “It’s not that bad.” “Stay positive!” “Don’t say that.” – Don’t invalidate someone’s feelings. It won’t help them. Verbalizing your emotions and feelings is an important step towards healing.
  • “I know how you feel.” “I would be devastated if you were gone.” – You can’t read someone else’s mind. Everyone’s experiences are different. This can be frustrating to the person that’s pouring their heart out to you. Don’t make the conversation about yourself.
  • “You have a lot to live for.” – During a moment of depression, someone that’s suicidal is unable to count their blessings. They don’t know how to accumulate their positives. It won’t help the current situation.
  • “Other people have it worse.” “You’re being selfish.” – This isn’t a contest. Everyone’s experiences are different. There isn’t a level of deserving to be depressed. Help someone with their situation and their reality, don’t compare it to others.
  • “You’ll go to hell.” – Don’t bring religion into this situation. It’s not helpful during a crisis.

As someone deeply invested in mental health awareness, I want to also say that while reaching out is very important, always remember that you are not the sole salvation of another person. Offer assistance as you can, but never at the determent of your own mental health. As they say on most commercial flights: “In the event of emergency, put your oxygen mask on first.”

I want to thank everyone for reading this week. It was definitely a journey this week working on all of these different posts. Tomorrow is the last day of the National Suicide Prevention Week, so I’ll be attempting to put a ton of the DBT skills into that post. Until then, ❤️ you all!

The “E” in PLEASE is Exercise!

We all know that physical health is important. Our doctors hammer that into our heads every time we visit. Health and fitness classes back in our grade school, high school, and even college days stressed on this matter. There’s so many physical and mental health benefits from getting regular exercise. It’s backed by decades of research.

All of the other letters in PLEASE tend to help one another. Exercise can help underlying physical illnesses. It can help you regulate your sleep patterns. And exercise is known to help improve your emotions.

Getting enough exercise can be different for everyone. For some people, who might be in shape, running a marathon or lifting weights at the gym is ideal. For others, playing outside with their children is enough. Anyone with kids knows that keeping up with them is exhausting.

As it goes with all things, don’t go into the extreme. You don’t start a diet by cutting yourself down to 500 calories and running 5 miles on the first day. You don’t even have to start out by running. If you haven’t exercised in awhile, start small with something you can keep up with daily. A short walk each day can cause a profound benefit.

My karate sensei has told me that if nothing else, do Sanchin kata three times a day. It doesn’t honestly sound like that much to do, but if you do it properly, you’ll feel it in all of your muscles. For me kata is a great mental health exercise as well as physicals one. As much as you might want to disassociate during exercise, this is the perfect time to be mindful and focus on what you are doing.

I know that some days it might not be easy to get up and go for a run if you’re so depressed or anxious that you don’t even want to leave your bed. Use your Opposite Action to get active. Once you get started and you complete some form of exercise, you will feel better. You get a sense of accomplishment and you will feel proud of yourself. And in turn, that will make you want to keep going.

Exercising is a great way to distract. It removes your focus from ruminating and negative thoughts. Focus on what you’re doing in the moment. Work on your breathing. A lot of times, exercise is even more difficult because we don’t breath properly during the physical activity. If you’re working on building mastery with exercise, start small.

Take a walk, focus on your breathing. Start with a mile. Do something within your ability range before working your way up. Increase the challenge in small increments. Just as you practice your DBT skills, you’ll hone your body with exercise. Improving things little by little until your stamina is better.

I’ve gone over a list of activities from the Accumulate Positives skill set and I’ve added a red star next to some of the physical activities that would definitely count for exercise.

Way back in the day, I remember one of my therapists offering a DBT Yoga session. I was no where near ready to do any kind of group therapy setting let alone an exercise one. I hate that I missed out on that, but now I’ve beginning to shift my gears and look towards picking up more activities that will allow me to interact with others. (In a pandemic friendly way.) For now, I’m doing the basic research as my brain likes to do with every new obsession.

I’ve mentioned before that you can use your local library card on Overdrive or Libby to get digital books and audiobooks, right? Well, this also includes magazines. So I’ve pulled up one of my favorites: Yoga Journal. I feel like this month’s issue was written specifically for me~! A ton of mindful exercises and breathing exercises. I’ve snapped some screenshots of my favorite parts.

These all really sound amazing. I just wish it was easier to put this into actual physical practice. I’m going to give these a try. I’m using you all to hold myself accountable! Tell me if you end up trying these yoga moves. Maybe I’ll take some TikTok videos of what I do and share the awkwardness of it with you all.

Thanks for tuning in today, guys! Only a few more days of National Suicide Prevention Week! We’ve got this!

#RealConvo

Okay, so on World Suicide Prevention Day’s post, I’ll actually go into depth more about how to talk to someone who might be suicidal. So I’ll only gloss over that briefly today. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has so many great Social Media images that you can use for this week! I wanted to make sure I didn’t share all of them in one post, but today was a bunch of the #RealConvo images.

Normalize 👏🏽 Talking 👏🏽 About 👏🏽 Mental 👏🏽 Health

So this week, I really wanted to talk about some specific DBT skills that assist you when you’re feeling suicidal. We’ve covered the ABC and PLEASE skills in the Journey Podcast before, but repetition is always an important part of learning, memorizing, and mastering something.

ABC and PLEASE Skills from Emotion Regulation

A – Do something that you like. Do something that will make you happy. Even the smallest thing can be helpful when you are in crisis.

B – Building a mastery helps improve self-esteem and confidence. Focus on what you’re doing, being mindful of the activity, so that eventually you’ll be able to turn towards doing these sorts of activities even when you are struggling during crisis.

C – Before I started DBT, I was doing Cope Ahead’s in a negative way. I’d always do the scenario situation in my mind. What if I go to the pharmacy to pick up my meds and they are closed? What if they don’t have my prescription on file and I need to call my doctor? ‘What If’ing’ can steam roll you into a panic attack. Instead of going in the negative direction, you want to use Cope Ahead to practice these scenes in your mind. What might happen. How you should react in these situations. Have you ever come away from something and later realized you should have said “X, Y, or Z” as a comeback? Rehearsing mentally beforehand in a situation helps you practice what you might need to say and takes away the pressure and anxiety of doing it in the moment. Afterwards, ALWAYS remember to practice relaxation.

As with most DBT skills, there’s always a number of steps with each one. Don’t forget that you need to do each part otherwise the skill won’t do you any good. It’s like any good recipe. You might be able to make the cookies without a specific ingredient, but the cookies won’t be as good as if you follow the complete recipe.

I’ve seen a few different mental health blogs talking about their journey and it’s funny how their tips always veer very close to DBT modules and skills.

Kat references 5 important tools to manage her mental illnesses…

  • Sleep
  • Self-Care
  • Distraction
  • Analysis (Dude, that’s totally “Check the Facts!”)
  • Positive Reinforcement

Crazily enough, most of those are on par with some of the DBT skills.

I’m not entirely sure about tomorrow’s topic. I think I’ll research a bit about exercising to help with mental health and suicide prevention. (Don’t hold me to it! I’m writing these blog entries at silly o’clock right now.) The physical side of things definitely play a HUGE part of mental health. Your mental health can suffer so much from physical health issues.

Have you had enough water? Are you hangry? Have you eaten something today. Being dehydrated or hungry can cause headaches. And as I stated in a post last week, sometimes something as little as two drinks can cause deep depression. So avoid substances that might depress you. Getting enough sleep is imperative. Getting the right amount of REM cycles can completely alter how well your brain functions.

All right, I’m done rambling! It’s Wednesday! Hump Day! Made it halfway through this week! Oof. Even though I’m writing this in the distant past, I hope you’re week is going well!

Live Through This – My Past

Something you should be aware of: Suicide Survivor. This term can often refer to someone who has lost a loved one to suicide or Suicide Attempt Survivor meaning someone who attempted suicide. These are two very different things.

I shared my suicide attempt story with the Live Through This project run by Dese’Rae Stage way back in 2014. My story is probably buried way down in the website so I’ll just link it here. I got a lot of flack from friends back right after my suicide attempt. Even now, I’m really nervous about talking about my mental health issues with people I know locally. There’s a lot of stigma.

At some of my jobs, I’ve actually had coworkers blame my mental health issues instead of the actual problems at hand. Like unfair work conditions. Or stressful situations that would cause even those without mental health disorders to get frazzled. I am more than my mental health disorder. There is no one label that makes me who I am.

Sometimes when I go back and read through the interview for Live Through This, I realize how jumbled up my thoughts were back then. I didn’t have DBT therapy back then. I was still freshly on most of my psych medications and didn’t have a real handle on exactly what I should be doing for myself.

My past self is someone that is very hard to look back upon. The Headspace video that I linked up above has been really helpful in reflecting over my past self. You are the person you are today because of everything you experienced previously. The good, the bad, and the horrible. You shouldn’t let yourself get pulled too deeply into your past. Don’t dwell on what has happened. Learn from these incidents and encounters, but don’t allow them to overshadow the present.

Please excuse this photo of me. Dese’Rae would do the interview then take our photograph right afterwards. I cut my own hair back in the day and … was not very good at it. I don’t feel like this is the most flattering picture of myself. We weren’t modeling or anything, but I’m very self conscious of how I look. (FAT~!) Click on the photo below to go to the page.

Southern Peach 🍑, in her 30’s – Diabetic 🩸 + Artist 🎨 + Bibliophile 📚 + Geek 🎮 + Nerd 👓 + Animal-Lover 🐾 x Mental Health Matters 🧠 ÷ Bipolar 💢 x Anxiety 😨 x PTSD 🤯 = ME 👩🏽

If everything were cut-and-dry, you could easily assign labels to everyone. But we’re honestly more than some label. It feels like half our anguish in life is defining ourselves. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized there are things about myself that I couldn’t define when I was younger. That doesn’t change who I am and I’m okay with that.

Thanks for reading, guys. I hope my Suicide Survival story doesn’t scare most of you off.

The Taboo of Suicide

I love Headspace. Elektra recently linked me to their Youtube channel so I thought I would share this before going into my topic of today’s blog.

NAMI debunks myths about suicide…

After reading NAMI’s article, I wanted to repost the Myths and post my own take on the “Facts” that they posted. I’m not a health care professional, these are just my own person take on the situation. Please be sure to read the NAMI article for more information.

Myth: Suicide only affects individuals with a mental health condition.

Me: I have a mental health condition, but that doesn’t mean that everyone with a mental health condition will feel suicidal.

Myth: Once an individual is suicidal, he or she will always remain suicidal.

Me: I wasn’t even diagnosed with mental health issues until I was 29. By the time I was first hospitalized for a suicide attempt, I had already attempted to take my life three times.

Myth: Most suicides happen suddenly without warning.

Me: There are always signs. Sometimes they are very evident. The morning before I made my most recent attempt, I begged my primary care doctor for mental health medications. I told him that I was not doing well and that I needed something. Anything. I was ignored. It’s painful when someone is being subtle in their requests for help. It’s criminal when you’re blatantly seeking assistance and your cries for help go ignored. But sadly, most doctors aren’t able to prescribe meditation for complicated mental health issues. They can give you anti-depressants, but if you have something else like Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder, or anything more complicated, you have no choice beyond a Psychiatrist.

Myth: People who die by suicide are selfish and take the easy way out.

Me: People that try to take their lives are often so wrapped up in their own emotions that they don’t consider the pain that they’re causing someone else. I know from my own personal stance that I’ve always felt that my loved ones will be better off without me in their lives. I see myself as a burden and failure. During my last suicide attempt, I called my ex-husband begging him to come home and help me when I was contemplating taking my life. Our relationship was struggling at the time and he brushed off my words as “attention” seeking. Afterwards, when he forced me to go to the ER, I was stuck there waiting for a bed to open at one of the mental health facilities. The nurse called me selfish and all the women in the ER were doting on my ex-husband for staying by my side the entire time. For even calling out of work to stay with me. Ironic considering he’d been spending more time with his girlfriend earlier that week. When someone’s contemplating taking their life, they’re not taking the easy way out. They’re turning to the option that they see as their only choice. We need to be giving people better resources for coping and opening the door to make reaching out for help easier.

Myth: Talking about suicide will lead to and encourage suicide.

Me: I covered it in the topic above, but giving people better resources to reach out for help would be the biggest step towards preventing suicide. For some people, talking about food or looking at food does not mean that the person will actually eat said food. If you’re on a diet, you probably don’t want to talk about the unhealthy foods that you aren’t supposed to be eating, but it won’t immediately cause you to eat them. The same goes for talking about suicide. You probably don’t want to leave two suicidal people in a room together when they’re both depressed, but if you’re not struggling with suicide yourself, talking to someone else is not going to cause the suicidal person to do it. When you call a suicide prevention hotline, the individuals there will actually use a lot of techniques similar to DBT to help calm a person down enough to get them into a more reasonable mindset. They don’t fix the issue right then and there, just make it something more manageable and point the caller in a direction that will help them get assistance for the long road ahead.

Personally, my own thoughts concerning suicide can be cut down into a few simple sentences.

  • Feeling suicidal doesn’t mean you are a bad person. Terminology for suicide needs to change. Don’t say “commit suicide”. That phrase is now considered offensive because it suggests that doing this is a crime.
  • Feeling suicidal also does not mean that you are weak. You just don’t have the right coping mechanisms. Or maybe you don’t have enough of them.
  • Suicide is something that stems from your emotions. You are no single emotion. And your emotions are like the weather. You might have a long period of depression (or rainy days), but eventually that will change. You just have to weather through those bad days for the good ones.

Thanks for reading, guys! I’m still trucking away at these topics for this week. This topic is really close to my heart, but also really heavy and hard to juggle so please be patient.

Kicking Off National Suicide Prevention Week

I started trying to plan out what I was going to do for this week and I realized that I almost overwhelmed myself. I’m really invested in this topic so I want to do well with it, but I also don’t really have experience professionally writing about mental health. All of it is my own experiences through my own weird brain farts.

Also, when I start to plan things out, I feel like executive dysfunction always decides to get in the way. They say that prolonged anxiety and stress can actually be detrimental to your brain functions. I have major PTSD so that probably doesn’t help. Or the two or three concussions that I’ve sustained throughout my life…

So some of the topics I want to discuss this week include the myths that seem to follow suicide. NAMI has a great article about that which I will be references for tomorrow’s post. I’ll try to cover some of the DBT skills that help when you are feeling suicidal. And probably at least tackle some of the ways this week that you can be supportive for National Suicide Prevention Week.

Here’s a bunch of social media stuff courtesy of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Download these, share them, reach out to your loved ones, and just let them know that you care about them.

I want to expression my gratitude to everyone for reading. If anyone ever needs someone to talk, you’re always welcome to reach out to me. Feel free to join us in the DBT Discord. I might not always be available, but I do make a point to get back to anyone that speaks up in the Discord!

Prep Work

I did it! I really, really did it! I built up a nice sized buffer of entries for the blog. I’m almost worried now that I’m going to jinx myself by saying it. By the time I took the screenshot below, I had most of the posts ready except two or three. But I’ve managed to shell out two more posts. So I’m relieved.

Today’s post will be going up on Saturday, September 4th. At this point, I’m shocked considering how badly my last week in August was going, I didn’t think it was going to be possible. Some strange part of me really wanted to make sure Suicide Prevention Week went well though. I’ve been working on writing posts the last two days like a madwoman.

Haha, the Drowning post sort of gives you an idea of what day I started writing these posts, right? I’m probably going to go back later this week and reread my posts. I’ll edit them as needed (oh look, I edited today’s post too), since I’m currently going on the assumption that I’ve been writing all of this on a mania high. Things that make sense on manic brain might not make sense to the normal person.

I ended up adding some more posts since I first wrote this post initially. Added a post about Halloween and an exercise post that I had been planning for the Suicide Prevention Week. I’ve been trying really hard to integrate DBT into the Suicide Prevention Week. For me, DBT is something that has really helped me overcome my mental issues. They aren’t fixed, but it gives me a lot of coping mechanisms that I didn’t have before.

This one TikTok video came across my feed last night and I felt like it would be good to share it before all my mental health entries hit the blog.

At this point, I’ve realized I’m smack dab in the middle of a mixed phase. My attention is everywhere and I’m getting things done. Which I’d like to think of as productive, but I’m definitely a bit low. There’s some sadness that is just lingering. I’ve got to try and remember to discuss mixed episodes with my therapist.

Any who, I still have one last post to prepare for the National Suicide Prevention Week. Not sure about the topic for September 11th. That’ll be the last post for the National Suicide Prevention Week and it’s also the anniversary of 9-11. (Which shouldn’t be confused with Remembrance Day, November 11th)

Thank you for reading.

This is Halloween…

Halloween started for a ton of people mid-August. I honestly love the holiday, but I haven’t really celebrated anything since I moved in with my SO and In-Laws. They don’t really decorate, except for Christmas and that’s primarily for my step-daughter. I absolutely love Autumn. The thought of cool air, leaves changing color, and apple/pumpkin flavored foods just gets me revved up!

So let’s address the big question that everyone always throws out there. What are some of your favorite Halloween movies? And I mean, actual Halloween movies. Not just movies that you could possibly watch during Halloween because it’s spooky.

I’ll be honest. Body horror is something I really can’t handle. Jump scares are also something that just doesn’t work well for me. I like horror movies, creepy pasta’s, and scary stories. I really do. But I’m also a weenie wuss. It’s sort of on par with the fact that I love spicy food, but I can’t really tolerate the heat of it. Anything above the level of jalapeños will cause my tongue to revolt and stomach will weep.

My personal TOP 3 favorite “Halloween” movies would definitely have to be: The Halloween Tree as #1, Hocus Pocus as #2, and Practical Magic as #3. While these are all completely “Halloween” themed, I also love watching these other movies I’ve posted below. They really help to get in the spooky mindset for the holiday.

Okay, so I might have drifted into some really good, bad movies at the end of this list. Some of the old classics just warm my heart. And they honestly sit above some of the kiddie movies, I listed near the top. I just got on such a tangent. I think I might start doing some Halloween movie marathons soon. When is it too early to start loving Halloween?

Pumpkin Spice Latte’s launched again. I haven’t gone out to drink one yet, just because I’m so picky about the flavor. I LOVE PUMPKIN. But Starbucks just tastes bad to me. That might be because I love tea more than coffee though.

Not my photo!

I didn’t take this photograph, but it’s really got me in the mood to do some Autumn themed photographs now. I’m thinking apple fritters, apple cider, pumpkin spice lattes, and pumpkin tarts. What do you see as the ideal Autumn foods?

Thanks for reading, guys!

September 2.0

It’s September! I said that yesterday. Part of me even thought that I should maybe change the topic of yesterday’s post, but I feel like September 1st isn’t the only day that I can talk about this. Not that this is not an important subject… I just wanted to give myself a day to let my brain rest before I started in on this subject.

https://nationaltoday.com/september-holidays/

Did you know that there’s like 192 different holidays in September besides Labor Day? It’s insane. Honestly, I think they just think up something for every day. And I suppose that’s all right for people that are looking to celebrate each of this unique and crazy subjects. Like American Chess Day, or Chicken Boy Day (I’m not sure I want to know what that is..), or even National Read a Book Day. That’s definitely one I’ll participate in as a book worm.

But let’s talk about the really important one that’s happening this month.

National Suicide Prevention Week 2021

Starts in the United States on Sunday, September 5 and ends on Saturday, September 11

Here’s some important links:

Also – Friday, September 10 is actually World Suicide Prevention Day 2021. Definitely don’t want that to slip through the cracks either.

I’m sure there’s a ton of different websites that you can look into, but those were the top big ones for me. I’m going to try and think ahead about some different subjects to write about for that week. As a suicide attempt survivor, this is a subject close to my heart.

A lot of bad things happened to me in the month of September. And as much as I’d love to just fast forward my way through all those bad memories, I definitely don’t want the month to go rushing by if it means skipping over this important subject. Are there any topics that you’d like to hear about specifically? Let me know in the comments.

And as always, thanks for stopping by, guys!

September and the LEGO Brain

It’s September! This is a volatile month for me. Bad memories. I’m hoping that Autumn starts to settle in here, but I sincerely doubt it. It feels like we’re rolling into the Second Summer and along with that, a heat wave. I suppose I’ll just have to crank the air conditioner up, drink a ton of apple and pumpkin flavored beverages, and think of Halloween to make it through this month. On that note, I wonder if there’s any Halloween themed LEGO sets…

I haven’t had the brain to create anything truly exciting with my LEGO collection. I got a really nice baggy of LEGO’s from the local McKay’s bookstore. (You pick and fill for a price.) I wish that my brain could create something amazing and cool, but right now I’m really just floating around inside my mind.

It was sort of mindful to sort through my new/old pieces though. I ended up covering the two small Ikea LEGO boxes with different pieces. It felt somewhat artist. It was also very therapeutic. Just focusing on the task at hand. There was not going to be any problems if I didn’t do this “correctly” so I was able to focus on it without stressing.

I was separating the different weird pieces and putting them on long, flat pieces to keep them “organized” into different piles. This is way easier than just pouring them into my LEGO box and pawing around to look for what I might need. Who else here likes LEGO’s? I know I’ve seen a ton of people who are invested in LEGO’s on TikTok, but I wasn’t sure if anyone else was casual like I am.

I’d probably display my sets if I had the space, honestly. I have some MARVEL pieces, some STAR WARS pieces, and then some DISNEY. I’m a geek… I’ll probably dig my sets out later to take some photographs, but for now, I’m going to clean up my jumble of pieces and head to bed.

It was late when I was writing this post. Just so you guys don’t think I’m going to bed at like 11am in the morning. Haha. I’ve taken a liking to posting my blog entry at 11am each day. I’m not sure if that is a good or bad time really. I’m sure the analytics might beg to differ, but I’m not really doing the blog to get famous. (If anyone knows the science behind when to post, PLEASE comment. I would love to know.)

I worked the social media for an anime convention up in Detroit, Youmacon. And for those posts we always did afternoon posts from like 5pm EST. That was since it hit afternoon for the West Coast, but was early enough after work for the East Coasters. I don’t miss doing social media for a convention, since people always acted entitled and pushy. I do miss conventions though. This upcoming weekend is Dragon*Con.

Some part of me yearns to go back to Dragon*Con because it’s like Halloween… for an entire weekend. Parties, dressing up, and seeing amazing things. I haven’t been back to Dragon*Con since 2014. I ran some tabletop games of Never After (my buddy’s Indy game), but was having a really hard time because I had strep throat right before the convention. I was somewhat better by then, but I still had laryngitis at that point.

My ex-husband stepped in to help me with the games, but there was a really bad vibe. We didn’t spend any time together the entire weekend and he was constantly with a “friend”. Someone actually sent me a conversation that he had with them right before. It hurt so bad to see how much he bad mouthed me to people. He came back on Monday at the end of Dragon*Con and pretty much let me know that it was over.

I won’t go into too many details about our divorce right now. I started writing a few paragraphs and realized how much thinking about it still traumatizes me. I have a lot of nightmares about my ex-husband. I was blamed for things. I was always turned into the bad guy. I was told I was emotionally abusive and that my love was conditionally, when in reality that was my ex. He always told me that he lost friends or had to isolate from friends because of me. I finally realized that wasn’t my fault after we’d been separated for awhile.

Some part of me thinks it would be good to write a few entries about being married to a narcissist’s. I just don’t know if I’m mentally stable enough yet to face those memories. Haha, sorry for getting so off topic. Just thought I’d explain why September really does a number on my brain.

Take care, folks!