This post is for you Matt.
Those with ‘lived experience’ are those who suffer suicidal thoughts and may or may not have had a suicide attempt. We need to listen to them. We need to honor their struggle. We need to be there for them.
A little background first
In 1995, I became interested in the internet marketing. After my son’s suicide, I sold my partnership in a digital marketing firm I co-owned for 7 years in January 2017 to pursue suicide prevention full time and all that goes with it– addiction, mental illness, and grief.
I have the advantage of knowing a lot about ranking on Google and about getting inside the head of a target market and reaching that market.
Suicide prevention the creative way
I realized that my son probably “Googled” the phrase “how to hang yourself” before completing his suicide.
So I wrote a post called, “How to hang yourself.” Obviously I did not give directions on how to do that. I just wanted to rank on Google. Let someone know I cared because I do. Why not try?
In looking at the statistics, I noticed about 6-10 people going to that page daily. All from Google searches.
At first, visitors were going to the page from searches but never staying. How should I change that page to get someone to stay? What should I put there instead?
There is a young man from California who sent me a message one morning that said, “Your son, Charles, saved my life last night.” I found out what videos he had watched and pages he had visited. So I reworked that page and included those elements.
After the page redo, I looked at the statistics 30 days later and noticed people were spending longer on the page and visiting other pages. I wondered if I should change it to make it better but I decided I didn’t know what “better” was and left it alone.
This morning, I got the message below from Matt who googled that phrase and landed on the page–exactly how I intended it to work.
I cried. A good cry. My husband had seen the comment, too. We were both so touched Charles saved another life. I can’t even begin to tell you what this means to me and how grateful and thankful I am that Matt wrote this. I will treasure it always.
The hall of fame comment
I’ve been reading this blog since last Sunday when I came across it googling the exact same thing as the heading of this post.
I don’t want this comment to be about me really. I wanted to say that I think your son is an amazing person. He is extremely talented. I watched this video of him above and it gave me chills, goosebumps, & it made me cry, a lot. It made me cry for 4 hours straight reading the posts here. He is oozing with passion & emotion & you can just *feel* the pain & heartache he expresses with his poem & it is so so powerful. I can tell you are honored to be his mother, & you should be.
I find the posts and writing here to be quite moving. I am impressed with how you let it all out, not even afraid to question your own beliefs and it seems like you don’t even pretend to assume. It is raw, naked like you say, and brutally honest.
I personally struggle with anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, & addiction. I have been off of heroin since December 2014, traditional “recovery” never worked for me but ive been in therapy for almost 5 years & really thats what saved me.
It is a battle everyday. I am so much better sober but yet the depression/anxiety still take me to the edge. I have been dealing with this for a long time. I am not some big success story. I really don’t know if I can do it forever. I have 2 young kids that help but sometimes…I’m ashamed to say, not even they can keep the darkness from haunting me. I apologize for writing about myself, I did because I just wanted to say I know what your son, that special young man, your boy Charles was going through. I have an understanding & empathy for you & him & your family & I just wanted you to know that.
You have changed the way I think of my darkness, my ideation. I never once thought of it as a “brain pain attack” though that’s exactly right. I experience it in cycles and exactly, it’s ebbs & flows in intensity. Today I’m ok enough to want to try & fight another day, to comment here & let you know that you made an impact on this small speck of a person’s point of view. I think this place is special. Like your boy. I’m going to keep checking in here when I feel despair.
Thank you. Matt