Making Peace with Suicide
|October 31, 2017||Filed under Uncategorized||
Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of the book to facilitate my unique, honest opinion.
As I achieved my undergraduate and graduate degrees, my programs continually emphasized the importance of self-care and working through your own “stuff” because there will be plenty of triggers in the helping profession. I have experienced what people often refer to as survivor guilt. In my early twenties, I thought I had successfully persuaded a friend not to commit suicide, but ultimately he decided that he was not going to prison and left behind his wife and two beautiful children. Recently, a therapist helped me through it by explaining that, ultimately, he was responsible for taking his own life. Adele encourages that it be accepted as a choice and what struck me about what she wrote is that we as survivors and society in general struggle with it because of the judgment attached to it (good vs bad).
Admittedly, this book was a difficult read for me (I had to process in small doses because I was getting triggered), but it was helpful nonetheless. Over the years, I have learned about populations at increased risk of suicide, but even with this knowledge, it can be confusing, especially given what the deceased appeared to be on the surface level (successful, having a seemingly perfect life, etc). Two of my good friends from childhood have lost their husbands and their children have lost fathers. I also know of acquaintances from high school and beyond whom have left this earth as well. I cannot fathom the mental anguish they were experiencing because the choice they made was to end their suffering. That’s why the author of this book refers to mental illness and/or substance abuse being a cause.
This book has an educational piece, includes stories from others impacted by suicide, provides suggestions to guide you through the grieving process, discusses the spiritual aspect and ends with resources for further exploration. I would certainly recommend it to anyone for personal or professional utility.
Making Peace with Suicide by Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D.
Publisher: White Flowers Press (Oct 28, 2014)
Category: Self-Help, Mental Illness, Grief, Psychology
Tour dates: Oct/Nov, 2017
Available in Print & ebook, 232 pages
Insightful, compelling, and compassionate, Making Peace with Suicide: A Book of Hope, Understanding, and Comfort takes a good hard look at the world-wide phenomena of suicide. This book is designed for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide and felt that sucker punch of grief; for anyone who is in pain, walking unsteadily, and considering suicide as an option; and for anyone who works with, guides, or counsels those feeling suicidal and/or suffering the profound grief from a suicidal loss.
Making Peace with Suicide includes stories of courage, vulnerability, and steadfastness from both the survivors of suicidal loss as well as the unique perspective of the formerly suicidal. It offers shared wisdom and coping strategies from those who have walked before you. It explores the factors leading to suicide and the reasons why some do and some don’t leave suicide notes.
Making Peace with Suicide sheds light on the phenomena of suicide vis-à-vis our teens, the military, new mothers, as an end-of-life choice, and asks if addiction is a form of slow suicide. It provides a seven-step healing process and opens the door to consider suicide and the soul, the heart lesson of suicide, and the energies of suicide.
If suicidality has impacted your life, Making Peace with Suicide is a must-read. You will be guided through the unknown territory, given insights to allow understanding, stories to help you heal, and ways to make peace with a heart wide-open. Making Peace with Suicide is good medicine for the body, mind, and soul.
Praise for Making Peace with Suicide by Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D.
“As a minister/therapist for more than thirty years as well as a wife who lost her military husband to suicide, I have never found a more compassionate, effective book on suicide and its aftermath. This book serves many needs and highlights the myriad ways in which suicide changes one’s life direction. I cannot say strongly enough how powerful and helpful this book is.”–Rev. Colleen E. Brown, Unity minister
“The loss of a loved one by any means is traumatic. When the loss is by suicide, in addition to the grief of the loss itself, survivors are often left riddled with guilt, anger, shame, and endless questioning, by both themselves and by others. In Making Peace with Suicide, Dr. McDowell gently and brilliantly weaves vital suicide survivor education with comforting and inspirational thoughts and quotes, all designed to direct the reader on a path of healing, resolution and peace. A must-read for anyone who has been touched by the tragedy of suicide and left to answer the question, ‘Why?’ ”—Carole Brody Fleet, award-winning and bestselling author of Widows Wear Stilettos…; Happily Even After…; and When Bad Things Happen to Good Women…
“Finally. A book that explains—in the simplest of terms, in a non-sensational, non-academic manner—the phenomenal, worldwide epidemic we call suicide. If you read one book on mental illness and how it affects our world, READ THIS ONE!”–Ginny Sparrow, Editor, American Association of Suicidology
“No topic could be more timely than suicide. This remarkable book addresses people who have contemplated ending their lives as well as those who have to deal with the aftermath of those who succeeded. But it will also be invaluable to mental health workers and military chaplains, especially those who deal with young people who have been bullied and veterans with PTSD. For such a complex topic, Dr. McDowell’s writing style is reader-friendly and the stories she presents may well evoke tears. Her wise recommendations include teaching self-mastery techniques to help people cope with the stress of a success-oriented society. I have read many books on this sensitive topic, but none with the breadth and scope of Making Peace with Suicide.”–Stanley Krippner, PhD; Co-author, Personal Mythology: The Psychology of Your Evolving Self and Haunted by Combat: Understanding PTSD in War Veterans
About Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D.
Described by one of her smaller clients as “The Feelings Doctor,” Award winning author, Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist with 35+ years’ experience who likes looking at life through the big view-finder.
Dr. McDowell has worked with suicide, domestic violence, and sexual assault crisis hotlines; survivors of Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, the Joplin Tornado, and the Newtown shooting; and clients struggling with addiction as well as those moving through profound life changes such as loss and health challenges. Her work focuses on helping clients find hope, balance, and peace in the face of crisis, trauma, abuse, and grief.
Dr. McDowell is the author of Balancing Act: Reflections, Meditations, and Coping Strategies for Today’s Fast-Paced Whirl. The suicide of a fellow psychologist led to the creation of her second book, Making Peace with Suicide: A Book of Hope, Understanding, and Comfort.
Adele — a Texan by birth and pioneering spirit — lives in Connecticut where you will often find her driving along the highways and byways, singing loudly in her car.
Adele is a frequent blogger on suicide and loss for the Huffington Post Canada. She has won two awards for ‘Making Peace with Suicide’:
-IPPY (Gold) in the Psychology category (Independent Publisher Book Awards)
-Living Now Award (Bronze), Books for Better Living from IBPA (Independent Book Publishing Association)
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