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I finally made the time to scan in my favorite poem so that I can share it with you. The computer file was lost many years ago, but thankfully I have held on to the paper copy. Written October 23, 2005, Memories always has been and will always be my favorite thing that I have ever written. It emits raw, guttural imagination, touches on topics of different addictions, uses brutal language that a fifteen-year-old shouldn’t know (sorry, mom), and teases at suicidal ideation. Because of my constant love for the field of mental health and all things addiction, this poem really hit home when I started my educational career in that field. I have since decided not to complete my mental health degree (though I am still pursuing classes; that is a story for another day), but the passion that I have for all things mental health will never die.

This passion for mental health isn’t short-lived; I can still remember incorporating mental health awareness and suicidal help in a freshman economics project over a decade ago. It has been, and always will be, important to me, and that’s why this poem is so incredibly close to my heart. Many people don’t comprehend suicide, and that is understandable as there are so many different aspects to it. But, I want to enlighten you a little bit on suicidal ideation. I have never ‘been’ suicidal per say, though I would be lying if I told that suicidal thoughts had never consumed my addled consciousness.

See, there is a difference between being suicidal and thinking about suicide. Namely, in my case, this difference exists in the imagination and the sheer interest in the topic. I think about it a lot. Would I ever do it? No, because finality scares me just a bit more than anything else in this world. Suicidal ideation, I’d like to think, is relatively normal and common. However, it is usually without suicidal intent. Suicidal ideation with a suicidal intent modifier is when things can get dangerous. Check out the charts that I’ll tag at the bottom of this post. The first (colorful) chart is a great resource for determining the type and subtype of suicidal ideation and intent. This can help in understanding how different aspects of suicidal ideation or intent can exist with or without one another. The second is a scale of suicidal ideation. It is interesting in helping to understand a person’s suicidal intent.

*PLEASE, if you are considering self-harm or suicide, seek help. There are many avenues to help you, including:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline @ 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

The Veterans Crisis Line @ 1-800-273-8255

LGBT Youth Suicide Hotline @ 1-866-4-U-TREVOR

If you’re outside the US, you can also find help here: http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html.

Before I post this poem of mine, I really want to make a couple things clear. I’m not suicidal, but a lot of the things in this poem are things that I have done or experienced. I may not understand, but generally, I am a good listener or know someone who WILL understand. On that note, you might check out a good friend’s blog—she writes about suicidal help, too. She is also a great asset. You can find her stuff on StayAliveGroup Weebly.

I don’t want you to consider any of the resources that I’ve provided, or my personal advice or assistance, as a substitute for qualified medical attention. But, I do have a little training and would be glad to talk you through getting the help you need. I didn’t want to post this poem, which could be highly construed as supporting self-harm, addictive behaviors, and suicide, without providing you this information first. If you’re just an imaginative being like me, share your thoughts in the comments. If you want some personal or private attention, you can contact me on WordPress (I think?) or via email at brittanyncloyd@gmail.com.

Now, the grand finale. Time to link to Memories. I’m very excited to share it with you, so if you don’t like it… well, I really don’t care! 🙂