PSA: Five Thoughts on Suicidal Ideation

I have been sitting on this post for months and months and it has held up production on this blog because it feels so important to get right (which means I can’t cut it short).

To share even one experience and bring into the light those ghouls that haunt the darkness feels like one way to take back power from the black, cold night.

I cannot pretend to speak for everyone — or even most people — who experience the urge to end their lives.

If you’re contemplating suicide, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.

I can only speak for myself.

But I need you to hear me.

When I’ve contemplated death by suicide it hasn’t been because I wanted to kill myself. I have never wanted to kill anyone. I don’t know what that feels like.

Instead, it’s about not wanting to live. That’s an entirely different point of view.

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The first time I experienced suicidal ideation many years ago, I was engulfed by crippling guilt over a mistake that seems so inconsequential now.  I was convinced that everything about me was a burden on the world, that I was truly bad and the pain of existing like this was simply too much to bear.

For reasons that I’ll never quite understand, I was convinced that I was never going to escape my misery and never stop being a burden.

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Mental Illness is… a Lifestyle?

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and I’m not done talking. Stay tuned for my post on suicidal ideation.

Every time you read a blog post or watch a YouTube video about someone’s new diet or fitness regimen what do they always say?  “You see this change is gonna stick because this isn’t about just going on a diet. This is about a lifestyle.”

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I love working out, but GTFO fitspo!

When I was religious it was always “Christianity isn’t about religion, it’s about a relationship.”

Folks are always trying to prove that what they’re doing or experiencing isn’t some fad, they aren’t doing what they “should” and they’re not being forced to suffer against their will. No they’re doing this thing because this is what they love. Now this is who they are.

It Feels Like Mental Illness is My Lifestyle.

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Where Are the Depressed Lawyers? #imnotashamed

The Numbers Say We’re Out There

Lawyers suffer from extremely high rates of depression and other mental health disorders. Estimates for the rate of depressed attorneys range from 2 to 3.6 times the national rate of depression in the U.S. A recent study of lawyer mental health in the Journal of Addiction Medicine found that 28% of respondents were experiencing symptoms of depression and 19% were experiencing symptoms of anxiety. Male lawyers are twice as likely to commit suicide as the general population.

I’ve seen the numbers.  I’m a lawyer. Research is what I do. So you can imagine how confusing it was last summer when I became depressed and my colleagues behaved as if they had never seen anything like this before in a law firm. They had no idea what to do with me. They kept turning to me to figure out all of the potential accommodations.

Not exactly easy to do while you’re in the throws of a moderate depressive episode. (Skip to the end of this page for a list of resources.) Continue reading

What’s the Best Weightlifting App? Here Are Three Great Options

I’m on the hunt for the perfect weightlifting app. Weightlifting has emerged as my fitness activity of choice in my war for mental health. Some days it’s the only hour that I can get out of my head — particularly if my anxiety and depression are trying to come out to play.

I don’t want to have to spend half the workout trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing.  When I started lifting seriously I tried StrongLifts and Starting Strength. I’ve decided to use Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 instead and so I need an app that works well with this program.

Ideal App Features

Need to Have:

  • Cross-platform (Mac OS and Android) capability
  • Easy access to previous workouts
  • Easy current workout entry

Like to Have:

  • Fancy charts
  • Ability to preprogram workouts
  • Any signs that it’s meant to be used by women (not just men)
  • Plate calculator
  • Warmup calculator

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Avoid Regret By Rewriting Your Self-Talk

Ask any good lawyer or photographer what’s most important to their work and the one thing they’ll agree on? Framing.

What we choose to focus on, where we point the audience’s attention is crucial.

No One Asks What Was Left Out of the Picture

You see, there’s always a whole lot more to the story than the one flower that’s in focus or that particular cobblestone walkway. There’s more to any individual than a couple of youthful indiscretions a litigator may play up for the jury.

When a story is told, the audience follows the direction of the lens.  Continue reading