Hard Questions

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Tonight I found myself in a position that I talk about often.

Someone I know posted something that had me worried.  I wondered if they were thinking about suicide.

I reached out, I talked to them, I offered my phone number.  But that nagging feeling was still there.

I was afraid to ask, because asking that question is HARD.  This was someone I knew well.  A loved one, a family member.  Someone who has seen my journey, someone who would understand why I was asking.

But it’s not an easy question to ask.

But you have to ask the hard questions.

So I did.

“Are you thinking about suicide?”

And the outcome of the question doesn’t matter.  That’s not the point of this.

The point is, I know how hard it is to walk the walk.  I know how hard it is to talk about suicide.  I know how hard it is to look at someone who is obviously depressed, and obviously sad, and obviously already hurting and ask them, outright “Are you suicidal?”  It’s hard to know how it will be received.  There’s that nagging feeling that I’ll give them the idea, even though I know, personally, that it isn’t the case.  I’m always afraid they will be angry, or it will hurt them.  There’s the fear that I’m overstepping boundaries.

But you have to ask the hard questions.

You can’t help someone, or get them help, if you don’t have all of the information, and it’s much easier to talk about it if someone gives you an opening.

Ask the hard questions.

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