“I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but the biggest one was assuming that the two of you would come to me when you had a problem and needed guidance. When you never did, I assumed everything was fine.”  Ashley Farley, Saving Ben   People do not always reach out when they are going though a bad time.  Some people pull away and isolate instead.  When it’s all said and done, we are saddened to realize someone did not ask for help when they needed it. In completing Suicide Prevention  Safety Plans with people who have a history or risk of suicidality very often one of the early warning signs they identify is isolation.  There are studies on the effects of social isolation on humans and it’s not good.  Pay attention to yourself and if you notice you are pulling back from others longer than necessary to recharge yourself (because some alone time can be good and necessary for self care), resist the urge to isolate and get yourself out and around other people some.  There are places you can go to be around others and not have to interact. It’s the feeling of being near others that is helpful sometimes and not necessarily talking with people.  The library or a quiet coffee shop are two options for avoiding isolation when you don’t want to talk.  Other options include going to a public place (park, mall, or shopping center) and simply people watch.  Watch out for your friends and family who have a tendency to isolate and let them know you are thinking about them from time to time.  Don’t push yourself on others because that can have the opposite effect and cause people to withdraw even deeper into isolation.  On the other hand, a missed call, voice mail, quick text, or tag on a social media post will accomplish the goal of letting someone know they are not completely alone in the world.

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