Suicide is one of those topics that many find very difficult to talk about. Unfortunately the issue of suicide is not going to go away and the only time we seem to talk around it, is when a known celebrity or some type of mass murder ending by suicide occurs. The issue of suicide is a real social problem and as a license clinical social working, the discussion of suicide and suicidal ideation is a regular part of daily my conversation in sessions.
Some of the risk factors associated with suicide ideation and suicide attempts are: mental illness, substance abuse, feeling hopeless and unloved, wanting to stop the pain, made a bad decision, philosophical views about death and dying, and crying out for help just to name a few.
Statistics show that nearly 40,000 people die from suicide in the United States every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list suicide as the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. It is estimated that a young person dies from suicide at least every two hours. That’s a disturbing number. What’s even more disturbing for me, is that most people who attempt suicide, never seek professional help.
Suicide is not just an individual issue, rather I t is a problem that effects everyone who is connected to the person who’s attempted, and succeeded with suicide. Family, and friends alike tends to carry the burden of a loved one who’s ended his/her life by suicide. Preventing suicide is not an easy task and it takes everyone’s support to spread awareness. Society has complicated this process by attaching a negative stigma on people who tries to share their thoughts of committing suicide.
One of the biggest ways we can prevent suicides from occurring is by teaching individuals how to recognize the signs, how to become more aware, and how to become open and sensitive to hearing and allowing others to share their pain. In order to do this properly, there are a few things that one should understand about suicide. Knowing these truths can help to spread awareness and hopefully to prevent the inevitable from occurring:
For anyone that may be struggling or know someone who is battling with depression and thoughts of suicide , please know, there is help. You don’t have to handle depression or any other serious mental illness on your own. You can always talk to a loved one, a Pastor, a friend, a teacher, or a neighbor. If you do not have someone to turn to, you can call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Other online available resources:
Sometimes the trials of life can become overwhelming and the load may seem to heavy to bear. It’s very easy to get weighed down by the trials of life. One thing I have learned is that, in this life you can’t expect for others to make you happy. This is what it is so important to have an internal sense of self worth and an intrinsic sense of peace that you carry within yourself. As you continue to live and grow, the circumstances of life, and having to deal with people will teach you this.
The bottoms line is this, you should never have to force someone to like you, or love you. Why force someone to be with you, or share your space if that is not what they really want. When someone has a desire to be with you, to love you, and to spend their time with you, you will know it. That feeling or thought of loneliness can cause one to do desperate things and make really unhappy decisions.
So I say to anyone that may be feeling lonely or alone in this season of your life, just know for yourself that you are not alone, and that you can be and feel fulfilled if you just learn to love yourself.
Love comes when you are able to stop looking to others to fulfill your need. Love is about feeling a sense of security in knowing who you are and what matters most. Love is not envious, boastful or jealous, but it’s patient caring, and kind. Love is what you do more-so that what you feel. If you can’t do anything else, I implore you to start working on self love today. You can Love yourself first and take the Love of God with you.
So what is self love? Self-love occurs when you can treat yourself with the same kindness, concern, and support you would show to a friend. Stop looking to others, or expecting others to be for you what they are unable to be, and start being what you can be, to yourself. Find what makes you happy and become one with it. Remember, your happiness should not be predicated on the presence of another person, or what that person can give to you, or do for you.
This is one of life lesson that I had to learn for myself. Im so glad I learned this principal as it has made my life better. Now that I truly understand the importance of self love, I want to share it with you. I pray for any one who is reading this, that you will be able to let go of chasing expectations and release any negative thoughts that captivates your mind. I hope that you find some inspiration in this passage and that it will give you peace to move forward and create your own happiness.
Dreams are important but don’t lose yourself chasing your dream. I know for a fact how important it is to be able to birth that idea or gift that has been placed inside of you. Sometimes it becomes so overwhelming that you just don’t know what to do. It's like, when you look around, all you see is everyone else excelling. It appears to be that everyone else is becoming what they’ve set out to be.
This perception that you hold of other's success begins to make you think that you're falling behind, and before you know it, you start feeling lost and confused and wondering what has happened to you. What I've learned is that if you ponder in those thoughts long enough, you’ll begin to feel hopeless and in despair, and ultimately you’ll start contemplating abandoning your dreams.
Just because you see it, doesn’t mean you have to be it. Well, be it, right now that is. Everything happens for a reason, and as the Bible teaches us, there is a time and season for everything under the sun. You’ve got to Know when it’s your time to move, and when it's your time to just stand still. You can’t live another persons life, or walk another persons walk. You have to move to the beat of your own drum. You must concentrate on staying in your lane, riding your ride, and keeping your stride. Your story is yours, and your life belongs to you.
So, here’s my advice. Look at your life like you're telling us a story. You're experiences are the pages in the book and each chapter has its' own purpose and it's own meaning. Each chapter in the book are a compilation of plots with a larger story to tell. The story of your life is building up to a culminating end, but like every thing in life, there are phases and stages of growth and development that it must go through. This is the process of your life, and it's your story to tell.
Lastly, as you move forward, understand that you do have choices. You can drown in your own thoughts, sink in your words or die by destruction due to your untimely actions. Or you can climb the ladder of success by working the process, keeping the faith and never losing hope. Don’t let former one become you. This is your life, and your story to tell! Do it your way!
I want to share with you My Truth about Gabrielle Union and the book "We're Going to Need More Wine."
In all truth an honesty, I never cared for Gabrielle Union as an entertainer. I always felt that she was snooty and pretentious and a black woman who did not like being "Black.". It was something about her that was very concerning for me and I always thought she had deeply rooted issues (that's the clinician in me). Because of that intuition, I felt sorry for her and secretly wished that she would get therapy and work out her issues.
I bought the book only because friends of mine suggested it and that we read and discuss it in a book group/reading club. So I obliged. It took a while for me to sit down and began to indulge. It was a slow read for me but eventually I got into it. As I flipped through the chapters, there were things that confirmed my dislike for her and in a sense mad me a bit angry. But I continued to read (... And I'm glad I did)
I want to give credit to Gabrielle Union for being so open, honest, and raw in this book. What the book did for me was confirmed my belief and soften my heart toward her. I appreciate her story telling and realize that help and healing comes in so many ways. I believe she found herself and her healing through telling her truth and sharing her story. She became a hero for me in a sense that she decided to live and be her Authentic Self. This book opened a new pathway for her to now be free, and transition to a new level in her career and be inspiration for Black Professional Women who are afraid of themselves.
Her words and her story gave me hope. There's so much that I can do with this book (In Therapy Sessions with Young Girls) to inspire and help them to live their best lives and be their Authentic Selves. No matter what side of them track you live one, growing up black doesn't come without a struggle. Just learning about her experience has insight into her own pain and struggle of being a black woman in America.
Mrs. Gabrielle Union, I thank you and I applaud for recognizing your own weakness and shortcoming and for being able to express and share that in such a way that changed the face of who you are and showed us your real strength. You're my hero!
The big day is coming and everyone knows it. Prior to that date you’ve prepared and worked hard. You've internalized the information, put systems in place and set your minds in motion for what’s to come. You’ve worked with others, did research, asked question and even wrote down some things to remember. Your mind is full of what it is that you need to know, so why are you second guessing yourself now?
The fear and anxiety of failing, puts many in a position to fail. The experience of the blended emotions will clog your mind and smoother your thoughts. Fear and anxiety has the potential to fill your mind with negative images of what could happen and cause you to start thinking the worse. You defeat yourselves by letting the negative thoughts and energy of failure creep into your minds.
For me, Failure doesn’t live here. I can say that and I know that. Failure doesn’t live here, with me, because each time I set forth to achieve another goal, I always give it my all. As long as I’m giving MY BEST, I can not fail. Granted I might not achieve what I set out to do the first time; but news flash! It wasn’t my time too, and I’ve learned something new during that experience that gave me a better understanding of what I needed to know, and it showed me what I missed.
Each time I embrace a new experience, I embrace it with an open mind, as a student ready to learn, and as a sponge prepared to absorb all I can. I won’t stop until I’ve achieved my dream. I won’t give up until I crossed the finished line and I will never stop growing because there’s more to learn.
All I’m trying to say is, “Don’t Stop, it’s Yours. There’s Progress in the Process, Now Go Get What’s Yours!”
What is it that you want out of life? Have you given any consideration as to where you see yourself in five to ten years from now? Do you have a a future outlook, or goals that you what to achieve? Have you ever considered creating a plan as a means of getting what you want out of life? What about a vision, can you see yourself moving in the direction that you were meant to go? If not, then now is the time to get started. One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is have something that we are working towards.
It’s one thing to aspire to do something, but it’s very different when you have an idea or an active blue print for how you plan to accomplish what you desire to do. Blue prints are a great resource as it allows you to make adjustments and changes as needed. Life will throw you curve balls and when that happens, you have to be able to adjust and shift with it, and not give up. The blueprint is just a roadmap for giving some directions on how to reach your goal, but it’s not designed to state that this is the only way to do do it. I don’t want to talk in circles about this, but I just want to share with you the importance of setting yourself up for greater.
Too many times we fail to get to where we want to be in life because we allow things to get in the way. I call this blockage. It’s so much easier for me to come up with all the excuses as to why I can’t do something, but when it comes to identifying the reasons that I should I struggle.
Well, no more. It’s time to Level Up! for me Leveling-Up means that what I dream and aspire to be inside my head, need to be consistent and congruent to what is happening outside my head. Ok, let me say that differently. It’s time to bring my visions and my thoughts into my reality.
Here I am thinking and talking like I have the Mercedes, yet and still I’m driving around in the Kia. Yes, I’ve laid the foundation, I’ve done the work, I’ve even mapped out the game plan, but I keep making the excuse for why I have not yet graduated from my kia to the Mercedes. Now granted, I can hear a few of you saying, there’s nothing wrong with a Kia and infant its a smart and economical investment. I won’t disagree with you there, but what I am suggested is that if you think small, you’ll stay small - but if you think big, then it’s time to move on to bigger and better things, and get this - your substance will compliment the Mercedes and Driving a Kia just won’t do it anymore.
So are you ready to level up? Are you ready to step out of the mindset of stating what you can’t do and start, moving forward in what you know you were gifted to do? If the answer is yes, then I would encourage you to take these few steps:
Morning reflections sang from my soul
I suffered so long just to feel whole
Never knowing which way I should go
I never gave up this you should know
I pushed, I cried, I labored long
Sometimes feeling like I could no longer hang on
Because I refused to give up
I can now say what -
This journey of mine has truly done
It has created a warrior, a queen
A voice of reason, an image to be seen
It made fear my footstool
And my enemies my ladder
Now I rise high,
Now I’m much better
Better than the naysayers
And yes much Better than my haters
I’m using all that evil for good
Creating world changers
There’s no stopping me now
The Dragons been unleashed
I’m doing what God created me To do
And that is to slaughter the beast
Ride with me now or step aside
This here battle is do or die
I’m a doer so I fight to live
I fight so hard because I got much more to give
I’m a wife, mother, servant of God, professional, daughter, sister and friend. I wear many different hats throughout the course of my day. My focus and goal is to help others and to bring joy to their lives. I make many sacrifices and uphold several commitments, all to care for others. What I often fail to do is care for me.
Self care is a necessary and vital part of our emotional and mental wellbeing. It’s not something that just happens, but it is an intentional act of your will. It’s not an activity you’ll find yourself doing naturally, rather, it’s something that you must make a priority, be deliberate about, and participate in on purpose. You must make time to practice self care, and to be present with yourself and live in the moment.
We’ve all been there where we ended up getting an afternoon nap, not because we planned it really , but because we were so tired that we couldn’t do anything else but rest... it’s not that dinner date with you friend that me that you got caught up in because they were pressuring you to come. No these events are not considered self care because in truth, when you really think about it, is not what you really wanted to do.
Self care is defined as: any necessary human regulatory function which is under the individuals control, it is deliberate and self-initiated. Self care is one of the best survival skills you can learn. Self-care involves participating in activities you love, on a regular basis. Practicing self can can only reduce stress and help you maintain and enhance your health and well-being. So what’s stopping you and getting in the way of you, taking care of you? If it’s because you just don’t know how - let me help you:
The following are some important basic self-care strategies that can keep you functioning at your best, and ready to handle life, when the challenges come.
1. Get Enough Sleep
2. Maintain Proper Nutrition
3. Exercise Regularly
4. Meditate and/or practice yoga
5. Maintain Social Interactions
6. Find a Hobby that you enjoy
7. Treat Yourself to something nice
8. Keep Your Mind Sharp
9. Stay positive and keep a healthy attitude
10. Make routine appointments for physical and dental exams
~ I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent; caring for myself is an act of survival. Audre Lorde~
When you see or hear the word self esteem, what actually comes to mind. I bet you begin to think about various types of names, or concepts such as self worth, self value, self respect or self confidence. The word Self esteem is generally thought of in these different ways.
When people talk about self esteem, it’s easy to think along the lines of what is that person like. One will begin to think about their character traits, personality type, or the persons overall disposition. Your self esteem plays a big part of who your are, and what you believe to be true about yourself.
In psychology, self esteem is described as one’s overall sense of self worth and personal value. Self esteem is thought to be a measurement of how much you like and respect yourself. It’s sad to say, but not many people hold themselves to be in high regards. I think a big part of the reason this is true, is because people don’t want to believe that they are actually good enough or capable of doing something wonderful.
Far too many times we are reminded of our short comings or the things that we can not do. This self defeating belief may have come from someone in our lives telling us this, or it may have come from our own experiences, where we didn’t make the mark, or we felt like we didn't measure up to something that we actually thought we could handle. Wherever that seed of negativity was planted, and however it was planted, I am here to tell you, that belief you hold about yourself is untrue.
Having a healthy sense of who you are, and strong level of self worth and self value is very important. Believing in yourself and your values are the difference between being successful or just average. I believe we were all born with greatness inside of us. We all have something unique and special to give and share with others. That unique talent is what lies at the core of our very soul. In order to pull that out, you must believe in yourself and know that you are valued, your life has worth and meaning, and that everything you do in life is working for a greater good, which has an even greater, expected end.
So I say this to you, if you want to get to that place in your life, you can achieve it just by making some slight adjustments to your thought processing. The key is stepping out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself to share your innate talents and abilities, and to stop thinking negative about yourself. It’s time to turn that negative thought into a positive belief. Focus on building your self esteem. That is your level of self worth, self respect and the value you hold for yourself.
In order to build your self esteem, you need to be able to do a few things. Let me give you 10 valuable ways to start that process:
Know that your gifts and skills makes you uniques, special and valued. They make you who you are. Your life matters, and you make a difference. Now go get what's yours! ❤️💪🏾
Don’t be reactive but be a conscientious thinker. Your future and your destiny is determined by how you think. I believe that we were place here on this earth to fulfill a destined purpose. Have you discovered what your purpose for being is and what gifts and talents your were given to help fulfill that purpose?
I believe that we have been given our own unique gifts and talents. Some people know what their gifts and talents are and they have claimed it to be rightfully so. While there are others who have not made that discovery as of yet. Are you one of those who have not yet tapped into what you were naturally created to do?
My understanding of a gift is when someone gives you something just because they want too. There’s nothing you did to earn the gift. It was given to you freely. Gifts are given because the gift giver wants to give you something they believe you should have. That’s what makes it a gift.
You always have a choice to either receive the gift, or decline it. In my experience, when someone gives you a gift, you’ll generally accepts it. Not only do you accept the gift, but you become extremely anxious about unveiling the gift to find out what it is. I said all that to say, have you accepted the gift that has been given to you? If you haven’t already done so, I challenge you, to dig deep inside yourself to unveil what gifts has been placed in you.
Know that the gifts and talents you have can only help you move forward into your destiny. It’s those gifts and talents that help us to become who were were truly meant to be. Upon learning about what gifts and talents you naturally have, don’t waste it in doing nothing. There are people who lives can be influenced, renewed and changed as a result of the gift and talents that lies within you.
Yes, this is true, what you have inside of you, was meant to be shared with others in such as way that they too can begin to enact their talents and help others become better too. I live by the motto, “Building Better Lives and Inspiring Hope for tomorrow.”
If I inspired one, and give hope to another then I did what I was created to do. Have you used your gifts and talents today? Will you make a difference in the life of another by sharing what you do naturally and well? I surely hope so. If not I encourage you to join me as I continue my mission to, “Build Better Lives and Inspire Hope for tomorrow.”
I'm a licensed Clinical Social worker, license to work in the State of Pennsylvania. I have over 19 years experience working in the Mental Health Field as a Child Welfare Worker, Administrator, Consultant, Educator and Clinician. I'm dedicated and committed to the work I do which includes impacting and changing lives. In my spare time I like to write poetry, watch movies, and share my thoughts through blogging.