Poets and Suicide #TalkingtoStrangers #MalcolmGladwell #WorldSuicidePreventionDay #Poetry

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Hey Guys! I care about you all. I consider you my friends. Fellow poets, writers, and readers. I appreciate all of you.

I am in the middle of reading the very fascinating new book by Malcolm Gladwell, “Talking to Strangers,” and I came across some very disturbing statistics about poets. I want to share the quote in its entirety:

“Poets die young. That is not just a cliché. The life expectancy of poets, as a group, trails playwrights, novelists, and nonfiction writers by a considerable margin. They have higher rates of “emotional disorders” than actors, musicians, composers, and novelists. And of every occupational category, poets have far and away the highest suicide rate – as much as five times higher than the general population. Something about writing poetry appears either to attract the wounded or to open new wounds…” – Malcolm Gladwell, Talking to Strangers

This is a scary statement. I don’t want to stop reading your work or never hear from you again because you started down a dark path. Writing poetry is at times a slippery slope of letting our emotions take the reins in our lives. It is ceding control of our decisions to our feelings and that is dangerous.

We should use both our rationale and our emotions to make decisions. We shouldn’t make all decisions based only on facts, because that can be heartless and hurt others too.

I saw this quote and I know today is a big day to promote suicide prevention and I just had to share. If you are feeling hopeless, alone, if you have let dark emotions take over, please get some help now. Don’t keep up the fantasies and let your mind roll over ideations of harming yourself or how wonderful the world would be if you just weren’t here anymore.

That is a lie!

We need you here!

We need your stories. We need your perspective. We need your unique voice to contribute to our world. Without you in this world, we are missing something that only you can bring to the table.

Please don’t! If you want to talk, we can talk in the comments below.

If you need to talk to someone, make a call to the suicide prevention hotline:

1-800-273-8255

I just want all of you to know that I care about you. If writing leads you down a scary path, then take a break from it. There are times when I read poetry and I need to put it down. I can always come back to it later, or not. Your mental health is important. Make sure you are taking care of yourself.

I love you guys… Jason

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18 comments

  1. This is a good point to bring up. I have personally battled addiction and suicidal thoughts over the years.

    What attracted me to poetry was the ability to express my emotions in a way that transcended fiction.

    Now I have gotten to a much better place in my life and I am able to dredge up the emotionally charged nightmares of my past and funnel them into my poetry.

    Thank you for posting this. I know there are a lot of poets out there that are still in that dark place, and I like you would hate to see any of them fade into the black.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post. I think it goes to show, that even though many forms of art (not just poetry), can be like a launching pad of sorts in expressing emotions (especially the dark ones), it’s also important to take steps in improving one’s mental health. I guess that’s why despite the fact my poetry is dark, I do offer a glimmer of hope that it does get better (even if it’s really small). I did just that on a recent one on WordPress, (Untitled (Detection)).

    Liked by 2 people

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