This week we hear from Josh Rivedal, a New York-based writer and performer who also, like many who’ve survived thoughts or actions of suicide, has gone on to collaborate with groups such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He once thought he’d have the perfect life by age 25. He has since adjusted his goals — and found a richer social life.
It’s high time we had another post from Stephen O’Connor, a founding contributor of this site and a faculty member in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington. The timing works well after last week’s post created interest in forming an online support group.
After discussing a couple of familiar therapies, this week’s post explores the subject of support groups for attempt survivors. “This is a sensitive topic,” Stephen writes. “I have noticed many of my colleagues recoiling at the idea of groups where the content focuses explicitly on suicidal ideation, out of fear that it may actually lead group members to feel more suicidal and reinforce self-harm behaviors.”
But be sure to read on.
“Life hurts,” the emailed comment began.
What followed is the note that we’ve posted below. It’s a simple, clear description of what it can feel like after an attempt. It also points out so well the need for resources for family, friends and colleagues of attempt survivors that we immediately wanted to publish it.
“Of course you have my permission to post it on the site,” Toni replied. She was more than happy to share her story and even agreed to use her full name, though we decided on just her first name for now. (She can yell at us if she likes … or write another post later on.)
This week’s post is by Kathy E., who wrote to this site out of the blue. “Just this morning I Googled ‘suicide attempt survivors’ and discovered your blog and John’s TEDTalk,” she wrote. “What a relief to hear people talking about this (and a blessing)!”
She offered to write a guest post, and this is her coming-out. After her post is an unrelated request by a musician for attempt survivors to participate in a project for charity.
I’ve kept a deep, dark secret for almost 25 years.