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Raspberry Moon Skin Therapy

March Newsletter
In This Issue:
:: Suicide Causes
:: Resources for those thinking about suicide and those left behind
:: Memorial for Jimmy
:: Here, There, and Back Again
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So obviously this month's newsletter is late! I am one of those people that have a hard time writing unless I actually have something cool, interesting, informative or exciting to say. So this is not going to be one of my typical newsletters at all, but I feel that it is something that needs to be talked about. I tried to use as many different sources as possible so you could see all the help that is available.

On Thursday, February 28th, 2013, I got a text from Chica (aka Brandy) saying, Jimmy Willis committed suicide and died this afternoon. I was racking my brain trying to figure out who she was talking about because although I did not know Jimmy very well, I just couldn't picture him taking his own life. He has a fabulous wife and a 2 year old daughter that he adores. So surely, I must be getting confused.

Unfortunately, I was not confused. For no apparent reason, he made all the "proper" arrangements, called the Sheriff's Department, and killed himself.

Jimmy and his daughter in happier timesThe pain, hurt and devastation he left behind is unimaginable to anyone that has never had (and I pray most of you have never had or have to have) that experience. What is so terrible that you feel the need to take your life? Or that your friends and family would not be there to help you?

I only knew Jimmy for a short period of time and not extremely well. I know he was a gamer, had strong opinions, was a gun enthusiast, so stoked on being a Dad, could fix stuff, and loved his wife. I always thought he was a good guy.

When you see his wife, you can see the pain and hurt down to her soul. What do you say to someone? How can you help? How do you say the right thing and not put your foot in your mouth? You think of the practical stuff: Did they have life insurance? Will the insurance company pay? Will they be ok financially? (Well this one is a given since his wife is super freaking smart and has a great job.) But who is going to watch the baby now? Will they move?

Did he think that his wife would be ok, that since she is strong, she can handle everything? She is strong and smart and can handle all this crap. But should she have to, should she have to explain to her little girl one day why her Daddy left? Being strong sucks sometimes, but she will be because she has to be, and her daughter needs her now more than ever. She has friends and family to help and that is awesome, but it will never replace what she had before.

Where do you go if you are having suicidal thoughts? How can you get help? Are there signs to look for in people? We all have crappy times and I think most of us have been in a dark places at one time or another, but there are always people who love you and care for you. The people that you leave behind will blame themselves, they will hate you for leaving, and their hearts will never be the same again. So if you feel you can't talk to people you know, reach out to the organizations below.

After doing some reading I realize that my view on suicide is inaccurate, as probably many of our views are. I think sometimes unless suicide has affected you intimately, it is hard to understand why. Perhaps people who resort to suicide are stronger then we give them credit for; perhaps it is not about them wanting to leave those they love but, it is about them not wanting to be in pain any more. That maybe the pain has become unbearable or perhaps they have a chemical imbalance that is finally winning.

I think most of us in any painful situation want to understand why something has happened, what could we have done differently, why wasn't I/We/Us enough? I had a friend tell me, It's not about you Nik. There was nothing you could have done, it was about what was going on with the other person and their path that they have to follow.

How do you let the people you love go, and forgive them for the decisions they have made, when you feel so devastated? How do you not blame yourself? I think that is so hard. No one wants to see the people they love hurting. We can only just do the best we can.

I have had several friends that have committed suicide. And I know a person or two that have attempted it, and luckily didn't succeed. As I have been writing this newsletter I have been reading lots of different websites on suicide. I hope this information helps you or a loved one get through tough times. Life is precious and we all need to remember to be grateful for every day we have. We need to remember to tell the people we love how much we love them. You never know when it might be your last opportunity.

I still think of the 3 friends I lost, the first in 1990. I knew her from Germany and then we ended up in the same school in PA. She left this world the beginning of our senior year of high school.

My friend in 1999, I had just hung out with him and some other friends over the weekend. He and I talked in the kitchen as he made dinner for all of us. Talking about traveling and how I should go hang out on the beaches of Paraguay. Because of course they are the best in the world! :) He was so sweet and so much fun. I did not know him very well but always enjoyed the little bit of time I had with him.

My friend from 2002 I hadn't seen since I left Germany in 1993 and he was just a kid. His parents and mine saw each other a lot in Florida. My Mom just couldn't get over what a nice young man he had become. He was so fun to be around and had cooked everyone dinner. Several months later, he too made all the "proper" arrangements and left this world. He had been battling with depression and other things I guess most of his life. He was 23.

I have been in a really dark, bad place emotionally 2 times in my life. The 2nd time I really did feel like I couldn't move on. I drank a lot, I couldn't sleep, I was a good number of the suicide causes that are listed below. I truly wanted to go to sleep and just not wake up.

I would have never made it if it was not for some very close friends. I had my Thursday night girls that I laughed with until I almost peed my pants. Even on the nights I didn't want to go, I still forced myself.

I had my friends that I talked with and could just cry about the same things over and over again and they let me instead of knocking me over the head. How they listened to me so many times I have no idea.

And there were some friends that I just could not be around for one reason or another. Sometimes you have to protect yourself the best way you know how.

I knew I had people that I could talk to about what I was feeling or who maybe understood what I was feeling more than I understood myself. I also saw a counselor every week for several months. I am thankful that I had these people to call on when I needed help.

I know not everyone feels comfortable talking about their issues. But the truth is you have to have someone to talk to, you can't always do everything on your own no matter how much you want to. If you feel that you don't want your friends or family to know what is going on then PLEASE reach out to one of the organizations in this newsletter, reach out to a spiritual advisor, go play with the puppies in the pound. Puppies always listen to you and love you know matter what. They are the best company and don't expect much from you in return.

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Suicide Causes

Over 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death.

The most common mental illness is depression. Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.

Untreated mental illness (including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and others) is the cause for the vast majority of suicides.

Also, some people are genetically predisposed to depression, and they may not appear to be undergoing any negative life experiences, yet still become depressed, and may die by suicide. You've probably heard about individuals who died by suicide and didn't exhibit any symptoms or appear to have any serious problems. In these cases, it's possible that the person had depression because of this genetic factor.

It's very rare that someone dies by suicide from just one cause. Thus, there are usually several causes for suicide.

Many people die by suicide because depression is triggered by several negative life experiences, and the person does not receive treatment--or does not receive effective treatment--for the depression. (Some people need to go through several treatments until they find one that works for them.)

Some of the negative life experiences that may cause depression, and some other causes for depression, include:

  • The death of a loved one.
  • A divorce, separation, or breakup of a relationship.
  • Losing custody of children, or feeling that a child custody decision is not fair.
  • A serious loss, such as a loss of a job, house, or money.
  • A serious illness.
  • A terminal illness.
  • A serious accident.
  • Chronic physical pain.
  • Intense emotional pain.
  • Loss of hope.
  • Being victimized (domestic violence, rape, assault, etc).
  • A loved one being victimized (child murder, child molestation, kidnapping, murder, rape, assault, etc.).
  • Physical abuse.
  • Verbal abuse.
  • Sexual abuse.
  • Unresolved abuse (of any kind) from the past.
  • Feeling "trapped" in a situation perceived as negative.
  • Feeling that things will never get better.
  • Feeling helpless.
  • Serious legal problems, such as criminal prosecution or incarceration.
  • Feeling "taken advantage of."
  • Inability to deal with a perceived humiliating situation.
  • Inability to deal with a perceived failure.
  • Alcohol abuse.
  • Drug abuse.
  • A feeling of not being accepted by family, friends, or society.
  • A horrible disappointment.
  • Feeling like one has not lived up to his or her high expectations or those of another.
  • Bullying. (Adults, as well as children, can be bullied.)
  • Low self-esteem.

Again, the above causes may trigger depression, and untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.

Know what the symptoms of depression and if you or someone you know is depressed, get help immediately. And remember that any untreated mental illness, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and others, may cause suicide.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, please read the information on the home page of this website and take immediate action: http://www.suicide.org/suicide-causes.html.

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Resources for those thinking about suicide and those left behind

If you are in a situation where your friend needs help, talk openly about suicide.

Ask the person, "Are you feeling so bad that you are thinking about suicide?"

If the answer is yes, ask, "Have you thought about how you would do it?"

If the answer is yes, ask, "Do you have what you need to do it?"

If the answer is yes, ask, "Have you thought about when you would do it?"

Here are those four important questions in abbreviated form:

Have what you need?

You need to know as much as possible about what is going on in the person's mind. The more planning that someone has put into a suicide, the greater the risk. If the person has a method and a time in mind, the risk is extremely high and you cannot hesitate to call 911 and ensure that professional treatment is given.

http://www.suicide.org/how-to-help-a-suicidal-person.html - Please read this link for the steps you should take to help someone in need.

If you are a survivor of suicide you also need to seek help. There are so many unanswered questions, lots of emotions, and healing that needs to take place. It is helpful to be around people that understand you. Please seek out help, your healing is very important. http://www.mhagc.org/survivors-of-suicide.php

Take time to grieveIt's important that you have at least one person who will encourage you and who will allow you to grieve. Look to a friend or family member. You may need individual, family, or group support: support groups allow you to be the way you need to be as you work through your grief. Dealing with grief in a healthy and appropriate way will ensure you remain healthy. It will allow you to preserve a nurturing family and relationships.

While it may be tempting to avoid grief, this can't be done. While it is possible to postpone grief, doing so requires a great deal of energy--the energy you need to relate to others, fulfill your potential, and lead a healthy life. You wanted this for your loved one--she would surely want the same for you. http://www.womensweb.ca/mental/suicide/loss.php

Suicide Hotlines - Although this website is a little hard to read, they have links to all of the various hotlines you can contact. http://www.suicidehotlines.com/southcarolina.html

The Adult Intensive Management/Crisis Stabilization Program at our Upstate, SC facility serves adults age 18 and up who are experiencing acute psychiatric disorders that may include symptoms such as severe psychosis or depression, intrusive behaviors, and/or extreme thoughts of suicide or harm to others. Patients who are experiencing difficulty with daily activities or an acute episode of a recurrent condition may be candidates for this treatment program at our Greenville, SC facility. http://www.thecarolinacenter.com/crisis-services.php

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - Greenville, South Carolina is a non-profit, grass-roots organization offering support, education and advocacy for families and friends of people with serious mental illness and for persons with serious mental illnesses. Here there is no blame, no judgment. Here we have no guilt, no false pride. Together we share a common hurt. With compassion we see another's side. Be with us Great Creator, help our understanding. Make us truly family and friends. http://www.namigreenvillesc.org/resources.html

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Memorial for Jimmy

Jimmy was a big gamer. His body was donated to science and the memorial service was March 6th. In lieu of flowers, his wife suggested making a donation to Child's Play. If you feel the desire to donate then please do so.

Child's PlayAbout Child's Play

Since 2003, we've set up and organized Child's Play, a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in our network of over 70 hospitals worldwide. Over the years, you as a community have answered the call and come together to raise millions of dollars.

Child's Play works in two ways. With the help of hospital staff, we set up gift wish lists full of video games, toys, books, and other fun stuff for kids. By clicking on a hospital location on our map, you can view that hospital's wish list and send a gift.

Child's Play also receives cash donations throughout the year. With those cash donations, we purchase new consoles, peripherals, games, and more for hospitals and therapy facilities. These donations allow for children to enjoy age-appropriate entertainment, interact with their peers, friends, and family, and can provide vital distraction from an otherwise generally unpleasant experience.


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Here, There, and Back Again

If for any reason you are unable to make your appointment please call me 24 hours in advance so I may offer another client your time. Take a minute to add me to your phone - 864-271-2710, then I will always be at your fingertips!

Remember this is NOT my texting number. If you would prefer to text me just let me know and I will be happy to give you my cell number.

Looks like I will be here the whole month of March!

Reminder this month I am working Sundays, March 10th and 24th and Mondays the 11th and 25th.

In April I'll be working Sundays the 7th and 21st, and Mondays the 8th and 22nd.


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