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National Suicide Prevention Life Line 1-800-273-TALK, that’s 1-800-273-8255.
In the Dallas – Ft. Worth area you can get help at Mental Health of America of Greater Tarrant County. www.mhatc.org
LOSSTeam information can be gotten at www.lossteam.com
We enter our conversation with Josh talking about how people want to avoid the topic of suicide like the plague. He had lost his paternal grandfather and then his father to suicide and no one was allowed to talk about it in the house. Knowledge of the facts would have helped Josh avoid his suicidal crisis.
He discusses the sense of shame that his father had in not wanting to talk about his grandfather’s suicide and how his father took his life on the day his divorce from Josh’s mother was to be finalized. In turn, as with other survivors, this increased the odds of Josh considering and completing suicide.
After his father completed suicide Josh worked to grow his own career and move forward. IN 2009 – 2010 he created a one-man show, Kicking My Blue Jeans In the Butt, centered on his relationship with his father.
During this time Josh was going through a difficult time with his mother who was suing him with regards to his father’s estate.
He used work to avoid his problems. Slowly he slid into clinical depression. This led to him considering suicide. While in crisis he risked calling his mother. She intuitively had the courage to ask him if he was considering suicide, something that most people are afraid to do because they fear it will encourage the person to do it. She encouraged and helped him to find professional help.
Josh’s recovery process led him to the decision to speak out. He re-framed his one-man show and re-introduced it in 2011, adding educational portions as well as Q&A sessions.
Josh shares the impact the interaction with the audience has had on himself as well as attendees of the show. He now speaks between 35-40 times a year to survival groups, colleges and high schools, and juvenile detention centers.
He is now working with venture capital firms and entrepreneurs on learning how to reframe failure along with his work with LOSSTeams and postvention. He has explored the field of human capital management.
The difficulties associated with exploring grief and the time and effort required for Josh are delineated. This includes his having to “climb in” to his father’s character in his one-man show. It led to empathy and a greater understanding of what his father went through. This helped with his own recovery process.
The interview shifted to the inheritance issue that surfaced after his father completed suicide. Moral honesty vs emotional honesty when someone dies in a power dynamic and the dysfunction comes to the surface is discussed. The importance of seeking help and not isolating in such situations is emphasized.
The pending publication of “Winning the War on Depression and Living Mentally Well” is mentioned along with the currently available “Reengaging With Life, Creating a New You” are mentioned along with information for accessing them. The later book is quite interesting because it has 50 authors who tell their own story and the difficulties they overcame to be more of themselves. Topics include LGBT, depression, disabilities, and suicide.
This led to talking about the importance of helping others get their story out to the public. It is the beginning of any great movement such as preventing and recovering from suicide.
Josh describes the importance of each of us telling our story and the fact that we don’t have to be a professional writer or actor to do so. Josh also provides direction to at-risk individuals who might be listening to the podcast.
Coming out of the isolation by helping others is advised. It can give purpose to one’s life.
Carl Jung’s approach to recovery – using one’s own wound/pain and healing process as a source of inspiration to help others is presented. This can be quite helpful for others since there can be stigma and discrimination associated with suicide.
Josh emphasizes for the survivor that getting their story out is for the reader or the listener. This can help with your healing process.
The i’Mpossible Project: Reengaging with Life, Creating a New You — www.iampossibleproject.com/one
Storytelling guidelines for more i’Mpossible stories: www.iampossibleproject.com/guidelines
The Gospel According to Josh http://www.gospeljosh.com/
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