Men Who Are Pre-Suicidal

Many men have these types of mantras:

  • Leave dust, or eat dust;
  • Nice guys finish last;
  • It sucks to be you;
  • Its a harsh world;
  • Each man for himself.

And there are other men who are:

  • Emotionally or psychologically paralyzed;
  • Wounded;
  • Having racing thoughts;
  • Isolated;
  • Hopeless;
  • Overwhelmed with futility.

Neither list is exhaustive.

The man who is pre-suicidal is not always recognizable.  He may smile when he is supposed to; make eye contact when he is supposed to; laugh when he is supposed to.

The man who is pre-suicidal may be a dad; or a husband; or a single man.

The stats show that many men who complete suicide do not tell anyone before it happens.  They don’t always give clues in their talk.

Some say that suicide is based on:

  • revenge;
  • irrational thinking;
  • depression;
  • fear;
  • anger;
  • belief that they are damaged goods.

Blogging, I believed, can be a significant means of decreasing suicidal thoughts / actions.  I say this because for some folks, blogging is the only community they have.  And community, when it is healthy, helps to keep an individual thinking healthy thoughts.

Some might disagree, understandably.  Some have a logical perspective that goes something like this: “If someone chooses to take their life, that is their decision.   I am not going to worry about anyone who may be suicidal / pre-suicidal, because I don’t have time to think about such things.”  And this makes sense.

Others worry too much about such things.

And others care deeply about the relationships with friends / family / work associates.

And what can you do if you sense that an individual is having suicidal thoughts?

  • A big part of this is that each person has their own responsibility to get help;
  • Another big part of this is the theory that some folks are so “down the road” that they don’t know how to ask for help; and even if they did ask for help there is a belief that no one cares.  And for some people, that belief is accurate.
  • Based on the above, we as peers can be (but are not obligated) attentive to any signs (verbal or nonverbal) that there is trouble brewing in the life of someone we know.

Lastly, the man who is pre-suicidal must:

  • Move in redemptive, productive, ways;
  • Grab hope with passion and intentionality, and hold on: that is a man’s responsibility;
  • Grab courage, because it is there . . . inside them;
  • Realize that it is easier to check out at times, than to check in.
  • Search heart and mind for the causes of suicidal thoughts, and make changes ASAP.
  • Build some healthy relationships that are reciprocal: investing into a relationship, not just “taking;
  • Think outside the box;
  • Pray.

Life is difficult.  Life has some purpose, and we need to find that purpose, and keep our eye on the ball.  There are honorable ways to fight.  We have to fight for our lives, our sanity, our self-care.  “For some men, it is not the fear of dying, it is the fear of living.”  Unknown

Peace.

T

 

 

 

 

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S.A.D. Truth: What Do You Do? Part Two

 (Continued)

Winter Cabin / http://www.flickr.com

Doctor-types  gave it a name: S.A.D., “Seasonal Affect Disorder“.  Pretty fancy. Spring will not step in until it is time to show up.  Power  struggles flare up between Winter and Spring.  Eighth season, and the snow is here.  My hope, is to get through it, stay ahead of it; read some good books, watch some quality DVDs, use the snow shoes, get more spiritual; read the bible more often.  Most of my neighbors are people who move back to a warmer place during winter.  Human interaction is limited.  Isolation is, almost, unlimited.  A famous man, or woman, once said ‘Live for the present’.  Okay, I guess.  The S.A.D.’s  is here. “

We bloggers have numerous works in progress.  I never throw mine away, even though they may never go anywhere.

For those who do experience the cryptic S.A.D., then you already know what it is, and what you do.  So, what do you do with Seasonal Affect Disorder? Some folks drink; some do mind altering substances.  Some just give up and sit in their depression, and are irritable, and isolate because … 1) no one wants to be around them; and 2) those with S.A.D. may have no desire to be around anyone else.

So if you have some substantial struggles with Seasonal Affect Disorder, here’s my take:

  1. Consider going through a winter without alcohol, and / or mind altering substances; or with a defined plan to cut down on your intake.  You won’t know if it helps until you try it.  It will guide you toward other choices and to think other ways.
  2. What? The road isn’t plowed?  Don’t use it as an excuse to stay home, be bored and depressed and grumpy.  So put on your Sorel snow boots, snow shoes, and go for it.  Get into town, sit down with some good coffee.  Go to the library.  Connect with someone.  What’s that? You don’t have any friends?  Well, that’s a potential problem. We can talk about that later. https://i0.wp.com/www.highsnobiety.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/bape-sorel-boots-1.jpg

    schroonlakeregion.com
    schroonlakeregion.com
  3. Lean into your pain, your angst,  your depression, and stand strong against that Black Dog.  Reach down into your soul, your fortitude, your experiences of battles from the past and tell yourself “I’m tougher than hell.”  And you are.  You might not know it.
  4. Find a therapist, to at least think outside the box  with.   Safety Tip – Get recommendation / referral from someone you know / trust. *Sometimes when I recommend therapy, people say “NO!  I’ll never do that!”  What I am hearing is that they would much rather be miserable, as opposed to discover some relief in their life.  Some people don’t know what it would look like to be happy, or to discover peace of mind.  Such a change might be too disruptive.
  5. Another piece to consider in all of this is the realm of prescribed meds.  Enough said.  If you can get relief from a non-addictive med, then its probably worth checking into.  After all, those of us who experience the Seasonal Affect Disorder knows that it has a fairly serious bite.

Winter is coming.  What do you do, for Seasonal Affect Disorder? 

 

 

 

 

S.A.D. Truth: What Do You Do? Part One

Excerpt from a fictional work in progress:  Unmaintained Road Stock Photo - 357645

“Its November.  We’ve had a few snows already.  More snow tonight, 4 to 6 inches. And Friday, maybe a foot.  The road, its unmaintained by the county.  Some days, ‘cannot get to town.  A fellow comes over with a snowplow, about four miles from here, but rarely.   My first winter indoctrinated me with a number of snowstorms, blowing in, settling in, around my little house up here at 10,500 feet.  Power outages happen and water pumps don’t work, electric lights become immediately dormant.  But lanterns do work.  Wood burning stove has a flat surface to cook a few things: tortillas, eggs, a steak, boil water for tea and coffee.  Yes, the snow is coming.  And with the winter season comes a strong mixture of melancholy and irritability.

See Part Two for the rest of this story.

Men and PG-13 Movies … Choose Wisely

Hey, fellas … or is it “fellows”?  I think I’ll stick with “fellas”.

I actually go to our county library to check out movies, because they are less inexpensive (FREE ! !).  Call me old-fashioned / a bit eccentric.  No problem.  Several months ago, my wife and I agreed that “R” movies were not an option, with some exceptions.   “Argo” / Ben Affleck is a good example of an exception: great movie.

Here’s my point, about choosing wisely.  Some guys are courageous, and they will watch a movie with their wife / girlfriend that has a … “tough” … ending.  And what does “tough ending” mean?  Well, I mean that the movie taps an emotional response, of sadness / tears.  I applaud those guys.  I am not one of them.  I avoid those movies like a plague.  But … every once in a while … one of those heart-grabbers sneaks by. 

FUMBLE!!!! 

A Little Bit of Heaven poster.jpg
A Little Bit of Heaven poster.jpg

Tonight we watched a movie called “A Little Bit of Heaven”.  WHAT WAS I THINKING ?

Excellent movie, as far as acting and plot.  But you learn early on that the protagonist (Kate Hudson) has a terminal illness.  So, if you want to watch this movie, I have not spoiled it for you.  But, I had to really concentrate to keep my eyes tearless.  Somehow, I was able to pull it off.  I just left for my office as soon as the movie was over with and starting blogging.  Again: I think this was an excellent movie.  But if you watch it guys, just be ready.

I wonder if there is a website for guys to find out what movies have the potential to make a man cry.  Does anybody know? I’ve fumbled with these kinds of movies before:

  • The Notebook (wife convinced me to watch it …. OOOOOH!)
  • Shadow Lands
  • When a Man Loves a Woman

Then, of course, there was “Old Yeller”.  I saw that when I was a kid.  I think that was one of the bigger mistakes I’ve made.  Such movies that can possibly make a man cry cause me to appreciate movies like:

  • Bourne Identity
  • Mission Impossible
  • The Italian Job

YES.  THAT’s what I’m talking about. 

Fellow From the Past

‘Stood below the six-foot mark; somewhere between 150 and 200; hair, eyes, the color of a muskrat; a recipient of a few psychological  issues he did not ask for, one example being intermittent manic symptoms, with sting-like swings into melancholy.  He was in his mid-thirties, and never considered himself an extrovert;  but communicating with folks in social situations was . . . doable … for short periods.

[The drawing, top left, was created from Jeff Hein / heinacademyofart.com.  This is an amazing image, that fits the good-hearted man I am describing in this post.] 

If and when the first hint of depression emerged, he glided away like a prehistoric hawk, into hiding.  During such times he read Faulkner, Hemingway, Foster, the Hardy Boys, and Jack London.

William Faulkner / rjgeib.com
William Faulkner / rjgeib.com

 

 

 

Col. Charles T. Lanham and Ernest Hemingway / http://commons.wikipedia.org
Col. Charles T. Lanham and Ernest Hemingway / http://commons.wikipedia.org
Richard Foster / www.aacc.net
Richard Foster / http://www.aacc.net

Eye contact was second to none with some unexplainable exceptions. He had a “lazy eye” (the left) and a full beard, slight gray in the middle.

Hardy Boys
Hardy Boys (Photo credit: Chris Blakeley)

He drove a red Ford pickup truck, with a gray wool blanket (purchased at a garage sale for a dollar) over the bench seat.

Thousands of sunflower seed hulls scattered over the floor mats.  Between the driver’s side and the passenger side sat a worn brown bible (pages, thin, curved up at the corners – – – page numbers rubbed off) and a small spiral notebook to jot down “to-do” items and measurements for building supplies and sheds he was building for people.

A cup of black coffee /  needmorecoffee.com
A cup of black coffee / needmorecoffee.com

His first cup of black chicory coffee was between 5 and 6am. The writing started about that time, and went to 10am.  The deal with the editor was . . . three pieces each week: from fishing to hunting to grieving to laughing to friendship.  Chicory coffee didn’t interfere with him from sleeping like a big dog.  But he couldn’t sleep worth a hoot if didn’t write well.  The book he was working on would probably never be finished.  But that didn’t matter.  He wrote every day between 5 -6am and 10am; and from 7-8pm until 1130-midnight.  The chronic pain got going some nights during that time.  He would write with such intensity to take his mind off the pain.  I always felt like there was some courage, there, living on and writing on and pressing on, in the midst of mania, and blues, and pain.  And if he couldn’t write, because of the pain, he would just weep for a while, drowned out by loud Bruce Cockburn music.   If he wasn’t fishing, or hunting, or visiting old folks, or building sheds and things for the people he cared about, he played his fiddle, or took walks with his dog that looked a lot like this one (courtesy of http://www.farmprogress.com):

A good dog. ‘Didn’t complain much about anything. And that is all for now, other than that he was a good guy.

Your Shoes? No, I Have Not Walked In Them

Two guys, friends, walking down a road … to a place called Emmaus (uh-may-Us) … thinking through, talking through, some crazy stuff that … stuff that had brought about disruption.   With authenticity in their discourse, no comments were made like “Oh, I know how you feel …”, or “You think that’s tough, you should hear about what is going on with me …”, “Believe me, I know what that is like …”

Hypothetically: if you are talking to me I am not compelled to say “I know how you feel …”, because I don’t know how you feel.  How could I?  I am not you; I was not “there”; I don’t have your wiring …

There is no reason to compare my story with yours, to “trump” your story.  Story is sacred, private, personal.  If someone is telling me their story I am grateful, honored, and privileged.  Attempting to trump their story … What does that make me?

One’s choice to tell me some sensitive pieces about their pain, relationships, disappointment, is a courageous and a profound choice.  I am a fool to express that I know “what that is like”.  I don’t know what it is like.

Your shoes?  No, I have not walked in them. And, it is also true, that you have not walked in mine.

I listen; I watch; I search; I sense … And if I speak, I hope it is not a waste of one’s time, or mine.

Light, in the Night

“Like the lightening … in the sky,
All men … will see Him and will cry, And the veils … will be lifted from our eyes,
‘Singing Glory … Glory most high,
Glory … Glory, most high …” 

Lyrics by Bobby Winter

English: light Bobby Winter: a humble warrior helping street people, punk rockers, prostitutes; he walked with a limp and a transcendent smile, nuanced by a look of mischief.  Bobby sang that song with another fellow, in the great room of a prolific mentor – – – David Hayes.  Now, that was over 25 years ago, you must understand: a big room filled with good people and festivity; excellent food; guitar players; stories; singing. Bobby has gone on, since then, beyond these earthly seasons.  David is still with us.

Lightning BoltsLightening, headlghts, lighthouses, street lamps … illuminating what needs to be illuminated.  Individuals through

Orlando Car Repair Experts
citygaragefla.com

…… song, words, poetry; through sunrise, sunset, illuminating what needs to illuminated.  Fireball, east, bringing in morning; fireball west, calling in dusk, night, stars, full moon.

Moon & Tree
Moon & Tree: photo by Wilderman
WadeLibrary.org

 Light piercing, disrupting, night.  A campfire’s sparks fly up and, if you watch them, blend in with the night sky.  Day ended with night, sitting close to hearth and fire, the focus point for family. If only we had those stories that were told, then, in front of the fireplace.  At some point, TV replaced fireplace as the focus point for family to gather.  We are drawn to light … a psychological warmth.  Community has changed in context through generations.

Laptops brought a different light, and families do not gather around that light; for they are more of a solitary thing.  Good light does not die, redemptive light, hope light.  Light speaks life through our words; light disrupts the darkness through our prayers; light brings real hope through acts of service.  Light in our eyes connects with those who need to see the light, through the haze.  There is even light in the Dark Night of the Soul (Written by St. John of the Cross).

St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church.
St. John of the Cross / Photo by Wikipedia
Gerald May wrote: “There are gifts from the dark night, but they come in the morning.”  The honorable man, the honorable woman … they release the light, and others are better off for it.
 

“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”  John 1:5