Goals Change

14 November 2012

To my grief group: I am here. I am there. I am nowhere. My thoughts are scattered. I have only one life goal. To tell as many people as I can that mental illness is not shameful, and that suicidal thinking is so common that 1 of 5 people suffer it every year and 4 of 5 people suffer it in a lifetime. I cannot wait for the newest grandbaby to get here to the states in April!

6.5 years after writing this my goals have changed somewhat. I believe this is a result of witnessing a community movement to combat suicide that is somewhat of a repeat of one that happened in 2012. Not a repeat exactly; what I mean is that I've seen the community come together before, seen suicides decrease as a result, seen interest and commitment wane, and now it's happening all over again. But this past year has been focused on youth losses which are just too devastating for me to confront on a personal level. Every time I hear of an attempt or death I "feel" the mother's devastation. Maybe because of witnessing this cycle my interests in advocacy have moved to state, local, national, and international advocacy. A friend who is a community organizer helped me set up a remote testimony to work on behalf of a bipartisan youth suicide prevention bill in my state. From that experience I was able to see that a small fringe group of religious extremists was hijacking a whole party, I decided to produce a local radio show about resiliency avenues on a local, state, and national level. I am writing this book. I am doing research on a topic which I hope will help children worldwide. I wonder what I'll be doing in another 6.5 years, and I hope it's not suicide related. But if it is, so be it. I don't want other mothers to lose their children - especially if there's something I can do to stop it.

Erica KitzmanComment