The Happy Day Project Day 7/365

As I said in my introductory post, one of the reasons that I am doing this is to try and help others see that there is life during and after intense stress and depression. In order to achieve this then I feel that I have to be open and honest with things that I have dealt with, what caused me to be that way in the first place and how I got through it. I’m not going to go into the whole story all at once, it is far too long and to relive the whole 7/8 years would likely end up sending me right back to square one. I can do it in pieces though, when something happens in my day to day life that impacts on my memories and experiences.

A quick précis though is that I was a divorced mother of three boys with their father living 350 miles away. I was working to pay the bills which involved a 52 mile round trip, I was studying for a Diploma in Counselling with my main placement as a bereavement counsellor for Cruse, my Father was disabled with my Mother as his main carer…and my Mother had cancer. She passed away after a long five year battle, and just five months after this my Father had a heart attack in my arms and went to join her. There were times during her illness and following his death when I felt that I couldn’t carry on. I felt that it would be so easy while I was driving to just turn the wheel into the side and hit a tree. The pain would be over and I wouldn’t hurt anymore. Knowing my kids would hurt was enough to stop me. Over-riding all of that pain was the knowledge that I want to see them grow up, I want to see them settled, I want to hold my grandchildren in my arms one day, I need to be alive for them. In all honesty? If it weren’t for them, I’m not sure that I would be here today.

And what has happened today to spark that confession. A school football comrade of my middle son committed suicide last night. He was about 20 years old. He hung himself in the lounge of his house where his parents found him. Reading his Facebook page it is filled with love and compassion from old schoolmates, the main thread of conversation being, ‘I was only in the pub with you drinking a beer last night Mate? You seemed fine?’ My Son told me he saw him in Asda last week, ‘he seemed fine?’ he said to me earlier. But that is the thing with depression. We wear a mask, we put on a brave face and don’t allow anyone to scratch below the surface. We carry on with our normal day to day but when we get home we curl into a ball in the blackness of our rooms and wish for the world to just go away and leave us alone. Obviously, I can’t say how this lad was feeling, I have no idea, I haven’t seen him for at least 7 years, but I do know how I was feeling and I was able to stop myself. This Guy, with his whole life wide open, organised to hang himself. It can’t have been a cry for help, there can be no coming back from being hung. It’s like jumping off a cliff, once you let go, you are finished. Therefore, I can only imagine that he was in a far worse state than I was, that for whatever reason, he felt that his life was no longer worth living and he chose to end it.

There are so many other people like this young man out there. People that I cannot see or help. People that I cannot possibly know how they are feeling or what mask they are hiding behind, and that is why I feel that it is important to try and make the World a happier place. We never know how just one simple act of kindness can be received by others, just how much difference it can make in their lives. This afternoon my work colleague and I were leaving work. We use the ground floor of a building and there are offices on the top floor, accessed through the main entrance. I went upstairs and saw that two ladies were working in one of the offices, knocked on the door and asked if they were ok to lock up after themselves as we were finished for the day now. They said yes, they were, but could we please lock them in so that nobody could enter the building who weren’t supposed to be there. I like to think that by taking that short time to just let them know that we were out and their reply left them feeling safe and secure. Maybe, if they had just come downstairs and found us gone with the door wide open they would have felt unsettled and worried. I hope that I saved them from that, I showed that I cared enough about them to make sure that they were ok when we left. It’s not much, but I know that it is when my friends showed me that they cared by seemingly very little acts of kindness that helped to pull me through.

And that is why we have to make sure that no matter what happens in our lives, whatever triggers we may face, we focus on just one thing that means that,

Today is always a good day. x

Anita. x

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