October 10 2019 – the World Health Organization has deemed this day World Mental Health Day
“Your footstep on life’s journey leaves an imprint
no matter where you go.”
Life is challenging, and for some, the journey becomes too painful to continue. It is not uncommon for someone to know of a person (celebrities included) who have succumbed to suicidal thoughts or even suicide itself. I am not immune after losing a nephew (in-law) several years ago. It’s such a sad event to go through; words can’t describe the feeling of desolation the family feels when forced to say goodbye. Writing about mental health is hard, but I promised myself I would be honest in my writing and sharing. And a warning, this story may come as a shock to family and friends.
I had a downtime several years ago. I was depressed. Some traumas in my life left me with grief and isolation. I had my crying chair – that’s what I called it. Every day I’d sit in it and look out over our beautiful country acreage and cry until there was nothing left. After weeks, I’d give myself a time limit, and then I’d dry my tears, pick up my tissues, throw them away, and with a deep breath, become ready to get onto the business of living for the rest of the day – and carry on.
But the carrying on didn’t come until after one morning. I guess you could call it a defining moment in my depression. Overwrought, despair seeped into my bones, leaving me weary. I wondered what good I was to anyone. Who would even miss me? I also planned the deed – where I would go, what I would do, and how I would do it.
As I sat in my crying chair, absolutely desolate, it was like I entered another dimension. I sensed deceased loved ones and friends around me. The heavenly glow of Jesus sat at my feet, and he held his hands on my legs. Everyone surrounded me, patting my body, my shoulders, and my head – providing love, comfort, and support that became tangible to me, real in that moment. Raised Catholic, I am a firm believer in God, Jesus, Angels, Spirit, Heaven, etc., (I am spiritual.)
Back then, I felt those living around me had abandoned me. Friends were nowhere. I believed I couldn’t talk to family about what I was going through. The desolation of being alone (in my mind) and thoughts I had were so acute, caused so much pain, my heart shattered like broken glass.
I have never forgotten that moment. When I despair, I always think back, remembering. When the tears dried up that day, I stood, albeit a little shaky, and decided to carry on.
I don’t know where you might be on your journey. Don’t despair. No matter if it seems the whole world has left you, there is always, always someone who is looking for or needing you.
The presence may be angelic, or in the living flesh, but by someone, some animal, somehow you will be needed. If that is the only thought that carries you through this day, then grab hold of it like a lifeline. Don’t let go. You are needed. If not in this present moment, perhaps five minutes, 60 minutes or hours from now.
Someone needs to know you are going to be there when they walk through the front door, or to answer their email, text, and phone calls. If you are taking life’s journey alone and independent, someone knows your routine and may be looking for that sweet smile as you hold the coffee shop door open for them. Or maybe when you purchase your food, that one cashier might love the fact that you say hello to them and acknowledge them, making their day. Perhaps the people at your workplace love your daily quirky humour. Your footstep on life’s journey leaves an imprint no matter where you go.
The world needs you. Be there. If not for yourself at this time, be there for someone else. After being there for someone else, eventually, you will learn to be there for yourself, too, loving and joy – it’s yours to capture! Carry on.
October 10 2019 – the World Health Organization has deemed this day World Mental Health Day with a mandate of:
“Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide.”
Join us, on 10 October, in “40 seconds of action” to raise awareness of the scale of suicide around the world and the role that each of us can play to help prevent it. (World Health Organization)