I recently went to see Kevin Hines in person. An article here gives a good summary of his story. Disclaimer: His story is very emotional. Read the article and this blog post with caution as it deals with suicide.
My wife recommended it because he is a mental health advocate and has bipolar. I attended without even doing a simple Google search because I'm lazy. Embarrassingly, I'm pretty sure I also thought it would magically fit with everyone going on with me in the last six weeks. No need to do research. I've been thinking about stigma and blogging. I've been feeling "more bipolar". I've been bouncing between tired and restless, agitated and exhausted, productive and slothful. I've had tremendous difficulty concentrating. Surely this appearance is going to resonate with exactly where I am. Alas, that wasn't the case. However, I'm still very glad I went.
His presentation was moving, emotional, and powerful. I don't want to repeat too much of his story (see the article). One part I will repeat is that he had asked his dad only last year (I'm paraphrasing):
"Dad, do you ever worry that I will die by suicide?"
"Every time the phone rings"That brought tears to my eyes as he emphasized that even coming close to the brink of suicide affects everyone in your life forever. That really shook me. I don't like to think of my family having this possibility in the back of their minds. I don't blame them. But I so desperately want to somehow know that I will never be there again. How I wish there was some guarantee for them and me it would never happen again.