From Our Executive Director, Dennis Gillan:

My life changed for the better the day I started to talk about my sorrows.  I was at a fundraising event for suicide prevention when I first told the world that I lost my older brother Mark to suicide in 1983, and then lost my younger brother Matthew in 1994 to suicide as well.  Something amazing happened that day. I couldn’t quite explain it until I heard someone on the radio recite this old Swedish proverb that goes like this: “A shared joy is a double joy; a shared sorrow is half a sorrow.”  I almost drove off the road, because that is what was happening to me.  My sorrow, which I kept inside for years, was being cut in half by just talking about it.  Now no matter how many times you cut it, I will always have my sorrow, and that is OK.  I won’t get over it.  I will get through it, and now I am offering you the opportunity to take the first step to cutting your sorrow in half by posting it below.

Here is how this works.  Scroll down and it will look like you can post a comment. It will say SHARE YOUR SORROW.  Use this space to post your sorrow and you can remain anonymous if you choose to.  Just put anonymous for your name and make up an email address and we will still approve and post the comment.  We get it—-some sorrows are still raw.  Now if they are so raw that it triggers you into a tough mental state (we get that, too!) please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is staffed by certified crisis response professionals and they can talk you through this.

Self-care is not selfish—-you are worth it, and this exercise is designed to help heal, not hurt.

Back to the post below, if you want to get your sorrow off your chest and start the road to recovery, post it. A shared joy is a double joy, a shared sorrow is half a sorrow—now you see where we get our name for our foundation.  Please share below, and if you are comfortable leave your name, if not, sign it anonymous.  The choice is yours and we are here to help you halve your sorrow. 

9 Comments

  • Paul G says:

    I am a suicide survivor, if there is such a thing. My sorrow was shared by too many. I was hoping you could help me in my journey to help others and to help them to double their joy.

      • Amanda says:

        Hello, I want to share my lived experience as well. After having my first daughter in 2010, I was prescribed opiates for the pain after my c-section. At this point I had no history of addiction, I hadn’t even taken pain medication before. When the prescription was gone and I was not in pain i quit taking them and quickly felt bad. I had no motivation, no energy, my restless legs were setting in, I was just miserable. I went to walk out of our house to go shopping and slipped on our porch, of course after that I had to get part of my c-section incision sewed back together. Of course y’all guessed it, they prescribed more pain medication. I quickly realized after taking a couple I didn’t feel so miserable anymore. That was the beginning to my addiction. Over the years to come I started snorting the pill and stealing from some of the major stores, which led to five shoplifting charges as well as a Petty Larceny. I also was threatened with five enhancement charges which in my county I was told would be an automatic 90 days in jail for each charge. After years of this very unhealthy behavior and embarrassment to myself and family, I finally got sober. I started a MAT program, my sober date is February 1st 2018. Unfortunately 3 months into my sobriety my husband Kenny was killed. There I was a 28 year old recovering addict with only 3 month of sobriety under me. I became a widowed single mother to our two daughters in that second. My entire world fell apart and I wanted to use, of course I wanted to numb. There is so much more to my story than these small pieces but I want to share the fact that I was able to stay sober through the worst possible situation in my entire life. I leaned on family, my kids, my husband being so proud off me was a huge driving factor to stay sober as well, and most of I knew I would most likely die if i went back to the streets.I want to quickly touch on my life now. My life now is amazing and like something I could have only dreamt of while in active addiction. We do recover. I did and so can each and every single one of you. Where there is Breath there is HOPE. Please don’t ever give up. Just keep trying. You are loved, you are needed, you are wanted, you are special, you are part of this family, please reach out if you need help. We are stronger together. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

  • Dean N says:

    On my 31st birthday I had surgery for colon cancer. The surgeon cut out all of the cancer and gave me a colostomy. Problem solved, right ? Except that the first time I saw the colostomy in a mirror I thought I was the ugliest, most obnoxious, most disgusting thing I had ever seen. All I could see was this really big colostomy with a freak attached to it, it was a less than human freak.
    New thoughts about suicide came to me every day, for many years. I went to counseling, took the prescribed medicines as prescribed, went to inpatient and outpatient hospital programs, I even tried ECT. The suicidal thoughts just kept coming.
    I would drive out on the highway, park on the shoulder and wait for the right big truck to walk in front of. But I just couldn’t take those last few steps. It was too scary, too messy. I hated myself all the more for being so weak.
    I bought a gun. My older brother took it away from me. I bought another gun. My brother took it away from me. I gave up on guns for now.
    A man I knew died by letting his car run in his garage until the carbon monoxide took him. That seemed to be more my speed. I keep my car full of gas. I keep a bag in my car with night time cough syrup, a CD of my favorite songs, and a Bible to read during the wait. I experimented a few times, just long enough to get dizzy.
    Now I have added a suicide prevention support group, extra involvement at church, A.A. meetings, and volunteer service to my mix. I found out that you don’t need to have a drug problem to attend AA meetings. People in AA learn to survive, to thrive, and to accept what they can’t change. They are willing to help anyone who can/will be helped. And I happen to have the greatest mental health counselor in the world.
    I have recently learned to accept my colostomy, I am no longer a freak. I have a colostomy but it is not who I am, it is just one small part of me. I am 63 years old, it took me 32 years to accept this.
    Three short things left: 1. Now when I consider suicide I intentionally make it wait until tomorrow, and tomorrow never comes. 2. Jesus came to seek out and to save the lost. Without Jesus I am the lost. Jesus found me. 3. Talking about suicide sucks, but it really does heal to share those thoughts and worries.
    Come what may? YES! Thanks be to God.

  • I am so grateful to have seen your talk at Champlain College on April 13th. So much of your story resonates with me. We lost our 17 year old son in 2018 to suicide.

    We have a local non-profit with similar mission as yours: to increase awareness, conversation and prevention of [teen] suicide. But mostly we are just bumbling along trying to get through the days.

    We would love to connect with you see if there are any ways to collaborate. For one, we’d like to use your purple folder idea (perhaps orange for us?) – giving you full credit of course!!

    Again, thanks for sharing your story. You are making a difference!

Share Your Sorrow

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