Updated: Mar 1, 2020
I went to the State Capital Building to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention today. To be honest I didn’t know what to expect. Don’t really like politics or politicians but I felt that it was time to support any organization whose sole mission is to stop the pain of surviving suicide.
So I get to the building late (no surprise there, I’m always late). Ok let’s go off topic for a second,I was wearing heels. Guys I’m like almost 50 years old and my feet purposely reject heels from the moment I put them on. Walking from the parking garage to the Capital Building was. not. fun 😐. But walk I did.
The meeting area was in a common atrium of the building and the building's architecture was so cool. I love old buildings. In Chicago I used to have choir rehearsal (yep I used to sing) in the Fine Arts Building. A building with elevators with the metal gate you have to close to make it go up and down. Sigh good times.
I registered and had to ask a ton of questions, like what the heck do I do now. Like my normal busy procrastinating self I didn’t complete any of the training that explained what the heck I was doing there. I’m pretty much a “ Hey let’s do this!! kind of girl without preparing at all. 😃
So this is what we were there for. There are 4 bills that are being voted on in the House and Senate. The bills are written supporting more Mental Health services for adults, kids and training more teachers to be the front line of defense of a child is in trouble. We were assigned a Senator and House Representative and we were there to lobby those bills. My meetings went well and I met someone that I may be able to push healthy lifestyles into future school mental health regulations and training for mental health professionals. We shall see.
This is what I got out of this day. Politics is a strange duck but all of the politicians I met were really nice. They took time to listen and agreed with what I was saying, I mean we are trying to stop kids from ending their life, I can’t imagine anyone pushing back on our cause. So maybe all politicians aren’t bad. But this next point hit me while I was waiting in line for our box lunch. I looked at every single person in our group… in their eyes. Not in a creepy, I’m going to stare at you until you smile awkwardly at me,kind of way. I believe that the eyes are the window to our soul. Every single person there had eyes full of pain. It didn’t matter if they were quiet or laughing with a friend you could see the pain that travelled down to their soul.
Every single person there had either survived a suicide attempt or had lost someone to suicide. The deep lingering pain was still there and it never goes away. There is a grief that someone who is a suicide survivor feels that is like no other. It is heavier and with so many more layers.
If we as a unit can spare another human being this kind of pain from ever feeling it than all of our effort is totally worth it. I am in. I will help save lives but I will always do it with pain in my heart and mind. All the way down to my soul.
28 Days until it’s been 4 years since I found my husband of 20 years with a self inflicted gun shot wound to the chest. And now I am willing to fight harder than ever to stop suicide.
So there will be more posts. There will be more lessons. There will be more talking about how suicide destroys more lives than the life lost. If this triggers sadness in you I’m sorry and maybe you’ll need to not read my posts. I’m not going to stop though. Number of suicides are rising. EVERY YEAR the percentages are increasing. Kids 10-15 rose from 2018 by 200%.
My job is clear. Get educated on how to help properly and write. Your job? Share and talk. Love your friends and be there for them. It takes a village… and I believe that we all can save many many live.