Journeyman's Row
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The Ripple Effect

Posted on March 20, 2018 at 1:10 AM


And wow again... Why not?

This blog may not quite match the intensity from yesterday's em-powerful ninth-day-in-a-row post, but don't underestimate my first ever suicide attempt survivor event (which was on March 14th). It moved me emotionally so very much. Until shortly before the Kevin Hines film began, I didn't even realize it was the nationwide premiere as well. Awesome. So I feel very fortunate for having come across the opportunity, through the local Suicide Prevention Task Force, and to take advantage of it. Thank you so much as well to Pennsylvania Link for sponsoring the movie event and making it available for this county region. I owe you one.

To date, I have attended four Out Of The Darkness Walks, sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which have been great as an interactive group experience of suicide healing in general. Though, and specifically for my mental health advocate work this past year, the Kevin Hines film had a particularly special meaning for me. I have never really connected one-on-one with a fellow suicide attempt survivor before, and certainly not a successful, or fellow public advocate either.

Although Kevin Hines himself was obviously not present at this movie event, his film stood on its own very well. (The Ripple Effect) covered a thorough range of suicide loss, suicide attempt survivor, and advocacy experiences by Hines in the two-hour-long film. He was also very personable, confident, and easily relatable when conveying everything within that time frame. Even though it was indicated that this film is not yet near the stage of being released on DVD, I would look forward to that in the near future.

What I really want to do with this particular blog post is to address it to Kevin Hines himself should he ever happen to read it. Like I've done with my famous people blog category.

Mr. Hines,

       In your film, you demonstrated a superb skill with which to share and explore not only your own experiences with suicide and mental health, but you really were an inspiring role model. I hope someday to meet and share my story with you. I just might be a bit speechless at first, to be honest. When you rode in the Coast Guard boat up to the Golden Gate Bridge as it appeared ghostly through the fog... Your gut wrenching, tearful silence... I swear for at least half the film my eyes were not dry. Especially when you shared a segment of suicide attempt survivors.

       I had a moment where I lost my composure as one of them, a girl, explained how she would go to sleep and didn't know.. sorry... didn't know whether she would wake up again... It is not easy even now to type, let alone to think about that night of my own decision to let go. What I took would not have killed me unless I snorted it. However, what I experienced during that utterly sleepless night was nothing short of misery.

       Yet, throughout this film you showed both your true emotions, included plenty of facts, anecdotes, testimonials of other people who had experienced some form of suicide, as well as how important is has been for you to make a big difference against suicide on a global scale. For the last year and five months, I have been wearily working towards both my own mental health recovery and pushing hard to advocate for that which I suffer from as well.

       It is not easy as I'm sure you know which is why I hope someday we can meet to share our experiences. I wish so much that right now, this day, I could be working with you side by side. I have been stricken with treatment-resistant anxiety that has inhibited my ability to make career decisions since Junior High School, which was twenty four years ago. That alone has crippled my development in life... I don't care how much money I'd make just as long as I could be making - not a small - but as big a difference as you have been working tirelessly to do.

       Perhaps someday not too far in the future you and I will meet to collaborate. I definitely welcome and look forward to such an opportunity. Let us someday work together to encourage an emotional net all across the world so that it does not take a bridge, a gun, a pill, a rope around a tree branch, or anything to take one's life. The sooner the better. Bless you and thank you very much.

On the other hand, I also had a surprisingly and equally inspiring experience of my own after the film had ended. Although I will not share too many details about the individual, I am compelled to pay her the respect she expressed towards me for reaching out when she felt just as likely not to.

Once I had paid my respects to the two individuals on hand, one being with Pennsylvania Link, a woman approached me. Over I think maybe fifteen to twenty minutes, we shared and discussed our personal experiences that related to the Kevin Hines - The Ripple Effect film. I was realistic, honest, and humble with what I shared with her, but also making sure to encourage the deeply positive inspiration I have come to know in my life. That dogged determination you all read about in yesterday's blog post. ;)

She was brave for reaching out to me, as well as being in her own manner honestly strong. I'm not sure if she believes that yet, but I am willing to go the distance. She was there same as I was for the event. That in of itself is half the battle anyway. She was confident to come up to me and share her own experiences in a public, but still discreet setting. It takes courage, regardless. On the other hand, what humbly touched my heart was something more than that.

I may have been the first person she reached out to. That fills a special place in my heart to have been someone she could look up to. Me? Someone who at times feels like I'm flying apart at the seams; to be strong for her to look up to is an honor. And for her to look up to me when she did after that movie, I also in a way felt like Kevin Hines himself. To be that kind of beacon for hope is truly without words to describe...

Then, while a community co-volunteer and I were there to offer her the moral support she needed, she went to tears...

If you are reading this, Miss, I personally want to offer you my sincerest respect and to honor your courage. You are meant to be here. Although I did get pretty intense in yesterday's blog than what some people are comfortable with, I hope with this individual I can inspire the same courage I dwell upon to keep putting one foot on front of the other.

Not just to get by, but to live an actual life. Whether you have a mental health condition or not, we all deserve to find genuine happiness and fulfillment. Considering the film and Kevin Hines' own advocate work, after I departed the theater I thought of the woman I had hoped to help. She had courage. She had strength. She had worth. She was still here, too. It has been expressed to me to do my best at least to help one person in all that I do.

When I think of how I spoke up, as a suicide attempt survivor, during the question and answer session after the film...

When I think of how, after just a single unsettling year of advocating, my website and my humble wisdom here have not been shared with very many people yet...

When I think of how I feel about my life as I had expressed in yesterday's blog post with so much desperate honesty...

I think of when the woman who reached out to me after this film, and how she broke down crying in the community co-volunteer's arms while we were there for her...

As I expressed then, maybe all of this is to fill a selfish empty void in my life similar to that which the fictional character Bruce Wayne suffers from. A hero or martyr complex. Perhaps I will run into a burning building to save lives someday... Perhaps I will take a bullet to help save someone from an untimely death...

With all of this - and - the last nine days of new blog posts considered...

I just feel being the kind of person that woman at the movie theater was able to reach out and look up to is beginning to mean more and more to me than I ever expected. I cannot simply stop with helping only her. I can't. I'm sorry.

There are just too many other people out there in this world who deserve a voice to hear in their times of need. Too many people...

I hope I never disappoint any of you.


Categories: Mental Health & Awareness, Inspirational, Famous People

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