On the day of my daughters first birthday we had a doctors appointment to see the next little bean cooking inside me. We were excited to share the news with everyone at the birthday party a few days later. Unfortunately we didn't hear a heartbeat, the screen was shut off and we were handed a packet. Handed a freaking packet of articles, and options and resources like this was just normal, and then told to schedule a D and C as soon as possible because the stuff in my uterus could have been cancerous that my body was treating like a pregnancy. The tests and labs were run for a solid week after this. After a very scary week, and a blurry one at that, tests came back that it was just a mass of fibers. No cancer and no baby. It was this roller coaster of emotions. But I had a 1 year old and a husband who could not find a job because the recession was still going strong.
That day is clear, even 25 years later.
It was a Tuesday, the first day after Christmas break. I was in my bedroom listening to music when the commotion of my inconsolable mother, escorted by my brother, came up the back stairs to our house. I ran to meet them, and my brother simply said, "Dad's dead.
Since that day two short years ago, we have had the honor of listening to the stories of so many others. We have heard from people who know the pain of losing a loved one to suicide. We have heard stories from people battling depression, anxiety and addiction. We have people reaching out to us through social media and our website to find support groups, recommendations for counseling, and for an outlet to tell their story.
Leaving out the real cause of death made me feel like talking about it was not allowed. Leaving this information out allows mental illness to remain a silent killer. It perpetuates a disease that kills. We want to initiate honest conversations. Honesty brings the opportunity for something positive to emerge from a devastating loss. It opens the door for awareness, more funding, and education. It’s a missed opportunity and we can’t afford any more missed opportunities to end this stigma.
I have been in emergency services for over 32 years, the last 15 as a Fire Chief during that time I have experienced so many tragic events and I have held it in all of these years and not even talked about them with my family or even my closest friends. Over the last three and a half years I had major back surgery, I learned that I was allergic to seafood, nuts and nut products, I have been hospitalized and intubated 11 times for a total of over 40 days. The trauma and stress of these events have triggered the traumatic events that I have been involved in over the last 32 years.
I was born in 1972. It’s an important fact that I’ll come back to later.
At 12 years old, I recall feeling disconnected. I couldn’t relate to those around me, my ability to participate socially was compromised, and I found myself in a dark place that didn’t make sense. Throughout my teen years, I went through various stages of withdrawal, sadness, confusion, and moments of joy that didn’t seem deserving. I was filled with self-doubt and insecurity, but I also felt graced because I could articulate how I was feeling—even if I only explained it to myself.
At Suffer Out Loud, we are BIG fans of the Crisis Text Line . This is a resource we promote frequently in our Suffer Out Loud community. According to their website, “The goal of any conversation is to get you to a calm, safe place. Sometimes that means providing you with a referral to further help, and sometimes it just means being there and listening. A conversation usually lasts anywhere from 15-45 minutes.”
A member of our Suffer Out Loud community recently checked in with the Crisis Text Line for some encouragement and wanted to share her experience.
To begin my story is to go all the way back to the very beginning - I was abandoned as a baby, and turned into Wesley Hospital in Wichita, KS. It just so happened that an angel was looking to adopt a newborn. The catch? She was married to a devil!
f you’ve a family member, friend, or someone else in your life that appears to be thinking about suicide, suffering from suicidal ideations, you naturally will want to reach out to that individual. You may wonder about how you can go about talking to a person who is laboring under suicidal ideations. There are 10 tips that you will want to consider following to talk a loved one struggling with thoughts of suicide.
Bryna is an inspiring member of our Suffer Out Loud community. She speaks openly and honestly about mental health and is passionate about ending the stigma associated with mental health. Please help her message reach our Governor Steve Bullock. He needs to hear stories like hers and acknowledge the crisis going on in Montana. We have the highest suicide rates in the nation and not nearly enough resources to meet the need: