Is Suicide Preventable?

This is what they say. Suicide is preventable. And I like that.  And I get it. With education on suicide awareness and prevention, with supports and resources, suicide can be prevented. That’s why I’m part of our youth suicide prevention committee in Red Lake, called the Life Savers.

I wish I could have prevented my son’s suicide. I wish that every day of my life and I wonder what I could have done.

Is suicide something you are born with? Is it like a disease that you can get and have no choice about? Is it a contagious disease? Once suicide is in your mind, is there any turning back? Do the drugs and alcohol that people use cause them to become suicidal or are they suicidal and use the drugs and alcohol to deal with the pain that they have in their lives?

It saddens to me when I hear of another young life gone. Gone by suicide. And I know of all the emotional debris left behind for those who loved that person. Because life as we know it, is never the same again. And suicide is always there.

Kevin O’Leary is full of It

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So I was watching the Lang & O’Leary Exchange on CBC tonight and heard Kevin say that he doesn’t care what it does to people as long as he makes money…he owns stock in tobacco and in Pepsi and Coke….

I do love Kevin and watch Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank.  But, come on Kevin… you are full of it… you do care.

If you have children, you should care…

He says he just wants to make money…

I know that if something tragic happened to someone he loves or himself.. money would mean nothing…

I never thought about drugs or suicide until…yes… until my son died.

When it happens to you it becomes real.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/lang-and-oleary-exchange/index.html  you can check their show here.

Out of my comfort zone

It was a gorgeous day.  Sunny, fresh and colourful.  The leaves are a brilliant gold now.  I walked to the Legion parking lot where the last Farmer’s Market was being held for this year.  I wasn’t there for the farmers on this particular day but had heard that the Cancer Society was having a fund-raiser book sale and bulb sale.  I’m all for that.

Wasn’t wanting to go. It is really easy for me to stay at home and inside on the weekends.  I like to come home and escape the world, just hide away in my hide-a-way.  Going out where there are going to be crowds of people is not my thing.  But I know that I have to push myself to do it and it usually turns out ok.  A little self talk is required, “Come on girl, you can do it.  It’ll be fun.  You’ll feel good.”  Actually, it’s more like, “Alright, dumb ass, get outside.  Don’t be so lazy.”  Yep, that usually does it.

So I got my dumb ass out the door and started down the street.  I was impressed with the amount of townsfolk who were out and about.  As I got to the corner where the only stop lights in town are situated, I was met with a parade.  Wow a parade, just for me!  People celebrating me going for a walk.  Ok, so not, but there was a little enthusiastic group of environmentalists marching to stop the use of  fossil fuels.  Of course one of my friends was in the lead!  Good for them, out marching and taking a stand and saving the planet.  That really impressed me.  Here I was trying to find an excuse to stay in and hide away from all of this.  You can check out Cristine Penner Polle’s blog at 350 0r bust.wordpress.com

When I arrived at the Market, there were quite a few booths set up outside in the parking lot as well as events going on inside the Legion.  I made a bee-line for the books and bulbs and was happily rewarded.  Found four books that I know I will get great pleasure from reading.  I love Maeve Binchy and Rosamunde Pilcher.  They write very descriptive pictures of their characters as well as the setting which is usually in Ireland or England.

The bulbs have been planted and now when spring comes along, I will have some beautiful daffodils blooming to smile at me and say, “Aren’t you glad you left your comfort zone, Dumb Ass?”  And I’ll be glad.

I Love Autumn

Rembering Ryan

Grandma's sofa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes the last time you see someone, is the last time you see them alive.  You don’t always get to say good-bye.  The last time I saw Ryan was September 19th, 2006.  He was sitting on the sofa at my parents’ house like he usually did.  I sat beside him and teased him like I usually did.

This is my song for Ryan.  I’ve decided I will put it on YouTube as soon as I figure out how to do that!

For just one day, if I could have you here again

to see you smile, to hear you laugh, I’d give anything

but you’re gone somewhere I can’t go, on your own journey alone

you left behind the ones you loved

I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t prepared

to let you go

For just one hour, if I could have you here again

to hear your voice, to talk to you, I’d give anything

but you’re gone somewhere I can’t go, on your own journey alone

you left behind the ones who loved you

I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t prepared

for you to go

For just one minute, if I could have you here again

to touch your hair, hold you tight, I’d give anything

but you’re gone somewhere I can’t go, on your own journey alone

you left behind, left me behind

I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t prepared

to say good-bye

For just one day, if I could have you here again

to see you smile, to hear you laugh, I’d give anything

In memory of Ryan – February 13, 1985 – September 21, 2006

Weekend Getaway

Everyone needs to get away from it all every now and then.  This past long weekend, my hubby and I took off out-of-town for a couple of days just to be away.  Now, living in a small town doesn’t have the hectic pace that cities have; the crowds of people, the cars and the endless sirens, but it does have its own business.  It can sometimes feel like you’re living in a fish bowl, swimming around in circles with everyone watching what you do.  If you live in a small town, you know exactly what I mean.  It’s great to just go away somewhere, where nobody knows you or cares what you do.

When Ryan died, I was in shock.  I couldn’t believe that he had taken his life.  I couldn’t believe that he had been using drugs.  Every time I stepped out my front door, which happens to be right on the main street, I felt like people were looking at me and talking about me.  And I’m sure they were.  I know what the gossip is like.  It was so hard for me just to go and get groceries or check my mail.  Getting away for a weekend now and then became a life saver for me until I was strong enough to face people and life again. 

For quite a few months, I also could not sleep.  Night was the worst time for me.  I would lay in bed and have terrible visions of what had happened and I still could not believe that I would never see my son again.  I’ve mentioned before, that my body was always so stressed that when I would start to drift off to sleep, it would jerk awake.  The only way that I could relax and fall asleep was to be touching someone next to me (who was usually Rick and later the dog too).  But, when we went out-of-town and stayed in a hotel, I had the best sleeps.  I think it was because at home, I wasn’t constantly surrounded by Ryan and his stuff.  Our house was full of Ryan’s stuff.  All of his belongings had been brought over from his apartment and put in our basement.  I had to walk by it all the time.  In a strange hotel and in a strange place, I wasn’t constantly reminded of what had happened and it helped me.  At the same time, I wanted to be with Ryan’s stuff because it made me feel closer to him.

Our town is at the end of the highway.  We’re in our own little world over here.  Sometimes you just get cabin fever and need to get out.  It’s good for the soul.  It definitely rejuvenates it.  When I return from a trip, the first thing I do is walk out onto my deck and look at the lake and soak it all in.  Ahhh, good to be home!

Anxiety and Substance Abuse

There’s a relationship between the two?  Really?  You think?  It is a good thing that they’re studying all of this, I guess, but isn’t it common sense?  That forever and ever, people have used something to help them relax and feel comfortable around others?  Anyway, there is a new study and here is the link to the news show on CTV that I watched.

http://healthblog.ctv.ca/post/Anxiety-and-substance-abuse-are-a-risky-mix.aspx

I know that Ryan was a socially anxious person.  He was the awkward, angry teen and so very shy and uncomfortable around the opposite sex.  He had crushes on girls and told me about a couple of them, even asking my opinions and advice.  He seemed to like girls that didn’t like him back in that way or were not interested and saw him as more of a “friend”. 

When he became a teen, he was also very self conscious about his appearance and stopped wearing shorts and going to the beach.  He always wore a hat and even went through a period where he wore a jacket all the time, even on hot summer days.

It always leads me to wonder if he started using drugs some time during this teen period, throughout his High School years because by the end of school, he seemed to change and be more comfortable with himself.  I attributed this to working, having friends and feeling more a part of the world.  After all, High School is a hell of a time for all of us.  Having, watched my other three sons grow and enter their teen years, I definitely see a difference in their behaviours and Ryan’s.  Ben is a lot like Ryan in that he is the shy one, but so far, he is generally happy and content and aware of his shyness and trying to make advances in that area. 

Ryan was my first child and actually like an only child for the first seven years of his life, so I never had anyone to compare his behaviours with until now.  I watch the younger three teen-aged boys, finding it fascinating.  I can see how different Ryan really was.  However, it is still puzzling to me because Ryan never went to any parties that I know of during the school years and other parents told me how lucky I was that my son didn’t “hang out”.  He was always home, in the bush, or working.  His buddies were all non-drinkers (the ones that I knew about).

He was a late bloomer in that way.  It wasn’t until he started working that he started hanging out with friends at parties.  He moved out on his own too early as well.  He was still only 18, I believe, when he moved into his own apartment.  He was still a kid, working and living in the big ol’ adult world where a man has to be a man.  That couldn’t have been easy.  He was so easily influenced by people that he wanted to be friends with.

Ryan was probably like Amy Winehouse in some ways.  He was a talented musician but had anxiety and social challenges.  His legacy, however, to us, is the note that he left behind stating that he wanted the world to know how bad drugs are.  That has been left to me to do.