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I have been thinking about the desperate a great deal lately. I just got back from a suicide prevention training program where we focused on the desperate for four straight days. In this training, we revisited the biblical story of the woman who was unclean for twelve years. I do not want to properly clarify what was going on with her in this post, let’s just say that instead of five days a month, it was twelve straight years. Figure it out.  Anyway, she was so desperate that she snuck up behind Jesus, raised her hand, and touched him to get clean. Spoiler alert, we do not have Jesus walking around to touch because we couldn’t deal with a perfect human, so we killed him. God sends us his kid and we off him. Classic homo sapiens! But you still could do one thing the unclean woman did, raise your hand.

I lost two brothers to suicide, eleven years apart, and if either of them would have raised their hand and said I am desperate, I am not writing this blog. Especially the older brother. He raises his hand and our whole family trajectory changes.

So, this is an open plea to anyone who is desperate. Someone in the dark valley of addiction, someone haunted by a trauma, someone in a toxic relationship, or someone with just bad brain chemistry. There are a million ways to end up in the valley of bones, and a million ways out, if you can see them. But when you are desperate, it is hard to see anything.  You can do this. You can muster the strength to raise your hand and say I need help. In fact, we need you to raise your hand. We need you to tell us you are desperate. We are not that bright—you have to tell us!

Finally, my desperate friends, after my week of training to help me to identify the afflicted, I came home to this in my inbox, courtesy of the Daily Om:

Even though we must ultimately rely on ourselves, this doesn’t mean we can’t ask for help. Our friends and families can help us, as can our inner guides and helping spirits. They can serve the purpose of a fire that burns throughout the night, keeping us warm, and providing a light by which we might see the changes we may need to make in order to move forward.

Desperate implies intense despair that may prompt reckless action or violence in the face of defeat. You are not defeated, just desperate, for now. This state does not last forever, and we cannot help if we do not know. So please, let us know your condition by raising your hand. We are rooting for you and our life is better with you in it. Raise your f’ing hand, please. You are worth it.

The training I referenced:  Home Soul Shop is faith based trainings empowering communities to save lives and bring hope (

The Daily Om: