My Birthday Month: A Vulnerable Share & Suicide Awareness Month
Dear Friends, It's the Virgo new moon and the last one of the season. Things are intense out there, and inside our own hearts, minds, and lives. Fires are raging, severe weather spinning across the planet, there is national and global crisis in every corner of the world, divisiveness abounds, and suicide is climbing. The planet is in a healing crisis, and so are we. And yet we still keep smiling. The sun keeps popping through the clouds. Children are playing on the beach. Lovers are spooning. Our hearts are expanding. We are speaking up. Stepping forward. Reaching out. Breathing. Loving. Serving. Expanding. Praying. Rising. Taking action, like never before in history. There is hope my friends. Take heart. These are the times to come together and believe that no matter what things look like, there is a revolution happening all over the world to bring our planet and people back into balance and harmony. There is no "Good News Channel" unfortunately, so it is upon us to find it, search it out, spread the message, and be the change we want to see. Each new moon is a chance to begin anew, let go of what no longer serves us, and plant new seeds and intentions for the next cycle. Maybe this will be the day you go beyond your self-imposed limitations and old beliefs, stretch further than you ever imagined you could go, discipline yourself to honor your body, brain and heart through self love and life saving practices and support systems, and believe that miracles can, and are happening at a much more extraordinary rate than the chaos. Open your inner eyes. Put the phone down, turn off the news. Listen to the leaves. Watch the ripple across the lake. Look up at the magnificent sky. Gaze at the reflection in the mirror at your miraculous holy self. THAT is real. THIS is the moment we are all being called to our heroes and sheroes journeys. I know I am. Last week I was diagnosed with PTSD, from all the trauma I have been through since a small child that kept getting piled on top throughout my life, and compounded after the suicide of my oldest son Cheyne. As overwhelming as that is, I can now see answers to many questions, understand myself a bit better, and have a deeper level of compassion for myself and the family and friends that have been affected by it. Now I have another pathway of healing to guide me, I can call in all parts of myself, repair relationships, piece memories back together, and "heal the healer" as I continue to live, love and serve. I wish my LoveLetter (newsletter) could have more upbeat content in it, but maybe this content can help us change the tide to flow in that direction. Please read the information I am sharing about suicide. It will or has touched all our lives in some form or fashion, and we can learn how to help prevent it, as well as how to support those of us who have been affected by it. September is my birthday month, the month Cheyne died from suicide, and Suicide Prevention Month. I'm celebrating the life God gave me, mourning the son I can only see with my eyes of Spirit, and galvanizing my courage to take action in bigger ways than I have ever considered to help save and support lives. I hope you'll join me. Remember I am always here for you and I love to get your messages! With a tender and blazing heart, Monica PS Please join my Soul on Fire Satsang Group! We had a great week of "Self Love Yoga Sessions" and the Lives are still up!
My Birthday Gift: Donate to Cheyne Salley Soul on Fire Therapy Scholarship
With the support of CB State of Mind I helped create a special scholarship fund available for boys/young men ages 13-24 struggling with a variety of mental health and substance issues to obtain support that is accessible and FREE. So far the scholarship fund in Honor of Cheyne has raised $1500. That covered one full scholarship for a 19 year old young man in great need of 15 sessions! It is my hope that all boys and young men get the support they need to live an empowered and productive life. It soothes my heart to know others may benefit from his life and I know he feels the same. We would greatly appreciate your donation of any amount in his honor. Mention Cheyne Salley on the donation form where it says "to make a donation in someone's honor" and it will go directly to this fund. Thank you!
Suicide Awareness Prevention Month:
If you or someone you know is in a crisis situation, please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately. Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 741-741
- Suicide Facts -
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.
Suicide is a second leading cause of death for ages 10 to 34.
Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for ages 35 to 54.
78% of all people who die from suicide are male.
46% of people who die from suicide had a diagnosed mental condition.
Alcohol is a factor in 1/3 of suicides.
Alcohol exacerbates the symptoms of many health conditions such as bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and depression, all of which have high suicide rates.
People with alcoholism are up to 120 times more likely to die from suicide.
Mental health disorders and substance use disorders are the most significant risk factors.
Firearms are involved in 50% of all suicides.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for people held in local jails.
54% of Americans have been affected by suicide.
132 Americans die from suicide each day.Suicide is a difficult thing to discuss openly for many people, and some cultures are hostile towards the subject. However, allowing feelings of suicide into a more open topic of discussion can prevent people from dying from suicide and seek the help they need.
The pain felt by someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, called “survivors” can be harder to deal with than if the death happened by other means. The people left behind begin questioning themselves and the reasons behind suicide, wondering if they could have done something to prevent it, often take the blame themselves, and face a difficult and lonely recovery misunderstood by our society. Please take it upon yourselves to learn how to support these people who are facing a difficult healing journey. I know and understand this well and it is a long, lonely, and painful process.
Warning Signs of Suicide
Increased alcohol and drug use
Withdrawal from friends, family, & community
Dramatic mood swings
Impulsive or reckless behavior
Suicidal behaviors are a psychiatric emergency. If you or a loved one starts to take any of these steps, seek immediate help from a health care provide or call 911.
Collecting & saving pills or buying a weapon
Giving away possessions
Tying up loose ends, like organizing personal papers or paying off debts
Saying goodbye to friends and family
If you are unsure, a licensed mental health professional can help assess.
Research has found that 46% of people who die by suicide had a known mental health condition. Several other things may put a person at risk of suicide, including:
A family history of suicide
Substance use. Drugs can create mental highs and lows that worsen suicidal thoughts.
Intoxication. More than 1 in 3 people who die from suicide are under the influence of alcohol at the time of death.
Access to firearms
A serious or chronic medical illness
Gender. Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are nearly 4x more likely to die by suicide.
A history of trauma or abuse
A recent tragedy or loss
Support in a Crisis
When a suicide-related crisis occurs, friends and family are often caught off-guard, unprepared and unsure of what to do. The behaviors of a person experiencing a crisis can be unpredictable, changing dramatically without warning.
There are a few ways to approach a suicide-crisis:
Talk openly and honestly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like: “Do you have a plan for how you would kill yourself?”
Remove means such as guns, knives or stockpiled pills
Calmly ask simple and direct questions, like “Can I help you call your psychiatrist?”
If there are multiple people around, have one person speak at a time
Express support and concern
Don’t argue, threaten or raise your voice
Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong
If you’re nervous, try not to fidget or pace
The pain felt by someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, called “survivors”, can be harder to deal with than if the death happened by other means. The people left behind begin questioning themselves and the reasons behind the suicide, wondering if they could have done something to prevent it, often take the blame themselves, and face a difficult and lonely recovery misunderstood by our society.
How you can support someone who has lost a loved one to suicide:
1. Accept their feelings. Loss survivors grapple with complex feelings after the death of a loved one to suicide such as fear, grief, anger, and shame. Many may be dealing with the effects of PTSD after such a traumatic incident. Accept their feelings, listen, have patience with their emotional ups and downs, and provide support WITHOUT CRITICISM OR ADVICE. 2. Use sensitivity around holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays which bring back memories of the lost loved one and emphasize their absence. Let them know you are thinking of them. Take note that this may be for many years to come, and in some cases for the rest of their lives. 3. Use the lost loved one's name when talking to them. This shows that you have not forgotten this important person in their life, and can make it easier to discuss a subject that is often stigmatized. 4. Remember that the healing process of losing a loved one to suicide spans many years, and loss survivors may change in ways that are difficult for your relationship. Be open to allow the friendship to change so they can adapt to this life changing trauma. They need you now more than ever, even if they seem to shut you out. 5. Take it upon yourself to learn how you can support them, and don't expect them to educate you. They have enough on their plate to deal with their own healing and may not have the time or energy to gather resources for you.