Suicide Prevention: Love & Hope


Last week, we shared some of our story in hopes of helping someone, anyone, navigate mental health struggles and suicidal ideation. It’s real and horrible and so prevalent.

Let me share the most important part – THERE’S HOPE!

Now, please know I am extraordinarily sensitive to the fact that not everyone who experiences suicidal thoughts and attempts with a loved one (or who goes through it themselves) has this story to tell. Some suicide attempts are successful, and families are left with a tragedy to deal with, images permanently burned into their minds, feelings of “what if”, and incredible sadness. None of that is lost on me.

I want to impress upon anyone reading; however, that suicide PREVENTION is the subject here. It’s all about noticing the signs, listening and talking, getting help, catching it BEFORE a tragedy.

And there IS hope.

Two weeks ago, my daughter walked the aisle at church and fervently proclaimed her desire to be saved and baptized. This past Sunday, she was.

This child who, about 7 months ago, was hospitalized for suicidal ideation (with plans and talk of “not trusting herself anymore”), stepped into the baptismal waters with a smile on her face and Jesus in her heart.

In the last two weeks, she joined a student choir and started taking guitar lessons. She started curling and styling her hair beautifully. She twitters on the phone, twerks in the kitchen to annoy her daddy, and tells us how she’s ready to hurry up and go to bed so she can wake up the next morning and get ready to [insert fun thing she can’t wait to do here].

Her friends are god-fearing, fun-loving, and encouraging. She even likes a boy (God help us all!). She is surrounded by people who love and motivate her. A number of them (at least 25) turned up to either the church or the reception at our house afterward to support her and be there for her baptism.

Her horse is her love, and she’s eager to ramp up her skills. She counts the minutes until we are back at the barn, and she loves her barn folks so much. (I will be forever grateful to them for loving her and being there for us with no expectation, no judgment, and no giving up on her. JF, SS, and CD have our hearts forever, and we will fight you over them.)

THERE IS HOPE. If you’re going through hell, please keep going. You can get to the other side, it just takes patience beyond what you think you have (it’s in there!) and constant mindfulness that will no doubt exhaust you. Stay the course.

Reach out for help, and do not wait. Do not “hope” and do not “wish” it will all get better. Get busy. Make calls, be persistent, ask questions, read. Start fighting, and do not come out of the ring until everyone is deemed safe.

Take care of yourself, too. Breathe and pray, take hot baths and find a moment to go outside. Find like-minded people or those who have been through similar situations to commiserate with. Get therapy for yourself. Tell people you’re struggling, so they can pray for you and support you. You don’t have to share every detail, but telling people actually does help (even though I know you are totally inclined to keep it to yourself and “just get through it”…don’t.)

And if you have ever thought of God, even once, seek Him. If you don’t believe in God at all, consider it. Regardless of your thoughts or belief system, I can tell you firsthand that He is real. He gave us life and works on our behalf to sustain us. No matter where you are in your thoughts on God, I’m your girl if you ever want to sort them out. No arm twisting, and no brow beating from me. We’ll just sift through your thoughts. It is in God that we have hope.

Suicide prevention is everything. If you haven’t read our other posts, I urge you to go back and look. Like and share. Please. Help yourself and others be aware, empathize, and prevent a tragedy.

And lastly, know this…we (and other families who are struggling) are not out of the woods completely. Don’t let the smiles and the rodeo photos and the church going fool you. My girl still struggles inside, and it’s a constant point of discussion, requires constant checking in, and demands our constant attention. We talk, we make sure she makes the most of therapy sessions, and we monitor her medicine (currently being adjusted to solve a few problems we have encountered). When she is fragile, we stop what we are doing and we are there for her. When she calls, we answer. When she needs us, we go. We still have tough moments we don’t understand.

Pray for folks. Reach out. Keep them (us) in your heart. Learn. Listen. Love. And don’t stop. That’s how we prevent suicide, even when the ideation is strong.

Today, though, is Friday Adventure day. We’re looking forward to sharing this joy we’ve worked so hard to find and fought so hard to keep. I pray daily for her and that it will be a day of joy, free from mental health struggles or tears. Hopefully, today will be…and tomorrow, too.

Published by Amanda Herring, Writer

Practical wisdom, joys and pains, motivation and tough love, from the perspective of a Mississippi mom, traveler, business owner, goal crusher, substance seeker, and full-time dreamer

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