The next book being released soon I want to highlight is one I am included in—Ambrosia: A Poetry Anthology. What I want to highlight is what we are doing with the proceeds from the book. Everything is going to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. You may have already seen quite a bit of publicity about this. Let me share a little more about why I enthusiastically supported this plan.
What I Do
You see, I am an adolescent substance abuse counselor. Have been for about 8 years now. In doing this job, I have counseled many, many kids who struggled with mental health issues as well. Not just diagnoses, but losses, trauma, substance use induced concerns, and more. I’ve also talked with them when they shared things like thought, plans, and attempts at suicide. Many of them shared with me some of the things they were thinking and why they wanted to die when they made their attempts. Their thoughts and feelings came down to one important idea.
Understanding Suicidal Behaviors
Suicide is not a selfish act.
Let me repeat that: suicide is not a selfish action. Now, I am in no way, shape, or form giving permission for suicide or saying suicide is okay. It is certainly a call for help and a sign that something else is very wrong. Here’s the thing, though, the person thinking of or planning suicide is considering others—they don’t want to be a burden any longer on loved ones, they’re always screwing up and loved ones would be better off without the person, and they also feel like they are ending the misery of others having to “deal” with the suicidal person, etc.
The Poetry Connection
Thoughts of suicide come from a place of profound internal pain, misery, and suffering—things artists draw on for their art, things we celebrate in these artists. You’ll get to see some of this in Ambrosia along with the emotional highs we all love. We need people like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to be a resource for people in this kind of pain. Too many people have no one to turn to, and that’s where too many people go from attempting suicide to succeeding. Sometimes people need help to find the emotional high places, help to get out of the holes they find themselves in, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a wonderful organization to help them find their way out.
How to Help
Please, remember this when you read Ambrosia. Remember this when you hear of someone struggling. Reach out, ask people if they’re okay. Don’t worry—if they’re thinking about suicide you asking won’t do anything but possibly provide someone with an opportunity to step back from the dark abyss that is staring back at them. The poems in this anthology run the gamut, but there are many that touch on the fringes of these issues and I am so proud to be a part of this awesome group.
And with that I’ll get off my soap box. Please consider supporting the anthology and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Click on their logo below to see the excellent work they do, and thank you for stopping by.