Host: Today we’re here with Arabella Rose Beauregard, who has a fascinating job!
Arabella Rose: I work at the Dallas County Suicide Hotline Center. I take suicide calls, listen, and counsel distressed people.
Suicide is a preventable tragedy, and your job is an important part of that prevention. Yet it’s certainly not something just anyone can jump into. How did you become interested in helping in this crisis area? What sort of training was required?
I became interested because of personal reasons. I have a personal history with suicide. I have a master’s degree in counseling, and I double-majored in psychology and counseling.
Wow. Sorry to hear that you have had to deal with suicide in an up-close and personal way. Sounds like you turned a tragedy into an opportunity to help others. I really can’t imagine how emotionally draining your job must be. How do you cope?
I keep a rigorously strict routine. Unless I’m working, I go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time, and eat a lot of the same foods. I find structure and schedule to be soothing. I help a lot of my callers with creating a structured environment for themselves. I read a fun historical novel right before bed, and I drink a caffeinated soda and read the Bible when I wake up. I clean house every Saturday, and I walk right after dinner. The consistency of my life is my salvation. Some people might think that I’m lonely, and I’d love a good friend or two every once in a while, but I talk to people all day long on the phone – and it’s draining – so I don’t mind the quiet peacefulness of my solitary home life.
That makes sense, when you put it like that. Dealing with chaos in the lives of others probably makes you crave routine. Do you ever become emotionally involved with the people you are helping? And do you ever get frustrated with a caller because they won’t listen to the help you are trying to give them?
In the beginning, I was more emotional. I still cry some times, but I’ve learned to never let it show in my voice. I’ve definitely had my fair share of nightmares when I’m sleeping. I mostly get frustrated with the prank or perverted callers, though. They are hogging up a valuable lifeline for real, hurting people. To do what? Play jokes and make lewd comments? That frustrates me like nothing else.
Lately, I’ve been a bit more emotional than usual with a specific man who has called. But that’s a long, personal story for another time…