Self-Help #suicideprevention #mentalhealth

a lot of people I know don’t believe this, but I believe we have to be very careful of the things we take in.. what we watch, what we listen to, who we hang around, and even who we work with. we should strive to be able to discern what/who is good for us and what/who is not.

i read a lot of self-help books, for example. apparently, they are my favorite kind of book to read and i THOUGHT that this was because i wanted to know what self-destructive behaviors I exhibit and how I could change them. that is true, but what I have recently discovered about myself makes me realize that self-help actually does more harm than good… at least for me, and since I am not the only one like me probably others as well.

don’t get me wrong, I believe that some self-help material can be very useful and probably has saved/changed many lives. but more often than not I believe they can be very detrimental if not read in the right state of mind, with some counsel from an expert. while self-help gives us the power to take matters into our own hands, we can ultimately shortchange ourselves with our own reasoning. ironically, this is why we believe we need help because we think our own reasoning is flawed.

for example, if I’m reading a book on sex addiction which outlines reasons A-G as to why I am an addict, that’s cool. at least I have 7 reasons as to why I’m addicted to sex… clarity, right? but then now I have to deal with those 7 things I didn’t know about or repressed and I might be inclined to buy (or check out if you’re frugal like myself) 7 more self-help books or to combat the other things that triggered my sex addiction.

it’s potentially dangerous because it can start a cycle of thinking that never ends. for example, someone might say “i battle with anxiety because i was sexually abused as a child and it made me anxious.” “i am suicidal because of 1, 2, and 3, so once i deal with those things i will stop being suicidal…. that’s it!” VOILA your life is complete and you can solve all your problems on your own, right? in this way you will ALWAYS be helping yourself and ALWAYS shortchanging yourself. i mean there are so many instances where people have taken matters into their own hands without help and have come up short.

that’s what happens to me. instead of initiating growth and change i end up dwelling on why i am the way i am and feeling extreme guilt and remorse for who i am which is SO WRONG. and i know a lot of people struggle with this also; feeling like they have to help themselves because they believe no one else cares or wants to help… or feeling like they are beyond help. it’s why i keep stressing how important it is for us to reach out and help each other and let the people who WANT to help do so.

the moral of the story, survivors, seek counsel. don’t do it alone.

https://yourenotfinished.com/get-help/

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Turtling #mentalhealth #suicideprevention

“Solitude vivifies, isolation kills.” Joseph Roux

I have firsthand experience in my past to that quote, and… as much as I hate to admit it… I’m somewhat going through that at the moment. My friend and I have coined (not really) a term; turtling. It has a few meanings, some rather disgusting ones as I have discovered, but when we use it we are talking about isolation and detachment from challenging (and probably beneficial whether we want to admit it or not) interpersonal relationships.

I won’t speak for my friend, but when I “turtle” I tend to do so in the most dramatic way possible. Some people know this about me and refuse to let me do it, so it only happens when people have no choice BUT to let me do it… when I can’t be stopped. This absolutely hinders any and every kind of growth or recovery. Recovery in the face of mental illness, recovery from addiction, recovery from past hurts/pains.

Hiding when you are scared (as turtles sometimes do) of something is a natural reaction; it’s OK to feel scared sometimes. Hiding because something or someone reminds you of a memory you have repressed, or a desire you have suppressed, or because of fear (often irrational) someone will leave when they “find out who you REALLY are,” or all of the above can propel you to into a life of isolation… and as Mr. Roux stated so truthfully, isolation kills.

Isolation is sickness, and is usually a result of shame… maybe remorse. To be real, I believe it is so easy to isolate because we live in a world where everybody has a judgment about everything. With age we are more able to scrutinize, criticize, and hypothesize how people do things, who a person is, and why they are that way. ESPECIALLY if mental illness is involved since there is a truckload of stigma attached to it. If (since) my behavior is frowned upon (understatement) people are more likely to attack me for behaving in such a way, instead of offering a helping hand to guide me to the end of that behavior.

Isolation is also one of several overwhelming signs of depression, mental illness, and suicidal ideation, (no, I am not suicidal, survivors) so if you or someone you know is going through this I suggest you check in at the very least, at most be as supportive as humanly possible as a friend/loved one.

As the quote implies, there is a difference between solitude and isolation. Sometimes it’s a GREAT feeling to stand on your own, be truly independent, and self-reflect to initiate change. However, it is important to make sure that you and your loved ones are not stunting their growth by hiding issues that need to be attended to. Are you your brother’s keeper? ABSOLUTELY. In this day and age it is imperative to look out for one another and create a community of survivors to end the stigma and save lives. It is important to fight for yourself and save your own life by getting help.

Helpful sources: https://yourenotfinished.com/get-help/

“We Don’t Do That!” #africanamerican #suicideprevention #stigma

DISCLAIMER: If you’ve never read any of my blogs before, I have to tell you that I like to be 100% honest in expressing my feelings about mental health, suicide prevention, and people’s thoughts and actions… especially my own. It’s necessary for me to be as transparent as possible. Doing this in my social life gets me in all kinds of trouble, which is part of the reason why the You’re Not Finished blog/website was created… so that other people like myself… other survivors.. can be transparent without getting in trouble for it.

I have been wanting to write about this for a while, but have been apprehensive because of the stigma attached to it. Since the only way out seems to be through, I decided to talk about African-Americans and suicide in order to help in efforts to make sure the topic doesn’t get swept under the rug any longer.

Being an African-American myself, who has contemplated suicide on NUMEROUS occasions and attempted twice, I know for a fact that anyone one of us who is saying that “We don’t do that!” is highly misinformed or just flat out lying/in denial. The former is likely to be the truest answer to that for reasons I’m about to explain.

There seems to be this belief in the black community that we are above mental illness or that we are completely unaffected by it… and that those who are tend to be weak or cowardly; a detriment to the culture. Stigma is high everywhere in this nation and the world, but I believe the stench of it is much thicker in the African-American community.

The thing that helps perpetuate the “we don’t do that” myth is the numbers. Every article/research study I have come across has a comparison of how many of each race are committing suicide, or is overshadowed by the fact that the highest cause of death amongst African-Americans is homicide (a topic for later, I’m sure), or is just an old study. After the suicide of Don Cornelius (TV show host and creator of Soul Train) people talked about it for a short time, then it was swept right back under the rug.

Maybe I understand why. I mean suicide is a terrible thing, and what group of people wants to be associated with it? That will never excuse the fact that this just isn’t being addressed at all. It is being ignored.

Exhibit A: “Epidemiological surveys suggest that the
rate of mental illness among African-Americans is similar to that of Caucasians. However, there is evidence to suggest that higher rates of mental illness among African-Americans might be detected if researchers surveyed individuals within psychiatric hospitals, prisons, and poor rural communities.”

AKA researchers are ignoring people most likely to live with mental illness and/or commit suicide.

Exhibit B: “African American beliefs about suicide may act as a protective factor. Religious communities condemn suicide while secular attitudes regard suicide as unacceptable and a behavior of white culture, alien to black culture.”

AKA African-Americans disbelief of the fact that we ARE killing ourselves.

Source: http://www.sprc.org/sites/sprc.org/files/library/black.am.facts.pdf

I can’t be the only one who’s irritated (understatement) with the stigma of suicide and mental health; not only in the African-American community but EVERYWHERE. This is just an example of how the needs of hurting people are being ignored on a daily basis. Let’s start talking about it and find solutions to keep people alive, survivors. Let’s start helping each other to make this world better.

Additional sources for research: http://www.nopcas.com/epidemi.html

The Seed of Self-Destruction #mentalhealth #suicideprevention

I’ve noticed that people tend to treat others the way they were treated, whether they are aware of it or not…

People lash out because they have been or have been perceived to be attacked; people verbally abuse others because they received verbal abuse; people shut down because they have been shut out.

And while experience seems to be the most powerful teacher I have been starting to wonder if it is the most effective or if it is the best because in this setting, you can choose to learn whatever you want to or whatever is most convenient. You go to school to learn specific things to help you attain material success in life, but when life experiences make an appearance what you learn seems to be objective. You have a choice as to how you are going to treat the information given to you in both instances, however. Either you are going to do something about it and make yourself better, or you are going to let the lesson fall by the wayside.

The former choice allows for growth, positivity, truth, and success. The latter, mediocrity and sometimes self-destruction. Plain and simply. But here is the complex part of all of that: life lessons aren’t as direct as academic lessons. As a by-product we can give everything we have been given… we can begin to adopt the beliefs that other people have about us… we can become bitter… we can let the pain fester… we can choose to vindicate ourselves for everything we have ever been through… we can adopt self-righteousness and believe the world owes us. All of those things, AT ALL TIMES, lead to self-destruction.. and all of these things can plant the seed of self-destruction in others.

But just as easily as the seed of self-destruction can be planted, so can the seed of life and/or a times, resurrection. I was reminded recently that we have everything we need inside of us to live lives as contently and abundantly as we would like to. That is, if we tap into our souls and believe we were created for and with a great purpose. We can choose to tear ourselves AND each other down because of what we have been through or we can choose the lift ourselves AND each other up IN SPITE of what we have been through. We can give others life or take it all away just with the power of words and actions.

The choice is yours, survivors. We should all take a look at what kinds of seeds we are planting and, with growth, strive to have the ability to discern what kinds of seeds others are planting because in the same way people can treat others badly for what has been done TO them, people can treat others well because of what has been done FOR them. Let’s make an effort to replace the seed of self-destruction with a seed of grace.

Peace and blessings to you all.