Encouragement blog- How do we help?

I was going to post a different encouragement blog for the new year…but due to some more recent events among my little circle of friends I think this is a better topic to start off with.

More people than we probably think about have dealt with someone their close to having suicidal thoughts, or being depressed, or self injuring.  There’s a lot of places that people can go that will talk about what to do if you ARE one of those people, or places you should direct that person if you know about it.  But what about those of us that are constantly on the sidelines?  What about those of us that have to figure out how to cope with the people we know and love telling us about having had these thoughts or done these things? How do we cope when all we want to do is help, but the person we want to help is too ashamed, or too afraid to open up to us?

Goodness these questions have plagued my mind on and off for a large chunk of the past years.  I’ve dealt with three members of my immediate family suffering from clinical depression, and I’ve dealt with my best friend of fourteen years suffering from the same, having suicidal thoughts, and self injuring.  It’s not easy.  Sometimes it’s not even easy to talk about, but over the years I’ve at least begun to understand better, and to try and get a handle on exactly what I can provide that the people I love might want or need from me as they go through this mess

But I can tell you guys, from at least my own experiences…it might not seem like much, but being there, reminding them that you love them, is one of the best things you can ever do.  I can’t say that any of my little tips or things to keep in mind will be effective, because everyone is different, but at least in my case they’ve been helpful, and it just helps sometimes to even know that there’s someone out there dealing with things like you.  And I think sometimes, those of us that have to just sit on the sidelines and worry, get pushed aside without people even really realizing it.  It’s true we’re less in danger physically…but this kind of thing takes an emotional toll.  After all we all worry for our loved ones.  That’s why I want to remind you guys that I’m here, I don’t mind talking, if you’re someone who is on the sidelines and doesn’t know what to do, or if you’re someone who doesn’t know how to talk to your friends about the things going on in your life…we’ll all work through it together 🙂

But anyway, a few things that hopefully, maybe can help those of you on the sidelines:

1.) The big one that I’ve already said a couple times: Just let them know that you’re there, tell them how much you love them and that you would never be ashamed of them, or think any less of them.  Sometimes that’s the biggest thing you can do, because a lot of times aren’t we all afraid of what people think of our deeper, darker secrets?

2.) Understand that getting the person you’re reaching out to, to open up will take time.  It will sometimes be slow progress, but it will be there all the same.  I spent a couple years feeling very frustrated at only the bits and pieces of information I was getting, and felt like I wasn’t being trusted.  But I understand better now.  My friend was scared and ashamed, and it was simply just HARD to put into words some of these things.  We have a much more open dialogue now about it all, but it took time.  You’ll be let in, but don’t push to hard too fast.

3.) If someone does admit to you they’re having suicidal thoughts encourage them to seek help.  Do so as gently as you can, because forcefulness might cause them to retreat in on themselves (see the next number).  Direct them to to hotlines, or even encourage them to go to the hospital.  Their life is much more important than hospital bills!

4.) One of the hardest ones.  Try to keep calm if you hear someone is having or has had some suicidal thoughts.  Freaking out is probably going to cause them to freak out as well, so do your best to keep as calm as you can and refer to #1.

5.) Know that suicidal thoughts, and self injuring are not always one in the same.  Just because someone self injures does not always mean they want to end their life.  A lot of times people do it for a release, like in times of stress (understand I’m just very quickly covering some of this stuff and throwing out one example, SI is a very deep topic and I know that, and I’m kind of covering a lot of topics at once so don’t be mad if I seem I’m glossing things over)  So…refer back to 3, and don’t freak out if someone admits to you that they’ve self injured, don’t accuse them of wanting to end their life right off the bat.

6.) When you talk, just give little encouragements.  Even if someone comes to you admitting maybe they’ve made some kind of mistake, do your best to turn it around and point out something positive from the experience.  Don’t be dissapointed, but understanding, and encouraging.

It basically all boils down to trying to be calm, not being too pushy, and understanding that it’s going to take a while for people to open up. Be loving and encouraging, and let your friends or family or whoever it is know that you care very deeply for them

Remember guys, don’t give up hope.

Lots of love and faith,



New year: you CAN do it

So I thought it’d be appropriate that my first actual encouragement blog would come right at the new year.  I know so often people hold on to the ideal of the new year for a little while and then it just sort of fizzles out, there’s talk of change and resolutions, but probably to a lot of people it seems artificial because so much is never followed through with.  But guys I truly, honestly believe and will tell you that if you want to change, if you want to do something starting here with the new year, you CAN do it.  It’s not going to be easy, it will probably take a long time, probably longer than a year, you’ll suffer set backs, and people who will probably tell you to give in on your goal.  Heck one of those people might even be you.  But you can do it.  You can push on.  Every time you get set back you push yourself right back up and keep going.  Guys even when you don’t believe in yourselves, someone out there still will.  If you don’t have someone like that I’LL be that someone.  I’ll hang on to that hope for you, and cheer you on as you push through this new year and toward your goals.  If you want to lose weight then keep working towards it, don’t lose faith if/when you gain it back, or part of it, keep working on it and it’ll happen, don’t give up.  If you want a new job then keep applying to anywhere you possibly can that you’d think suitable, even if you don’t get the jobs, keep going guys because eventually the odds will be in your favor.  Want to be a better artist?  Then set some goals this year and work towards them!  Don’t be put out if you don’t see improvement right away, everyone improves at their own pace, and sometimes we hit a slump, but if we keep pushing ourselves we can be amazed at the results!  This applies to anything you’re trying to work toward guys.  I know I know, this is kind of corny, but it’s true, if you want to do something you HAVE to work towards it, and if you do you’re going to have a lot more success at achieving things than if you sit and sulk and tell yourself it’s never going to happen.

It’s a new year, at least use the mentality of a fresh start to your advantage 🙂 set yourself up a plan. Don’t start with big huge goals and changes, start small.  Make a list of small things you want to accomplish over the year that will build up to your larger goals.  And guys this is the big one, support the people around you in their goals, and keep people around you that will support you in turn.  

So to start…how about we chat about what we’d like to accomplish?  Overall personally I would very much like to begin work on a novel this year.  I’ve said it in many years past but never done it, so I think 2014 is the year for it.  So this year I am going to set for myself the goal of A.) decide on which story I actually want to write.  And B) at the very least outline said novel plot and the characters involved.

So take some time and think about what small goals you guys could use to accomplish your goals and if you feel like, share what ones you’d like to accomplish this year!  I believe in you guys, I know you can do it, no matter what it is!