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What a suicide survivor wants you to know about her triggers.

One woman explains why survivors of suicide loss can spend much of their days dodging triggers.

What a suicide survivor wants you to know about her triggers.

This story was originally published on Reflecting Out Loud and The Mighty.

The other day while in Target, I overheard two young women in the bathing suit department:

One held up a bathing suit and jokingly showed it to the other, asking "How about this one?" The other girl responded, "I’d kill myself if I had to wear that."


The following day I was in Kohl’s camp shopping for my daughters. A frazzled mother was talking aloud to herself as she passed me, her toddler in tow. "Did I get a gift receipt? I can’t remember if I did. Damn it! I’d like to just shoot myself today."

Both moments felt like a sucker punch and momentarily took my breath away.

Photo via iStock.

We are so flippant in our language.

I am certain I was once guilty of it too. It’s so easy to make light of suicide — until it touches your life or the life of someone you love.

And then, you quickly discover, there’s not a single funny thing about suicide. Survivors of suicide loss spend much of our days dodging triggers. We sit down to watch a television show only to have a joke made about suicide. We deal with the drug commercials that lump suicidal thoughts and actions right next to hives and rashes when discussing possible side effects — as if they are even close to being on par with one another. We try to tune into election coverage only to hear words like "political suicide" tossed about.

Here’s the thing — if you can wake up in the morning, kiss your loved ones, walk outdoors and breathe in the fresh air, then there is no "suicide" in the demise of your political career.

We survivors are everywhere.

And there is nothing funny about the loss we are learning to live with.

So how about we stop treating it like a punchline or a reasonable response to a moment of frustration? Let’s treat it like the serious and painful issue that it is, an issue that claims another life every 12.8 minutes in this country and shatters the world of those left behind.

The triggers for suicide are abundant, and we dodge them all day long. But that places the burden on us. And quite frankly, our shoulders can only take so much before our knees buckle.

So please, take ownership of your words. Because I’m fairly certain a missing receipt or an ill fitting bathing suit is not something you would seriously end your life over.

And if they were, I promise you, it would be no laughing matter.

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 04.13.18


Teens have a knack for coming up with clever ways to rage against the system.

When I was in high school, the most notorious urban legend whispered about in hallways and at parties went like this: A teacher told his class that they were allowed to put "anything" on a notecard to assist them during a science test. Supposedly, one of his students arrived on test day with a grown adult at his side — a college chemistry major, who proceeded to stand on the notecard and give him answers. The teacher was apparently so impressed by the student's cunning that he gave him a high score, then canceled class for the rest of the week because he was in such a good mood.

Of course, I didn't know anyone who'd ever actually try such a thing. Why ruin a good story with reality — that pulling this kind of trick would probably earn you detention?

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