19 Mar 2017
The nonprofit I’m part of is branching out into the community to provide postvention education & support in whatever way will be helpful to each group. Darrell and I are out in the community a couple of times per week having conversations with people about postvention related efforts and activities. Sometimes, just listening and talking about postvention is exhausting. After talking to a couple of people this week, who are among many deciding how to best take postvention to their circles, we were all (saw them the next morning at an event) exhausted and went to bed early.
The thing is:
A) Having a postvention conversation is difficult for nearly everyone.
B) Attempt Survivors have often spent years keeping it secret.
C) Loss Survivors have also often spent years keeping it secret.
ALL of us have spent decades listening to people say insensitive and cruel things, sometimes directly to/about us and sometimes in passing. We always notice when someone makes a joke about it on TV, radio, or in print. [Evidently it’s hilarious as a heart attack... oh wait... heart attacks aren’t f*ing funny]
This secret makes it extremely hard to open ourselves up to public scrutiny. Even so, there’s a small army of us who keep at it, because we are told that what we do helps. We definitely offer support to one another. So - to new advocates - take care of yourself. Know the conversation is going to make you sad and tired. Drink water. Eat healthy. Rest. Go outside for a walk. Meditate. Do whatever it takes to stay well. Take time off. Don’t have more conversations than you can handle. This path is all uphill. There aren’t many of us. We have to stick together.
P.S. I despise the words “crazy” and "committed." Just saying ~~~
Reading through this again made me aware that there's another thing that I've become accustomed to dealing with since my daughter's death. I often feel like my words can actually kill another person if I'm not careful. As a result I tend to back away from people rather than have any interaction that could be even slightly tense - especially my other kids and the grandkids. I hope someday I'll have confidence in communication again but for now this is as good as it gets.