Today I'm taking a break from painting in recognition of suicide prevention week. As you may already know from my "about" page, I've suffered from depression for 23 years so far and have been suicidal a fraction of that time; mainly in the last few years. This is a big "why" as to what my painting practice means to my self-support/healing and to my collectors.
I've been thinking a lot lately about my friends who have lost loved ones close to them to suicide and my heart aches for them. I see a lot out in the media for suicide awareness that discusses how we need to "know how to look for the signs" and how we need to be there for our loved ones and tell them we love them. And I agree. But I feel called and compelled to weigh in and say that people suffering from suicidal thoughts need to feel EMPOWERED to seek help for themselves. They need to feel like it is ok to tell close loved ones about their feelings and needs, and that they can go get help from a doctor or psychiatrist. People need to recognize the warning signs within THEMSELVES that something is wrong and that the disease of depression has taken root (and can worsen if untreated!) A knight in shining armor will not come save you from a "suicidal cliff"; you have to fight the dragon yourself and you CAN. You do NOT have to suffer in silence and fear burdening someone else with your "issues." You are sick!!! It is an illness that can have severe consequences and outcomes! You cannot sit around and wait for someone to recognize something might be off with you or read your mind. In short, people are happy to help. Especially when they love you. But you have to TELL them about it!
In this video, I discuss very candidly what it feels like when you are in a suicidal mindset so it may shed some light as to a reason WHY. I can only speak for myself, but I wanted to share in case it helps someone else.
I also see a lot of loved ones left behind who blame themselves or feel regretful that they weren't "more helpful" to their friend in some way...that perhaps that person might still be here if they had "done more." I can't imagine the pain of that burden!!!!! And I'm here to say that, in my experience, that is not the case. When I felt like ending my life, it was coming from a place of love and sacrifice (as you will hear me discuss in the video). People say "how can you be so selfish to kill yourself and leave your family behind!?" and I get it. I discuss this in detail in the video and hope it brings a new light and lifts a bit of burden from your heart.
Thinking of you all and wishing you love and light!!!! Let's end this stigma!!!!!