Before handing today’s post to Craig Miller, a quick thank you to the group To Write Love on Her Arms, which wrote about us last week and sent our page views jumping _ almost 3,000 in two days’ time. We’ve now been online for a month, and we hope more groups will include this site in their resources.
Craig self-published his memoir, “This is How it Feels: Attempting suicide and finding life,” last year and has just started speaking publicly about his story. He says the biggest question he gets is, “How did you overcome your issues?” He’ll be writing about that here in future posts. And he’ll be speaking at the Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Conference on April 2-3. That’s sure to be a far bigger audience than for his first speech in a small town in western Massachusetts, where he faced a modest crowd of three.
I don’t remember how long it was after my suicide attempt that I knew I wanted to live. It wasn’t immediate, I know that. I didn’t wake up in the intensive care unit, fill my lungs with oxygen from a plastic tube and think, “Thank God I’m alive.” What came to me first was that I didn’t want to die. And as a person who has lived nearly 20 years of struggling with suicidal thoughts, I can tell you that there is a very big difference between not wanting to die and wanting to live.
For a person who’s tried to kill himself and is trying to understand what happened, there’s no awkwardness like Googling “suicide survivor support group” and walking into a room full of the bereaved.
From time to time, we’ll be posting on research related to suicide attempts. There is so much about suicidal thinking that the learned experts don’t yet understand, and one purpose of this blog is to bring together their voices with the voices of the lived-experience experts _ those of us who’ve been through it. This is where your thoughts and contributions are needed. Our “Contact us” page now lists several topics that are meant to nudge you into writing.
Stephen O’Connor is a founding contributor of this blog and a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. In a field where many researchers might feel more comfortable keeping their subjects at a distance, and where many clinicians refuse to treat suicidal patients because of concerns about lawsuits and other issues, Stephen has kindly agreed to write a half-dozen posts on research this year.
As he writes here, he wants to hear from attempt survivors on where research findings “may seem accurate or somehow miss the mark.”
Welcome to our new look! We’re able to accept and moderate comments now, and they’re already coming in.
This week’s post is by a young Canadian named Alicia Raimundo, one of a very small number of people who regularly get on stage and speak openly about their experiences with attempted suicide and suicidal thinking. She’s just one of two people we know who’ve done TED-related talks about it. Hers is worth watching, and so is JD Schramm’s. While Schramm’s story is more personal, Alicia takes a broader approach.