We need to talk about mental health. I, need to talk about mental health. And depression. And suicide. Right now , somebody, somewhere, is struggling. It could be you. It could be me ( well, that’s a given considering….). My point is – people are hurting. And although we may not be able to ” fix” what is hurting them, we sure can do our best to help them, and maybe let them know that people do care and people do love them and maybe, that little bit of reassurance will be enough to get them through the crisis that maybe you or I don’t understand, but that is slowly eroding their mind and their life.
Today, marks one month ago, that was the last day that my son Sam was alive. Tonight, marks one month since the last time I ever got to talk with him – to hear his voice. In the last conversation I had with my son, he said ” I don’t want to do this anymore”. Those words, haunt me. They reverberate inside my head over, and over. I knew he was down : but Sam was good at covering up his feelings. We talked some more, and I felt that I had left him in a better state of mind by the phone calls end. How wrong I was. At least, the last words that Sam heard from me, were ” I love you”, as we ended all of our calls that way. Sometime, in the few short hours that followed our call, Sam decided that he wanted to go home. He died by suicide. He hung himself. I have not hidden his cause of death, because it was just his cause of death. It doesn’t change who he was. He was a kind, sweet, gentle soul. He wasn’t perfect – as none of us are. He just struggled with the cruelties and the unkindnesses of this world.
Covid has heavily effected all of us. But for those who are alone, and struggling with mental health issues, it has been harder beyond words. While we can’t change their circumstances, we surely can take the time to notice them. We can show an interest in their lives. We can ask them questions about who they are. And we can listen. Even if you don’t necessarily like someone, you can always show some compassion ; some empathy. Some kindness. Sometimes, the smallest gestures that aren’t much to us, can give a person something to hold onto as they go into their darkness. It might just be the difference between life and death for them. And you may never even know that…but wouldn’t it be good to think that maybe, at some time, an act of kindness that you showed to someone, somewhere, saved their life? Be it a stranger…a co worker…a friend….a loved one?
We are all in this big mess together. Let’s all try to help one another. Phone that person who you think might be lonely. Include the ones who sit alone. Ask the questions ” are you ok”, or ” do you want to talk”, when you think someone needs it. Notice the changes in even those who seem to be the most together – because they aren’t immune either.
I’m not ok right now. I’m trying to be, and I suspect that I may never, be fully ok again. But I’m not suicidal. I won’t lie : I don’t particularily want to be alive right now because this pain is like nothing I have ever felt, nor want to feel again. But I have loved ones who would be destroyed all over again if I left, so I wake up every day, take a deep breath, and carry on. Please don’t worry about me. But please, in my son’s memory, be kind to EVERYONE you meet. We are all on this journey together.
If you want, feel free to share this. Maybe if we spread a message of love, and compassion- maybe, we can save a life together.
Bless and love to all of you.