Yesterday at a Mental Health conference, I heard a priest say, "My vulnerability makes me a safe place.”

He said people open-up to him because of the trauma in his own life. His vulnerability makes him a safe place to confess because he understands. He’s struggled with life's hardships, too.

I recently discovered my book on suicide is often placed in the Self-help section of a bookstore. For about a week, Amazon listed NOT YET in the top 1000 seller’s of “Self-help and Psychological Humor.”  I didn’t even know that was a category!

Guess what other books are in that category? Fight Club* and How to Live with a Huge Penis. Seriously! 

(*Footnote: "If Marla is an alter, the message is that men can find peace in the modern world by accepting and embracing their feminine side. That is a pro feminist message.") 

I find it ironically hilarious that my book on self-murder is in the Self-help section. Of course, I’m not giving advice on how to make an Attempt or advocating suicide. I’ve been persistent in my efforts to emphasize the prevention portion of #suicideprevention.  But it’s out of my hands now because the marketing/promotional phase is underway. And books take on a force of their own.   

I am trying to help people to not hurt themselves.  The ultimate self-help guide, I guess. And I do this by writing about my own vulnerability.

So, when the priest said, “My vulnerability makes me a safe place”, I totally get it. That’s exactly how I offered help & hope on the Hotline while taking suicidal calls.

My traumatic past leads to nurturing the future.  I don’t offer information in my book . . . instead I present how people might change.


And hopefully, at the end, readers are left with a plan of action. They put down the book and are empowered to fight. To fight for life instead of against it.