September is a heavy month as it focuses on suicide prevention awareness. It is a weighty conversation that can only be digested in small doses. I think it is also triggering to see an overflow of generic information everywhere. However, worry not we are taking a different approach to it. In fact, our focus is on exploring how relationships affect or enhance our emotional health.
Our goal is to actually contribute to a holistic approach to building up our support systems. It is one of the ways we give ourselves a social safety net. In a way we are actually breaking down the 2022 theme, “creating hope through action”. That way it makes sense when we say that we can create our own fountain of hope by building our community.
For starters, we are taught to believe that family should be our primary support system. So, what exactly happens when we lose that safety net, they are supposed to provide for us? We end up feeling alone, lost and lonely. Then despair and feeling disconnected from everything but that is not where it ends.
As always, we must compassionately ask, “What happened to us/them?” It invites us to take a compassionate approach into finding out what it is that we need in order to fulfil it. Reactions to lack of a support system, a sense of belonging and pain are normal not an illness. Rather, they are symptoms of where it hurts. Those sensations communicate to us. This is my favorite approach to teach and rewire the brain.
In other words, all I am saying is that we can start building a support system piece by piece. This is actually one of the reasons why we join support groups or start attending some social events. This also means that we start taking risks by approaching other people and making conversations with them. Which then helps us to meet our human need for connection and safety.
To me that sounds like a way of creating hope because basically we put together a safety net that we can tap into when we need it. For instance, we are able to feel more supported when going through major life changes either good or bad. We also feel a deep sense of relief when our friends support us in the way that we need.
By the way this is also a way to weave our baskets. In my trauma training, we focused on exploring options of what we would do if our favorite shopping basket was torn. I naturally thought of weaving it back using some thread since I crotchet. It was a life changing concept because the brain is what we can teach new things through taking risks. Such actions help us to build up spaces where we can rest and recover. Those places and people nourish us.
Then most exciting thing happens- we create lives that support post traumatic growth. It’s a life that meets all our human needs. We gradually create the space and capacity to live and thrive. Then eventually learn how to live a fully balanced life once we cultivate the new identity as a person who is living and thriving. At this point it is safe to say that life finds new meaning for us, and we create hope, on our own terms.