MY BRENTWOOD APARTMENT TOUR: THE LIVING ROOM


I just said goodbye to the apartment I have been living in for 7 years. My entire time so far in Los Angeles has been here, in the only place I have ever called home in the city of angels. And now, I am moving in with my fiance in not so far away Santa Monica and I must say, it's been quite the send off. Obviously there are many good things about this move. The most important is starting a new chapter with Arthur and his adorable little frenchie, Pierre. Second, Santa Monica is not far from Brentwood and super close to the beach so this move isn't too much of a shock, seeing as living in Brentwood is practically living in Santa Monica anyway. And third, it's the next part of my life here in Los Angeles, my adult home really since I left Chicago right after finishing college about two hours away. As excited as I am to start this new chapter, I must give this place I called home some credit. It was where my California dreams got to come true. As cheesy as that might sound, it was home base for everything after I got off the plane at LAX and attempted to create a future in this new city. It was the first step in becoming truly independent and #adulting. The safe haven after tough days at graduate school, extra long work weeks, unfortunate car accidents, time spent with awfully "Hollywood" people and hours on the 405 freeway. It was where my best friend from high school and I debriefed from celebrity sightings, boozy brunches and bad dates. Where we hosted all our friends from Chicago, family and new LA friends. The place we'd order pizza at 3am, pregame off my bar cart, spend hours deciding what to wear out and debate whether or not a gluten free diet was actually better than eating real carbs. The jury is still out on that one, please write in an answer if you have one. The place where I'd bring home cheese and rosé for friends to come chat and where I created this wonderful outlet you are reading from right now. The place I'd retreat to after bad breakups and to call my mom and sister. Where I'd eat ice cream in bed and overwhelm my Pinterest account. The place I'd eventually welcome a new roommate, Leila, to after Emma moved to the Southbay and I desperately needed some hope after tough breakup. It served as home base for so many beginnings and endings, and so I wanted to make sure I got an opportunity to truly honor it. Hope this tour does it justice. Enjoy!

This small space in my apartment is where I would entertain a few friends in, as well as sit with my roommate Leila, eat dinner, gossip and watch The Real Housewives of basically anywhere. I always loved coming home and relaxing on the couch, doing some work, drinking coffee and decompressing from my day. Of course my favorite thing to do was entertain, whether it was for cocktails before going out at night, Galentine's Day or just another night better spent at home with friends rather than some lame bar. My version of entertaining always tends to fall short on a main course, since I am a terrible cook. So instead I always do pretty cocktails, a yummy cheese plate and a dessert imported from one of my favorite bakeries; similar to my 27th birthday party. For my last hoorah in this apartment, I again stayed within my range and average entertaining skill. Rosè, some fabulous triple cream brie with honeycomb and pretty macarons. Ever since my friend Melissa gave me this adorable gold pineapple dish (old from Anthropologie - another version here) I have been trying to keep it full with some variation of a Sugarfina candy. Full disclosure, we quickly had to stop refilling it because I couldn't stop eating them all day and so now it's just for company. Same with cheese. But when I shopped for this shoot I found these ADORABLE blue caramel eggs and was OBSESSED! It's a great treat for anyone as obsessed with blue as me and they happen to be delicious too. 

For the decor my color scheme was lots of gold accents and blue and white. Starting with Raj, our colorful elephant I actually sketched out myself from a Lilly Pulitzer image I found on Pinterest and painted with Leila, was a complete DIY project that actually turned out well. It was quite simple after an inexpensive trip to Micheals and a steady pencil sketch. We used three blank white canvases, variations of blue paint and a pencil. We put in a little pineapple decal and both our initials to make him extra special. Unfortunately none of my friends could take him since he was customized but perhaps someone with the ML initials will get lucky at the Salvation Army! Hope you enjoyed my living room tour; up next is my bar cart and bedroom. 








 GET THE LOOK


-MGN

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CHIC EATS: FROSÈ HOLIDAY


We all need to beat the heat it's summertime and now the 4th of July! So I figured it's only right to debut my first "chic eats' series post with a new warm weather classic, the basics' beloved frosè. It's extremely easy to make, thanks to this amazing recipe I found from Abby Capalbo for Style Me Pretty. The only thing I changed from the original recipe is use of a grapefruit garnish, in addition to the a sprig of lavender. Another option would be to use a strawberry, which would make it a tad sweeter and keep it pretty too. I also doubled the original amount of Belvoir Elderflower to make it a tad sweeter but I recommend playing around a bit to find what level of sweetness you like most. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:
BOTTLE OF ROSÈ
ICE CUBES
SLICE OF GRAPEFRUIT

RECIPE:
1. POUR ROSÈ INTO ICE CUBE TRAYS AND FREEZE OVERNIGHT.
2. BLEND THE FROZEN ROSÈ, BELVOIR ELDERFLOWER ROSE LEMONADE AND ICE CUBES UNTIL IT FORMS INTO A SLUSHY CONSISTENCY. 
3. GARNISH WITH A GRAPEFRUIT SLICE. 
4. SERVE IN A CHAMPAGNE COUPE OR WIDE MOUTH WINE GLASS.







-MGN

*please drink responsibly

BYE BYE BRENTWOOD

Brentwood, my love! I am going to miss you oh so much! Okay, so don't stress, I am only moving next door to Santa Monica, but still, I am going to miss so many things about living in this quiet little enclave, tucked discreetly into the expansive city of Los Angeles. First and foremost, this has been my home for seven years, the first place I lived after moving to Los Angeles. I came right after graduating college with my best friend from high school, Emma, who wanted to work in television (which spoiler alert- she did and continues to do) and since I knew I'd be choosing a graduate school to attend, I figured I'd apply in Southern California too. Once I was accepted into a program here, it was pretty much decided that Los Angeles would become our new home! Our first encounter with Brentwood was back when we visited about a year prior to moving. Emma's family friend moved here from the East coast when she was about our age too and hasn't left Brentwood since. She took us to Katsuya, which at the time was one of the most trendy restaurants in Los Angeles and I was excited because an episode of The Hills was filmed there. Aside from that, it's actually a great restaurant and remains my favorite place for crispy rice! Since our first taste of LA sushi, so many more things have happened and coming home to this wonderful place has always made me feel safe and happy. It's no shock that pretty much all my close friends live within a mile radius as well and that is perhaps the hardest part about saying goodbye. As sad as I am to say goodbye, I'm still extremely close by and have since been back almost 3-4 times per week so perhaps I am making too big a deal of this but I figured it deserved a nice little send off! So today I am sharing the things I have loved most about my seven years here. Enjoy!

1. Brentwood is small -nothing is really "happening" in Brentwood. No noisy bars or restaurants, no historical sites or venues (the Getty center is technically in Brentwood but it's tucked into the hills on side of the 405 with it's own freeway exit). Brentwood has always felt really safe and easy for those reasons. I have never seen tourists, although the site seeing buses do pass through every now and again since a lot of celebrities live here, but there aren't massive crowds of people on the streets taking selfies or looking for a bakery with a reality show on E! Although, I do highly recommend the original Susie Cakes if you're in the area, they have a million other locations now too and the marble cake is to die for. But in general, Brentwood is a very family friendly place where a lot of young adults choose to live because of it's proximity to all the other areas with more going on like Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Venice. Brentwood maintains a more relaxed, peaceful atmosphere for day to day living and I just can't think of a better place to call home. 



2. The Country Mart -which you should know by now is one of my favorite places in Los Angeles! It's the best spot for many reasons, the biggest one perhaps is that I love how small and quaint it is. So many adorable shops like sugar paper, diesel bookstore and sweet rose creamery. I love sitting outside after grabbing an almond latte at Caffe Luxxe and the peanut butter cookies from the Farmshop bakery counter with a friend. It's also a great spot to grab a causal lunch or pickup a last minute gift. Farmshop's market has lots of good bottles of wine, delicious cheeses and specialty items any foodie would appreciate. For lunch I love the tacos counter or Reddi Chick, the only place I'm willing to eat fried chicken at. There's also a shoe repair, barber shop and post office for your regular errands and the place is very family friendly! Brentwood also has way more good places to venture to, but this is hands down my favorite. More Brentwood places on my LA Guide here


3. My Running Path -which for the most part was an on and off again way to exercise for me. I usually would get into patterns of loving or hating running but about two summers ago it really crystalized for me. And what a beautiful path it is, starting from Brentwood, going west on San Vicente either all the way to the beach at back or my more usual turn at the Brentwood Country Mart down to Montana Avenue, around the country club and then back up to Brentwood. I also used to go to 14th street and back depending on the time of day or my genuine stamina for the day. It's a pretty easy path, scenic and with plenty of other runners around to motivate. It was for so many afternoons my saving grace after a long day, the perfect way to clear my mind and rejuvenate; more in this post


4. My Girlfriends -who mostly all started with Lauren Conrad's (and every other twenty something's) idea that the world revolves around West Hollywood, have all since migrated west to this small neighborhood. It's been so convenient to walk to each others apartments for a glass of wine, grab dinner at Pizzana or start an efficient Uber train to some cooler restaurant or bar in West Hollywood. Between having SoulCycle, Whole Foods and Caffè Luxxe within walking distance it was basically a utopian society for basic young women and there were many weekends I didn't even get into my car. Avocado toast and Pressed Juice Freeze (which if you haven't tried I highly recommend) were all within reach and every Sunday a walkable farmers market was setup nearby. Fortunately, Santa Monica isn't too far but I will miss the ease of walking over in yoga pants to watch The Bachelor! 


5. Bagel Breakfasts -on Sunday at New York Bagel. I have been going to this place ever since I first moved in seven years ago, almost religiously, every Sunday morning. Emma's family friend has been going for the last twenty years and obviously introduced us to this gem of a breakfast/deli spot that I am now forever obsessed with. Sometimes I will even pick up take out if a friend can't join me or I am working from home that day. It's probably not the best bagel spot in Los Angeles, but it's sort of become a little home to me. It was the place where I would often come the morning after, shall we say, "a big night out" and spill all the fun details of my life to friends. It was the closest we got to the deli Carrie would regularly meet up with all her girlfriends at on Sex and The City. I love that I always order the same thing every time (although I recently started getting egg whites) and haven't opened the menu since the first day there. It's a great, easy, cheap and convenient spot for anyone who find themselves in Brentwood in the morning. 



And perhaps I am being dramatic here, but I still have a beautiful path to connect me from my first LA home to my next. The one that took me too the beach, on beautiful afternoon runs, and then eventually to and from Arthur's place and now, into my next chapter. 

-MGN
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SUMMER STUFF I LOVE

{ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 }

My favorite season and therefore also the inspiration for the majority of everything I love. Anything that gives an idea of summer is what I try to surround myself with all year round. I love the blue tones and bright splashes of color people wear on the beach and I try to decorate and dress that way as much as possible. Some stand outs this year is definitely everything Rebecca de Ravenel creates. I was desperately sad to learn her sea shell monogrammed straw basket was not only backordered until September, but also now sold out! I hope they come back soon but in the meantime this sea shell basket stands out on it's own, excuding the perfect amount of balmy beach vacation vibes we need even if we aren't on the water all summer long. I also just got these beautiful barstools in my apartment and have never been more obsessed! It's my favorite place to sit while Arthur cooks and reminds me of the South of France, despite the fact I'm in Santa Monica. Hope you enjoy my picks for the season and it's started off well for you. Enjoy! 

-MGN

I'M ENGAGED!


I'm getting married! If you follow me on Instagram then I am sure you have already heard the news, but since I just got back our engagement photos I thought this would be a nice time to share a little bit more about how everything happened and some very preliminary wedding ideas. Or if you just want to check out the lovely photos Kellie did, here are some of my absolute favorites! She did such a wonderful job and I was so excited to see them. Fortunately we got lucky with the timing, light, weather and our rambunctious little French bulldog Pierre! All of the photos shown here were taken right where Arthur proposed, at the lovely Palisades Park in Santa Monica. But before I say anymore, I want to share a few thoughts about marriage, about women, about relationships in general. And if you're not interested, that's cool too. Scroll down for the details about the proposal and the very few things we've figured out so far about the wedding. Enjoy!

Some Thoughts About Marriage
Like I said in my post on Instagram, getting married is a wonderful and special thing, but is not everything and opting out is more than okay. I truly believe that people can find fulfillment, happiness and true love in many ways and not all of them include marriage. I also think people can have successful, committed relationships and raise healthy children outside the institution of marriage. As a young women I have always felt bombarded by the nonstop messages about the importance of getting married, finding the "one" and "getting to  I Do." So many of the movies I watched centered around teaching young girls a very clear message: a guy's interest in you is most important and the responsibility to make this happen is on you. As I have grown older I have seen how real and dangerous the impact of this message is. From young girls to grown women, I have met so many who have a really disempowering view of themselves. From blaming themselves for not having a boyfriend, to comparing themselves constantly to other women, or attempting to make themselves desirable to men as a way to procure self worth, I have seen it all too many times. This is so unhelpful and unfair for women. Why should our love for ourselves stem from our relationship status? Not to say this doesn't happen to men too but I think it comes from the idea that girls have to always be nice and please people, the idea that we are not complex enough to have a range of emotions including being upset, passionate, frustrated in addition to being empathetic, kind and helpful. The idea that a woman's role centers around her ability to birth and raise children. And what about men? They have traditionally had more power than women. More career opportunities, more financial stability, more freedom in choices. Therefore women have been socialized to think on some level that marriage isn't just an option, it's more of a necessity so they can move through life successfully because without a partner, they would fail. 

That is why for me the education and role modeling of healthy relationships has been so pertinent in my personal life and work. As a therapist who works with a lot of sexual trauma and intimate partner violence, I have often asked this question so many times. Is it possible to have a relationship between two people that is truly equal? Free from it's history that has paved the way for today's modern day relationships. I know in my heart and from many experiences that this type of relationship is quite possible but I do feel it's not by any means, and for lack of a better term, the "norm." We can't ignore the fact that these inequities have permeated the majority of relationships because history provides a backbone to the present whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. We can't ignore the fact that things like martial rape didn't become law until 1993 in all 50 states and that the #MeToo and #TimesUP movement just started around the same time our President made remarks justifying sexual assault towards women. Real cultural shifts take time and in the meantime I have chosen to be conscious about my relationship and question some of the status quo ideas about traditional gender roles, heterosexual relationship practices and even the marriage process itself. 

It was very important to me to have conversations about getting married before it happened, to ensure that just because my partner was tasked with asking, that I would also be completely on board and ready for the lifelong commitment. Before even talking about getting engaged, we also had many very real conversations about all the important things: our plans for the future, money, role expectations, children, religion and lifestyle preferences. I can't say we agreed 100% on everything, but we have already made a lot of real thoughtful decisions about our future which involved lots of communication and compromise. I really think that the respect Arthur and I have have for each other has been the fuel for our success so far. That's not to say that our relationship is by any means perfect, but we have created a nice foundation so far to build from. 

All in all I will always choose to see this as an opportunity to cherish some long held, long loved traditions, while also redefining what it means to be a married couple, a man, a woman, in this world. It's a chance to consciously  choose what feels right for us and question the status quo, the typical relationship myths, the Sex and the City storylines (as much as I love you Carrie, sorry). It's a big life decision and happy one too, I am glad I live in an era and country where I have the freedom to make these choices for myself. And I hope you do too.  

How Arthur Proposed
I really had no idea how this would all go down but knowing how great Arthur and I both are at organizing people and parties, I had no doubts it would perfect. The day was pretty normal for me, I was working from home as I do from time to time, reviewing paperwork in old workout clothes and trying to be as productive as possible. Arthur and I hadn't spoken much except for making a pretty typical plan to take Pierre out for a walk in Santa Monica once I was done working. Since we were headed to Cabo a few days later for his friend's wedding I figured I'd better get a mani/pedi before having to pack and run a number of other errands. So I went to the salon nearby (THANK GOD) and threw on my "it's obviously laundry day" workout clothes. I have many cute athletic wear pieces and this ensemble I was wearing unfortunately was not one of them. But at least my nails were done, which if you know me personally, is not the norm. Arthur then picked me up with little Pierre in tow and parked on Ocean Avenue right where it crosses San Vicente and we walked along Palisades Park, overlooking the beautiful ocean. We found a spot to look out onto the water and some guy was there just babbling on about dolphins, trying to point out where they were. He finally gave up after a few solid minutes and all the sudden Arthur got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I said yes, put on the most beautiful sapphire ring and before I knew it I heard a wonderful sound, a champagne bottle pop (it was my favorite brut rosé to be exact which I happen to like more than champs but we'll save that for another time) and so I turned around and there was my sister holding it and our parents, all there to celebrate! They had a pretty picnic table setup with all my favorite snacks like double cream truffle brie, French bread, Russian caviar, smoked fish and lots of brut rosè to go around! After our picnic by the water we headed back to Arthur's apartment where a whole feast was prepared and the bubbly rosè continued to flow all night. The next day we went to my favorite places with the family, lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel, sunset drinks at Moonshadows and dinner at Forma. It was perfect and I couldn't have planned it better myself, which knowing me says a lot! The next day we got on a plane and headed to Cabo, it was the perfect little escape to complete the festivities and relax after all the excitement! 

Preliminary Wedding Planning
Emphasis on the preliminary. And with all that said, we have gotten the first, and perhaps biggest, task on our wedding to-do list crossed off. We have picked a venue and a date! Next summer we will say "I do" in Los Angeles and I couldn't be more excited. I have always wanted a small wedding and so we will most likely be keeping the guest count to under 200 people and the venue is outdoors. Fingers crossed the weather is good that day! I've always loved the summer, especially those really warm nights, surrounded by green grass and a beautiful pink sky. Hopefully the wedding will reflect that! 

Not many more details have been pinned down yet but fortunately we have a good amount of time to get it all sorted out. What I do know for sure is that I am not having bridesmaids. My sister is of course going to serve as my maid of honor but I the idea of picking out a set of girls who are close to me is just way too anxiety producing for me and not as important. I definitely think having a group of friends with you the whole day is a sweet idea but given my personality it would just be too overwhelming for me. I'm also contemplating not having a bachelorette party but more on that perhaps in a later post. I also know that since Arthur and I are both Jewish we will have a beautiful chuppah covered in flowers, which is a canopy most Jewish people get married under. I also think the brut rosé will be the drink of the night but past that I really don't have succinct ideas! I just started a wedding Pinterest board (I know all my friends were surprised I didn't have one already) so hopefully I will be able to continue to share more details and ideas along the way!








"Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person … Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distance exists, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of seeing each other as a whole before an immense sky.” 

-Rainer Maria Rilke



Photography by Kellie Viagem

-MGN
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LE WEEKEND


EAT: A little beach Mexican spot I used to frequent a lot just reopened under new ownership as Tallulah’s in Santa Monica and it’s darling. The owners also did other favorites of mine like CassiaEster'sSweet Rose, and Milo + Olive, all of which I love and highly recommend. I went with some friends on a Sunday so I didn’t get to try the margs but the fish tacos and guacamole were delicious. It’s been redecorated to include all the necessities for hip LA crowd, floral pillows, a neon sign and a fully Instagrammable lounge area perfect for girls night out pics. It’s cute but super causal which is what I liked about the last spot that occupied it. SEE: If you haven't seen Ocean's Eight yet, I highly recommend! Perhaps I had low expectations because I haven't seen any of the others in the franchise and often all star cast movies of late tend to be disappointing, but I happened to love it! It had just the right amount of action, interest and fashion. I also have on my list RBG, a documentary about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, season one of Picnic at Hanging Rock, a mystery series about Australian school girls gone missing. SWEAT: I've re-enrolled at Equinox and have started going to their inner athlete class which I must say is great workout. It's similar to Orange Theory and Circuit Works with high intensity interval training and stations you rotate throughout the class. I'd highly recommend for any Equinox members, the only downside is the one morning class is on Sunday mornings, so that's not super ideal for me but I've been trying to be less lazy before I shove my face with bagels! DO: I've got a good amount of plans this weekend but I am staying in on Friday night, as I tend to try and do every Friday. Is it just me or is anyone else somewhat exhausted come Friday afternoon. I love the idea of not having any plans and going straight home to relax. Every once in a while I might throw in a workout or short happy hour but I try to avoid having real plans so I can ease myself into the weekend and feel fresh on Saturday. Either way, I hope you all get some rest at some point this weekend and enjoy! 

-MGN

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GREETABL BIRTHDAY GIFTS


Birthday celebrations are always so fun but I must be honest when I say that finding a good gift is tough for a number of reasons. A lot of my friends live far away and I am not always eager to spend time at the store or drop a ton of money on a gift I'm not so sure they will like and then ship it all the way to Chicago. Even for local friends I'm often the one signing the card in the car, late to dinner after circling for parking for 20 minutes to avoid the valet. And while I love a nice card, $6 can often feel like highway robbery. So one of my favorite go-to gift ideas for birthdays is sending a custom made Greetabl, which you can design and ship directly from their site. My friend Adele's birthday just recently came around so I decided to send her one too. It was a very simple process to create and send online and is perfect for anything from a birthday to a nice little random act of kindness. This would have been perfect while I was in college Mom, just saying in case you read this, no hard feelings though I love you and I'm sure you look thin right now. You just pick a box design, pick a gift or two, upload cute pictures from your device or Instagram and write a personalized message. For Adele I had to chose the cute cake, cake, cake print, filled it with the rose face mask, and added the celebration confetti for a little extra birthday fun. I always love getting people something kitsch or that they are unlikely to buy themselves but still want. After I hit send a little box of happiness was delivered straight to her door and it was the perfect thing to make her day! I hope I get sent one too at some point, in case your reading friends, I'm always down for the champagne gummies, hint hint. Anyway, It's the simplest gift idea I've come across so far and how cute is this packaging?!!! Here's the one I created as a reference below, hope you find the process fun too! Enjoy! (p.s. scroll all the way down for an amazing offer and to see my awful attempt at a confetti throw pic; can't say I didn't try ahhh). 








-MGN

Become a Greetabl Insider for a $20 credit to create a free Greetabl and enjoy free shipping for an entire year here, in edition to a lot of other good stuff! Or get 15% off using my code: GISELECHIC and enjoy!

*This post was sponsored by Greetabl. 

SUICIDE, A FEW THOUGHTS


The news of two incredibly talented people’s recent passing due to suicide really struck a cord with me. Not because I knew them or because I’m in awe that people unfortunately die from suicide, but rather because as a therapist it’s something I come across so often. I suppose the shock came because I’ve isolated my work and clients so much from the rest of the world, as if they are not really part of it. Sounds crazy, right? I don’t mean this in a negative way but I think I often have attempted to separate some of the hard realities of the world from my escape into entertainment, fashion and design. I’ve always looked at designers like Kate Spade and cultural investigators like Anthony Bourdain as almost above human, like they almost exist to me in some fantasy world free from pain. I know that isn’t true, but I suppose it's hard sometimes to believe it, even for me as a therapist. I am unfortunately very familiar with this topic. It’s perhaps the one of the most challenging parts of my job, if not the most anxiety producing. Suicide is an inevitable theme as a therapist as it’s much more common than most people would assume. A lot of that is because suicide has for a long time been very shamed and misunderstood in our society. As a beginning therapist I really didn’t think it was possible for so many people to have had these thoughts of dying at least once in their lives. I quickly realized that suicide is often the last resort, a negative coping mechanism people turn to. It's an attempt to escape the feeling of being overwhelmed and out of options. And if you learn one thing from reading this post, it's that people want to end their pain first and foremost, not necessarily their life. 


A few common misconceptions about suicide worth mentioning:

No. 1: Suicide is the most selfish thing you can do...

I hear this so often and on some level I understand why people feel this way. I know it’s coming from a place of being hurt and possibly feeling betrayed. But I would like to offer another idea. What if someone’s pain becomes bigger than what they can control. What if the pain becomes unbearable? I by no means support people committing suicide but I have enough empathy to understand that it’s the pain people are trying to get rid of and the impact that pain has on their ability to maintain their relationships, responsibilities and their perception of their stressors.

No. 2: They just want attention...

Yes, perhaps they do. And perhaps they really need it. Suicide tends to be what most people consider a last resort option and that means that the other things they have tried to do to remedy the pain just aren’t working. Perhaps instead of shaming the need for attention we view it as a brave attempt at asking for help. Let’s praise the people who “act out” for acknowledging that some struggles are better won with the support of a friend, family member, classmate, neighbor, or therapist.

No. 3: But won’t talking about it just make it worse?

This is actually not true. Talking about the problems and pain a person feels is actually one of the most effective tools in suicide prevention. Often developing a solid rapport with someone who they feel will listen and have empathy is the most powerful thing. I’ve had so many clients tell me they feel there is nobody who can understand, nobody who cares about them and creating a safe place to explore their thoughts is often very clarifying for someone struggling with these thoughts. In every suicide case I see, I always create a safety plan that includes another safe person the client feels comfortable with, who can know about the plan and be able to ask some basic questions and offer support when I’m not there. Being able to ask about it can help save lives and will not make a person more likely to do it, which is a common misconception. 


No. 4: Having suicidal thoughts means people will kill themselves...

Having these thoughts are much more common and widespread than we tend to want to realize. But having the thoughts is not necessarily an indicator that someone is likely to attempt ending their life. It’s honestly a great opportunity to explore help. Being able to process the thoughts without shame will often help reduce the chance a person acts on them. I have known many clients who have thoughts but have never created an actual plan or had intent to carry it out. Most of the time people already have other thoughts that will likely prevent them taking the next step and creating a plan and they can be very helpful for people to utilize in a safety plan. Acknowledging the thoughts is a big step and an indicator someone could really benefit from mental health services. 

No. 5: People who cut/self-harm are trying to commit suicide...

Yes, some people do cut themselves or self-harm (via burning, scrapping, scratching, hitting themselves) with an intent to die, however, that is not typically the case. Most people, kids/teens typically, self-harm to release pain without the intent of dying. Often it's a way to turn emotional feelings into physical ones, so it's tangible and thus more manigable for them. Sometimes it's more normalized to manage a physical wound than withstand extremely sad feelings. I tend to identify it as an unsafe self-soothing mechanism. Similar to other painful experiences like massages, cracking knuckles and intense exercise, but are safe. I often tell parents that pain can feel good sometimes. Obviously, cutting yourself is not the same as stretching your legs but rather a more extreme version in the same vain.  


What to do

The point of this post is to help educate about suicide in the hopes that as our society becomes more knowledgeable we will hopefully recognize and address the problem in a more empathetic way. People who struggle with suicide want to end the pain, not their lives and need help. Most insurance plans offer mental health services and so if it’s available to you or a loved one, that’s a good place to start. In more emergent situations, call the suicide prevention hotline, this is the national number in the United States, 1-800-273-8255, however, most cities and states will also have a local one too. There are also specific resources for teens, a national hotline in the United States 310-855-4673 or via text 839863. There are also resources for LGBTQ youth 1-866-488-7386. If someone has a plan to hurt themselves or already has started, call 911 immediately.



As a therapist, I am not expected to stop a client from committing suicide, but I am expected to help manage it. And you as a friend, family member, teacher, co-worker, or partner are also not responsible for stopping someone from hurting themselves, but you do have an opportunity. Something as simple as asking them if they are okay or having thoughts about hurting themselves is one of the most effective ways of showing support. Remember that people don’t necessarily want to end their lives when they have thoughts of suicide, but rather end the pain they are in. Being open minded and having compassion, even if you don’t fully understand, could save a life! 

"We carry these things inside us, 
that no one else can see. 
They hold us down like anchors, 
they drown us out at sea."

 -Chelsea Smile by Bring Me the Horizon

-MGN
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