Thursday, July 31, 2014

love me for every shade of blue that i have hidden in the silent spaces between parentheses.

Positive outcomes from the conference:
 -Refreshing and validating to be treated with respect after disclosing suicidal ideation/attempts/hospitaliation etc.
-Specific grief/trauma responses applied to the bereaved and survivors (thank-you to the lovely ladies at Standby who just got it)
-Sense of belonging to a specific community (finding my experience family where crying and triggers were viewed as normal or even expected and not all of my experiences had to align to belong)
-Designated time to confront often repressed trauma memories in a safe non-clinical environment (witnessing Pod's attempts on her own life, scars shaped like names, managing Sanchez's risk throughout high school, even trauma relating to the Poet's selfish and blasé response to my suicidal thoughts and self harm scars)
-Meeting people with lived experience who have a tangible effect on mental health policy and suicide prevention in Australia (Mic's fantastic work as an adviser and artist and Bronwen's work to open dialogue around suicide bereavement and prevention)
-Learning about a wide range of suicide prevention programs in Australia (so much is being done rurally/regionally, especially in QLD and WA)
-Opportunity to put faces to names and people to policies (makes it much harder to feel anger/resentment towards a flawed system when you can see how hard people are working towards changing that)
-Helpful to meet those touched by suicide but not mental illness (mental illness is not always present in those we lose to suicide and fails to convey the complexities surrounding the desire to die - as I said in an email to Elisabeth a few days ago...“it is only one aspect of my experience and I am conscious of dismissing it under a negative banner of distortions rather than a more holistic response to my environment”)