Suicide Awareness

The excitement of writing a blog is tempered only by the seriousness of the topic on my mind: suicide.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month.

How many people reading this blog have seriously contemplated suicide? I venture to guess that the answer is too many. Have you ever wondered what is going through the minds of those who consider, plan, or even carry out suicide? It was impossible for me not to wonder. After all, doctors in general have a high “need to know”. So I asked…

MJ was an elderly gentleman when I first met him. I say gentleman because he was polite beyond words. Not something that I was accustomed to encountering. He stood up when I entered the room. MJ had lived a long life, and his past seemed to stretch endlessly. Like most men of his generation, he had worked hard, physically. He had injured his back numerous times and broken too many bones to count. He served in the Marines in Vietnam. He raised a family mostly as a single father… I have just given you a snap-shot of what the world sees.

Here is what I saw…

MJ is a beautiful yet tormented soul. He was abused as a young child. This left him with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) before he ever arrived in Vietnam. Hard work left his body wrought with pain. Just standing up took a painful effort. And he was alone. And so very lonely. He had access to health care…but no amount of medication could ease his pain. He was anxious and depressed every day of his life. He woke up every morning hopeful that he had died in his sleep. No day was particularly worse than another. It was the daily grind of painful joints, depression, anxiety, and pervasive nightmares. He was suicidal because it was simply too hard to keep on living…

How do you ask someone to persevere under those seemingly impossible circumstances? Simply put, it is the “one person rule”. It takes one person to make a difference. So we have a deal…if he wakes up and decides to do it, he calls me. I walk in faith with Christ that when that day comes, he will put the right words in my mouth. And I will make a difference…

"May you find God’s Grace in every day!"


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