Sometimes I get deep into my business day and things are chugging along like normal, when something out of the blue makes me stop and wonder.
So I received this call from a counselor at the Veteran's Administration and she leaves a message for me to return her call in reference to a mutual client.
When I call I get her answering machine which says she is a suicide prevention counselor and is unavailable at this time. She's very nice, calm and clear on her message as she tells all potential callers, "if this is an emergency, hang up and call 911," "if you are thinking of harming yourself call the suicide prevention hot line at..."
And I can't help but wonder, if I were thinking of harming or killing myself and I got a recording, what would I do? Would I snap out of my darkness temporarily, look around for a pen and a piece of paper to write down the number, then patiently check that I wrote down the number correctly before hanging up?
The only times I got that depressed, I never thought to call a suicide prevention hot line. I didn't want to talk to anyone. I was very quiet inside myself about my intentions and was very comfortable with the thought of ending it all.
Now I'm sure not everybody's experience was the same as mine, but I couldn't help thinking, if I had been the type to call for help and got that recording, I think I would have hung up before the number was even recited and went about my business. It was an odd feeling listening to a message that so easily could have applied to me years ago.