Suicide Prevention: An Allegory of Oceans and Emotion

(C) Alice Vo Edwards

As a child, when I first began swimming in the ocean, family members and signs at the beach warned about the dangers of undertow, and invisible currents that unexpectedly pull me under if a wave swept me out from shore. I was not only told about the potential danger, but talked to by family members about what I should do, if I found myself in that situation, to keep myself alive. 

Emotions, like the ocean, are often pleasant and wonderful, but can be unexpectedly turbulent and even downright dangerous. Yet few receive any significant training on how to identify these different types of emotional patterns, and how to respond to them safely. Is it any wonder that so many of us struggle with mental health? We are essentially untrained swimmers trying not to drown, caught in treacherous currents.

In this poem, I sought to not only share the strength of feeling someone struggling with depression experience, but to use the allegorical nature of the poem to reflect on the importance of preventative training for emotional safety in reflecting on its essential nature swimmer safety. 

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