Linda: I am an advocate because after a near-fatal head-on collision caused by an impaired driver (who drove through my windshield) left me with catastrophic brain, spinal cord, and psychological injuries, one of the unexpected life-threatening complications I’ve been battling has been intense suicidal ideation.
From my experiences in the 5 years since the accident, I have become a first-hand witness to the enormous challenges in obtaining appropriate medical treatment (the personal injury claim process is brutal beyond imagination) and dealing with the lack of understanding, not to mention the stigma, associated for all whose lives are touched (in any way) by suicide.
I believe all things happen for a reason. Perhaps one of the reasons I survived what should have been a fatal accident might be I’m meant to use what life remains to serve as a face of suicide. Hopefully one small but authentic voice that can potentially help bridge the gap in compassion and understanding for the suicidal by sharing my insights, challenges, and experiences with others.
I’ve met some wonderful people touched by suicide on this journey; sadly some of whom are no longer with us. However, for the time I am still here, speaking of suicide through my FB page, it is my hope those who share this life challenge will, if nothing else, at least feel less alone in it.
Understanding The Suicidal Mind is a page I started with the hope of opening up conversations about this difficult, complex and painful subject.
Suicide is not well understood and claims too many lives. It hurts all who struggle with thoughts about it, those who attempt it, as well as those left behind after a death by suicide.
There are so many people who desperately want and need to talk about it, but fear, shame, confusion and the huge stigma that surrounds suicide keep them from speaking up.
In June 2013, I decided I wanted to create a judgement free space where they can be heard, helped, and supported by the knowledge they are so not alone. Just to be able to speak and be heard can be very healing, I think.
I’ll be sharing firsthand experiences arising from my own battle with suicidal compulsions — a result of complications following a traumatic brain injury suffered in a near fatal head-on collision caused by an impaired driver in 2009. I really have no idea how my own life story will end; I would, however, like to have it count for something if possible.
One thing I know for sure is every person touched by suicide is hurting. If my work and this page helps ease your pain and suffering (even just a little) by shedding some light on this dark and often misunderstood life challenge, then my own suffering will have at least served a useful purpose.
Let me be clear, I am not a doctor or medical professional of any kind. I am just an ordinary person dealing with extraordinary life challenges trying to use the gifts hidden in adversity for the benefit of others.
By sharing our experiences and supporting one another it is my hope we can all grow our understanding of the challenges of mental illness.
Please feel free to share your own journeys, challenges, stories, and truth here. All are welcome. Courage is contagious!