To me, everyday is suicide prevention day. Sadly, everyday there are more people taking their own lives. Their internal enemies win. Destroying from within is the most difficult thing to protect. In a car or a plane you can put your seat belt on. Walking you stay on the sidewalk. Everyday people do a thousand little things to stay safe. Stop at a red light. Walk in the crosswalk. Yet, no matter what safety precautions put in place people still get hurt and killed everyday. Some people would mutter but suicide is 100% preventable. Such people never wrestled with inner demons that make life unbearable. Because for many years I didn’t remember my abusive childhood, I felt guilty and ungrateful for feeling like I wasn’t worthy to live. Crushing, disturbing thoughts pulled at me. My living nightmare of being pulled under by a vicious riptide that I didn’t know the source of the dark and forbidden thoughts. Guilt, shame, and fear of more rejection kept me silent for many years. When I finally went to counseling my distorted thoughts were at critical mass….I was barely functioning and any disturbance threatened a complete melt down. Dark, gripping, deadly, distorted thinking twisted me up in knots. Counseling taught me to unravel knots. I learned so many lessons and acquired skills to help process emotions before I reach the point that the slightest disturbance threatened all I am. Dark thoughts linger, nipping at the edges of my happiness. Reminding me so subtly that constant vigilance is required. I keep on my pages as a section available to identify someone that may be struggling with suicidal thoughts. My hope in writing and maintaining this page is to share what I learned in my struggle to change from victim to surviving and finally I feel I am thriving. Choosing to live for some people is an upward battle, daily. I learned I could get help. The distortions in my thinking were ingrained in my mind from childhood, clearing them out will take just as long. Hope is possible. If a person is still breathing, options are still available. Took me a long time to believe this. Now I do.
SLAP and DIRT are acronyms for checking in at how dangerous the situation is at the time.
S: Social support — does the person have social support? Someone with little or no social support is at higher risk.
L: Lethality — If the person has a plan, how lethal is the method? A gun is more lethal than a pill overdose.
A: Access — This is access to the method. Does the person have the pills or would they have to get them? Do they have the bullets or would they have to stop by wal-mart?
P: Plan/previous attempts — Does the person have a plan about how they would kill themselves, or just some vague notion that it might be better if they were dead? People with a specific plan or who have previously attempted suicide are at higher risk.
D – Dangerousness – the greater the dangerousness in the attempt.
I – Intent – If she honestly believed that she would die, then the present risk is higher.
R – Rescue – If she aided in her own rescue in any way, even at the last minute, then the present risk is lower.
T – Timing – The more recent the attempt, the higher the current risk.*