Jonathan Crimmins

Jonathan Crimmins

Sometimes your mind can play tricks on you. Sometimes your emotions, your feelings, your mind can make you belief that things can only be a certain way.

That being the case, a couple of days ago I was going about my day at work. As work days go it was a pretty good one. In fact, all that stood between me and a date with my wife was just a few short hours of work. At some point between thinking about that date and what I wanted to do with my sons, I glimpsed what I thought was someone who I had not seen in quite some time.

This friend, let’s call her “L,” was a coworker. A nurse by training, she was one of the best nurses that I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Her spot-on assessment skills and demeanor helped spell the long days on an acute care mental health ward.

She was also fiercely opinionated and while she was diametrically opposed to me in almost every way, we greatly enjoyed talking about the topics of the day. We had pitched verbal battles, but it was always respectful and appreciated. I would like to think that we each learned a little from our discussions.

And then those discussions were gone.

At some point, “L” cut back her hours and worked sparingly here and there. She had things in her life that kept her occupied. She also had other things that kept her occupied. “L” faced demons occasionally that demoralized her. She would speak of them at times and while she would joke about their insignificance, it was evident that deep down there was a pain that was unforgiving.

In an instance all of the discussions, all of the fun came flooding back. All of the arguments based on politics were once again right there. As that person came into glimpse I wanted to get up and say hi, I wanted to tell her it was good to see her. I wanted to…but I could not. It was not “L.”

Four years ago, “L” made the decision to take her own life. Her life’s struggle became too much for her to bear. The thought of keeping up a fa├žade for her was too great. One quick act ended the pain. If only there had been a better way.

I have heard it said that suicide is a long-term solution to a temporary feeling. As I was thinking of that person who resembled “L” it got me to thinking that I have known at least a dozen people who have committed suicide. Personally, and in my profession, a dozen people who saw no other way to deal with their situation than to make the most permanent of choices. These people had various backgrounds. Various jobs. Various lives. The only constant in these individuals was their reluctance to continue living with the pain of their lives.

Those people who carried through with it saw no other way, but there is help out there.

There is no one archetype for someone who is going to attempt to successfully commit suicide. No one pattern. You need not be sad or depressed. You need not talk about it. Many of the people who I have known have not talked about it at all and covered up their pain in various ways. All too often you knew someone was in trouble only after the act had been completed.

In this area, we have some good resources. Sweetser Mental Health Services operates a toll-free crisis hotline 24 hours a day. Their number is 1-888-568-1112. The staff at Sweetser are trained to provide the type of immediate assistance that best suits the needs of the client. Sweetser is very good.

There are also the staff at Mid Coast Hospital at 207-373-6000. Their medical staff and mental health professionals can work with someone who is suffering from suicidal ideations. Whether in the Emergency Department or on the Behavioral Health floor, Mid Coast has the skills to help someone recover from their feelings of suicidality.

Sweetser and Mid Coast Hospital can assist someone who is in crisis find the most appropriate care in that most immediate moment of need.

Deciding to take one’s life is a decision made in the most extreme situations. A long-term solution to a temporary feeling. There are options out there for people who may be feeling like this is their only option. If you or someone you know are contemplating suicide please make a phone call to a provider. They can and will help get you the assistance you need.

To “L,” where ever you are tonight, may you finally be at peace.

That’s my two cents…

Jonathan Crimmins can be reached at j_ [email protected]


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