This happened on my way home one evening. I saw a man sitting on the river bank.
I don’t know why but something about him set my alarm bells off. Maybe because there was a bench and a concrete area next to him but he had come all the way down to the grass verge. It wasn’t a particularly nice day and he was clearly shaking.
The river has a really rapid flow so I didn’t fancy the odds. I went down to ask him if everything was OK.
Turned out that he was having a really horrible time. He was feeling really guilty of feeling suicidal and anxious because he’s got two young children.
I told him his kids are going to be proud of him once they’re old enough to understand. He could be pissing everything right up the wall but instead he is taking his meds, going to his appointments and talking about his feelings.
Seemed like he really needed to hear it. He showed me pictures of his children and had a cry, we must’ve sat there over an hour. It just seemed like that what he really needed was to talk to someone who knew what having depression is like.
“I feel so guilty,” he said. “I have my own company, a wonderful wife and beautiful children, I have an amazing life. And I still want to kill myself.”
I told him the same thing my mum told me after I tried to kill myself and apologised to her because I had so many amazing things to be thankful for.
“None of those things matter when you’re ill.”
He could’ve been me a year ago. A lot of the things he said could’ve easily been said by me. It was quite eerie, actually. We had even tried to kill ourselves using the same method (it’s a really weird and tragically hilarious conversation to have).
At the end he climbed up the river bank with me, I made sure he had the number of the local crisis team, we had a hug and we both went home. He seemed to be doing a million times better.
I’m not telling this story to highlight what an amazingly caring human being I am. I just wanted to share this as a reminder that we’re not alone. Also if you see someone upset, just ask them if they’re all right. They could be battling the exact same thing as you.
I hope everyone here has had a good day, has been able to be kind to themselves if they’ve had a blip and will have a better tomorrow.