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sarah boardman-miller

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How do you move beyond why, when someone takes their own life? How do we get beyond the shame?

I wrote an open letter to my dad, my dear friends, those that have also been left to move forward. http://sparkignitefire.me/2012/02/14/open-letter-to-those-that-chose-that-moment/
It has had 1000's of reads in just over 2 months. This is a conversation that is desperate to happen.


Closing Statement from sarah boardman-miller

The gratitude I feel is almost overwhelming.
Thank you for being raw, able to be loved and sharing your hearts.
Let's continue the conversation.
I adore you.

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  • Apr 23 2012: To say suicide is a 'choice' implies there was logical thought before the act. It is not a choice in most cases, but the only way out of a hopeless life full of both physical and mental pain and self-loathing. When you've got an endless loop going through your brain telling you how worthless you are, how nobody wants you, how you're nothing but crap; when you can't feel love or joy or find the tiniest pleasure in life; when the pain of living overcomes the fear of death, suicide happens. How can there be shame? Why do people care so much what others 'think' - especially when it was someone you love so very, very much that could not face another day?

    I made no secret that my son died of depression almost 5 years ago. I mentioned depression and asked everyone to be aware of the signs in his obituary. I got nothing but good feedback and thanks for bringing it into the open, where it needs to be.

    We have no right whatsoever judging others. Period.
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      • Apr 24 2012: Thank you, Adriaan.

        Preston (elder of two boys), 31, made no secret of his depression and wish to end his life. I tried to help him for years, but he got to the point he didn't want help - he wanted out. He had constant thoughts of worthlessness, that he was a burden, that we'd be better off without him. It caused him physical pain, esp. in his back and stomach. He had horrible nightmares. He self-medicated with alcohol and drugs. He was happy for a few minutes when he married and had a son, but he managed to sabotage that with his erratic behavior. He just didn't feel he belonged here. He was popular, had friends, no bullying, girls loved him. He was handsome and had a brilliant mind like so many of the suicides I know of.
      • Apr 28 2012: I know they are, too, and please accept my condolences on your daughter.

        Preston saw a psychiatrist briefly and got better for a bit, but couldn't afford his anti-depressants and we didn't know or we would have helped (even though I am anti-psychotropic drugs). By the time we knew, he didn't care anymore. When he had scrapes with the law, I wrote letters begging them to mandate treatment and was ignored...twice.

        Maybe it wasn't a life gone wrong. Maybe he was clearing up his karmic debt.
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      Apr 24 2012: Joni,
      Thank you so much for sharing. I am so sorry for the loss of your son.
      You are a courageous mom.

      Suicide should not be swept under the rug. Everything that leads to that moment needs to be talked about. The helplessness one feels trying not to be a bystander to the spiraling depression, addiction/alcoholism, or in one friends case-a traumatic brain injury that lead him down that path.

      No secrets.
      Sending you love.
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      Apr 24 2012: Joni, what a wonderful resource the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors is. Please visit http://www.allianceofhope.org
      • Apr 24 2012: Thank you! It's been almost 5 years since Preston left and I joined the AOH a year and a half ago to let new members know there is life after suicide.
        • W T 100+

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          Apr 24 2012: Thank you for sharing your experiences and your thoughts.
          May you find comfort, peace and healing and as you help others with this most sad experience.

          Sending you love also,
          Mary M.
    • Apr 24 2012: Joni,

      Thank you for your words. You are the first person who posted here who seems to truly understand suicide. I have personally struggled with depression and suicidal ideation for most of my life (I'm currently 41). It has little to do with circumstances and much to do with the physiology of the brain. Depression is like being stuck in a bog. Every little daily thing takes so much effort that it would be easier to just not do anything. But people are depending on you. You have to get up and make yourself do it, even if it hurts both physically and emotionally. It is this constant struggle, this knowledge that you are a drain on those you care for most, that leads to the feeling of worthlessness. Especially in a society dominated by the Puritan work ethic. In this society we are valued far more for our accomplishments than just for being, or at least that is what we are led to believe. However, if it were true, then suicide would be a relief to all involved. It isn't because our real value is in just being. We are loved for just being. And that is what keeps me alive during the dark times.
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        Apr 25 2012: Tina
        You are amazing.
        You are courageous.
        You are here to teach us how to serve you better.
        thank you for sharing your story.

        You being here is such a gift.

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