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Let’s Start a Conversation During #SuicideAwarenessMonth

Well good morning, my friends!

Welcome to Live Inspired with John O’Leary, Wednesday morning style. I am thrilled to be with you today.

You know, this is the middle of Suicide Awareness Month. I’m not sure if you’re aware of that where
you’re viewing this video, but we certainly are here. And we certainly are in our community, and I want to bring it to the light.

I think too frequently that kind of stuff is kept in the shadows, and it deserves a strong position in the light so we can talk about it.

I’ll never forget a well-intentioned friend, after Robin Williams committed suicide months and months and months ago, made the remark that he was surprised that he would do it because he had everything going for him. Fame, fortune, obviously a very popular guy, a very funny guy. He could not imagine why Robin would do this.

More recently, Anthony Bourdain committed suicide, and the remark was how could a guy who travels around for a living, eating delicious food, meeting remarkable people, take his own life? Everything was going for him! How’s that even possible?

We heard some remarks when Kate Spade took her life, around something very similar to this.

But my friends, we don’t hear comments like that when someone dies of cancer. “How could she die of cancer? Her whole life was in front of her. She had children. Why would she do this?”

Or if they’re in a car accident. You would never hear that.

Or if they’re struggling with diabetes, or something with their kidneys, some disease process. You would never hear someone make this remark: “Why would they do this?” or “How could that happen?”

Because they understand that it’s part of a very physical part of the body. I think too frequently we forget the same is true with our mental health. That it is as real, and as big a deal, as any other disease we may suffer with.

But when we get cancer, or when we go through a car accident, or when we get burned, or when we have a house fire, we always tell the community, Keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Swing by the house. Will you visit me? It would really lift up my spirits.

When we struggle instead with anxiety or depression or bipolar or a litany of other challenges, instead it’s, Shush, don’t tell anybody! It’s a family secret. I’m dealing with it on my own. We keep it a secret.

We keep it to ourselves, and I think what we, this month, are trying to encourage all of us, and I’m trying to lead the way, is to bring it into the light.

To discuss it, to own it, to talk about it as a community so that we recognize again (as we did last week) that we’re not doing life by ourselves. That we are absolutely in this thing together. You are not on your own. And the more we join hands, the more we share our hearts, and our faith, and our courage together, the more likely it is that we can move through the adversities of the day and into the promise of tomorrow.

I had the great pleasure this week of interviewing Adam Cayton-Holland. Many of you know his name because he’s a terrific comedian and author. Well, I had him on our podcast.

What you may not know about Adam is that he lost his sister to suicide about four years ago. It’s a tragic story, but Adam shares it in such a way where it’s redemptive and beautiful and sometimes actually funny. He’s an amazing guy.

He took an hour to be with us on the Live Inspired Podcast. It’s a great time to check it out, so on your
way to work, as you’re diving through your week, I encourage you to check out Live Inspired with John O’Leary. Click on the Adam Cayton-Holland podcast. You’re going to love it.

And then share it.

I think that the way we can start pushing back the challenges of the day as it relates to mental health is to talk about it. Start with awareness, and then move forward from there.

I want to thank you for being part of our community. I want to thank you for choosing to smile, choosing to step forward, choosing to share, and choosing to be an example that the best days are in front of us.

So, for this time and until next time, this is John O’Leary. And this is your day, friends!

Live, start with that word: LIVE Inspired.

Thanks again. Have a great week!

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do it anyway, lonelinessJonathan Cain, encouragement, don't stop believin