Editorial: Don't wait
We are all busy. Day to day, things occupy our minds and time. We have job and family obligations.
The days of spending hours lounging on the phone, over drinks, or at the beach with our most loved friends and family seem far behind.
You think you should catch up with that friend or family member; you’ll make sure to do that next week. But then, hey, you see what they are up to on Facebook or other social media. They look perfectly happy and broadcast their life as such. They see your latest picture or quip as well. That’s like catching up, isn’t it? That’s sharing in each other’s lives, right?
No, it isn’t at all.
In the meantime, maybe there’s that friend or family member you haven’t heard from in a while. Maybe when you do talk to that person, they seem different — changed. Maybe they seem down. Maybe they drink too much suddenly, or indulge in other substances.
Maybe there’s just something that nags at you — something is wrong.
But then the alarm goes off the next day.
And we start the cycle over and put it off another day. And another day. And maybe, the next time we talk to our loved one, things are back to normal.
There are often no huge warning signs that tell us our loved ones are in trouble. We look at people like Anthony Bourdain or Kate Spade — celebrities who, for most of us living regular lives, seemed to have it all. They were not only rich and famous, they were people who achieved that famous and comfortable life presumably by pursuing their passions. And yet both took their own lives — because real depression doesn’t count your friends or your dollars before descending upon you.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. There are many causes and reasons for someone to take his or her own life. None of us can or should blame ourselves when the worst happens. There is only so much we can do. But we should try to do the most we can.
But regardless, if something feels “off” in someone you love, don’t put off making that phone call, making a lunch date, making some time to sit on the beach and just talk.
There’s never going to be a perfect time.
But at the same time, there’s never going to be a better time than right now. One conversation can save a life.
This week is World Suicide Prevention Week. For more information on facts, warning signs, myths and other information, visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
If you or your loved one needs immediate help, call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 800-273-8255.