I wasn’t sure about writing this. CJ threw out the call in our Slack to bring awareness to #BellLetsTalk day and mental health in general.
But this is a period in my life that I don’t feel comfortable talking about.
I won’t go into the circumstances leading up to what got me to this point, but it was by far the lowest I have ever been in my life. I would lay awake at night, unable to sleep, tossing and turning while voices in my head told me that if this did not work out I would have to leave everything behind.
I told my partner as well as my best friend, whose friendship I had only just created a year before upon arriving to this town. I also told some close friends. I did not tell my family. I saw a counselor and he made me realise the root of the problem, and that has given me clarity moving forward, but possibly the person that helped the most - the person that saved me - was that best friend. He made me realise I was not a freak. That I was not a waste. That I should continue to live. I thank him every opportunity I can, constantly telling him that without him I would not be here. He always brushes it off as something anybody would do for anyone.
What scared me the most about the entire experience was that up until that low point I could never see myself ever contemplating the option. But there were some nights where dark thoughts truly did wonder to that place.
Last year we had a local news anchor suddenly end his life while away on a family trip to Switzerland. The shockwaves that reverberated through small New Zealand media and social circles were felt by everybody. Nobody could understand why he did it. Why do that on a holiday? With your family. Then it came out that his wife was Swiss. He planned it this way so that she would have loved ones around her when he did it so that she had someone there to comfort her. Again this revelation shook the nation. How could anyone be so unhappy to plan out their own death in such a way? For the first time in my life after hearing and reading such a story, I understood how he might have felt.
I guess what I am trying to say is - even if you think you’ll never experience hardship in your life or will never know someone who has or will, it can affect everybody. The #BellLetsTalk slogan is simple and direct, but crucially true. Talking is what saved me. It will save others.
Talk to someone you know, like or love if you sense they are unhappy or feel something is off.
Make sure to use #BellLetsTalk as much as you can today on social media to help the cause. For every time the hashtag is used or retweeted, Bell donates 5¢ towards mental health initiatives. You can also help on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram as well.