Today is a day I will never forget. On this sunny clear day, a good friend of mine had thoughts about taking his own life.
I know this is not an easy topic to talk about but that is part of the problem. So here I am writing this post, my thoughts on paper not only just to share his story so that others may relate but also to share how my view of the world has changed because of it.
I’ve always thought that in some small way I understood mental illness; the anxieties, the depression. But I know now that what I thought I knew wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg. When it hits, it hits hard and often life for you turns into a standstill while the rest of the world keeps spinning, seemingly without a care. That is what happened to my friend. He went off the radar for a few weeks, nobody seemed to know what he was up to and so I said hi, how are you? Sometimes, it’s as simple as that. Notice the signs, and say hi. Let them know that somebody cares. Somebody always cares and that is what is needed most during this tough time.
So then i pushed aside already made plans and we met up. We spent the better part of the day just talking and walking. Sitting and even crying. It is lucky enough that today was such a clear and beautiful day to be out at the park, the ones just behind USyd. When he wanted to go home to his room so he could be alone, i took him in the opposite direction for a walk so we could soak in some more sun and fresh air (we both were kind of lost, but that was okay). One of the things that always seems to cheer people up is a nice long walk with the earth and it’s greeneries all around you. We ended up sitting on this bumpy rigid rock but it was okay, he was talking and I was listening. It’s incredible how slow time goes when times are not easy but when times are great they just fly right by. In the end it seemed like he felt better, even if slightly he was willing to seek help from his family doctor. Sometimes our family doctor isn’t the first place to seek help from when it comes to our mental health but not only are they someone you can trust, but they can also help you seek further help.
I dont pretend to know how he is feeling right now. But what I can do, what we all can do is lend our support even if its just an open ear.
I think the fact that we are all from such diverse backgrounds, cultures and ways of life makes us both strong but also weak at the same time. We always strive to understand and don’t like the fact that we just don’t know things sometimes. How can we even begin to understand the personal intricacies of which someones life is built upon. When it comes to mental illness that’s what it really is, it’s individual to the person and there is no one remedy. That is why we seek to listen and support, rather than try to find our own solutions or give our own advice.
I guess as a final word, Today has made me appreciate so many things i take for granted in life. So i’d just like to take this time to acknowledge and be thankful for all the friends and family in my life. Life is definitely not easy, but together we can make it easier. Like sticks in a bundle, we can be strong when we are holding hands; giving each other support from every direction. It’s never easy to know when someone is at their breaking point, or even what to do when it looks like they are. But know that there is a massive network of support out there for us and we needn’t be scared to take that one step forward to help a friend or stranger or to change our very own lives.
“Have the Courage to make the change, the Strength to see you through it and the Faith that everything will turn out for the best” – Unknown
With Love, always.
P.S. Some support groups can be found below if you’re not comfortable coming out to a friend, and plus i’m always here for you ❤ Stay strong my friends ❤