Yes, I called the police when you said you were going to kill yourself on Facebook.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And I would do it again.

You see, we are Facebook friends, which means on some level you have invited me to participate in your life. We knew each other as children, more moons ago than I am going to count. We haven’t had a direct message conversation, and the last time we spoke it was probably about our math homework or boys. My memories of that time are fuzzy, but I remember your face. I remember that I genuinely thought you were a nice person. When I accepted your friend request – or maybe I sent one to you – I invited you into my life, and me into yours.

Last night, at 1:30am you posted that you were going to kill yourself.

I found myself staring at the line, paralyzed. Surely a good friend or family member is going to respond on Facebook and tell you that they were on their way.

A few minutes went by, and the only response was a plea to not go through with it. The poster was thousands of miles away. As was I.

I called the police in the city where the post originated with my wealth of information. First Name. Last Name. City. Nothing else. The dispatcher said she would attempt a wellness check if she could find an address. I hung up.

That’s when I started to doubt what I had just done. I hardly knew you, had no idea if this was a serious threat,  What if it wasn’t a serious threat and you found out that I was the one that called? What if you get pissed at me, or what if I got you in some kind of trouble? What had I just done?

After my call, there was Facebook silence, and uneasy sleep.

When I woke up I searched for any news about your well being. Your “real” friends had since seen the post and were posting frantic messages of love and strength. I learned that someone else had called the police, and they had already done a wellness check because of an earlier caller. No information was received on how the check went. 24 hours later, and I’m still not certain of the outcome.

The only thing I know is that I made the right call, and I would do it again.

I can live with you hating me, un-friending me, even casting an evil curse on me.

What I couldn’t live with was doing nothing and finding out you meant it.

~~~

If you are thinking about suicide, or faced with a similar situation, here are some resources:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Reporting a Suicide Threat on Facebook

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Using the stock market like a mood ring is dumb.

English: Phillippine stock market board

English: Phillippine stock market board (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mood rings were all the rage in the decade before I was old enough to really appreciate fads. Future generations, after much research, determined they were nothing more than body temperature indicators and novelty items.  Imagine looking at your ring, seeing red, and thinking “Wow, I must be really angry.  I don’t feel angry… but wait, now I am really MAD!!”

I think the mood ring is a good analogy for the stock markets today.  Most of us know how we feel about the economy regardless if the market number is red or green.

If I don’t have a job, haven’t found work in a long time, downsized to the point of meager existence, the markets jumping up 200 points in one day doesn’t really have a direct effect on my life. I still have to pay my bills and hit the pavement the next morning, like millions of others.

If I have a small business, I know if I have more customers this month than last.  I can look at the average amount of money customers are spending on items or jobs, and determine if I am growing, shrinking, or remaining exactly the same.  If I am in a growth cycle, I will hire. If I am shrinking, I will fire.

If I am lucky, gainfully employed, and the markets will affect my portfolio, then I will rejoice. I can provide the basics for my family, keeping food on the table, and roof over their heads.  I may not be able to retire when I want, or provide the Disney Christmas experience, but I can provide.  A market drop may be a reminder to simplify, but it won’t destroy me.  I will work hard every day at my job to make my company better and be the best asset I can.

If I lose my job, I will face the harsh reality of being unemployed. But I still need to get up every morning with the optimism that today is the day I will find new work.  I may need to look for assistance, face under-employment, or adjust my life to make my family my priority.  I won’t need the market to tell me that I have fallen on rough times, the bank will do a good enough job at that.

The only barometer I need for my life is me.  If I lose everything tomorrow, I will still have my family, true friends, and my ability to work hard to make a future life for myself.

When I see the headline, “Stocks see worst day of the year after weak jobs report”, it should only be a reflection of life as I am living it, not something to set my mood.  Journalists shock you, make you want to read more, incite feeling to elicit the “click” on their headline.  My advice, don’t freak out until your life tells you to. And if your life tells you to freak out, try to make tomorrow a better day, despite what the markets do, because at the end of the day, it’s all you can do.  That, and vote.

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