Hello again everyone,
The joy of being a writer of a blog is that I get to talk to you guys about things in real time. Something has happened in the last 24 hours, and I want to talk about it.
A man who starred in the movie that shaped who I am in a large way, has passed on. A man who brought the world to tears through joy and laughter has had the light in his eyes go dark. A man who people thought had it all figured out and was funny, kind, smart and loved. He lost a battle yesterday and it has opened a conversation. One that I would like to have.
Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that once you become my friend, I am going to fiercely look after you. I am going to check in with you out of the blue and let you know you are on my mind, you have no choice that you become a part of my thoughts and prayers and that I will ask you out for coffee for absolutely no reason at all. I will send you funny pictures and tell you I love you randomly. I will do my absolute best at making sure you know at least one person in this world loves and cares for you. Now, why do I do that?
1.6 million Canadians over the of 15 deal with depression every year. 24 percent of deaths in 15 to 24 year old's in the country every year are from suicide.
I do that because at the age of 17 I lost someone who was the light of my life. Such a source of joy and happiness, and the life of the party. Never without a joke or an excuse to dress up, a lover of obscure things just for the heck of it. Someone who seemed to have it all together and be so full of self confidence. Then on my first day of university I got a phone call that stopped my world. He lost a battle I didn't even know he had been fighting. He was the perfect example in my life of someone who had the best combination of whimsy and smarts. The person who could always pick you up. He couldn't pick himself up. I had what they call 'Survivor's guilt', that took me years to figure out. How I could be so close to someone so sad and not have seen anything that would have made me worry. I felt terrible, for a long time. Which led me to digging deep into depression and suicide information for many years. I will talk to anyone who will listen about it. It is my main cause that I strive for change with. I want the stigma behind mental illness to be forever changed. It is not weakness. It is not seen to the victim as 'an easy way out'. In that very last, dark moment of desperation, it is the only way. I feel that when someone dies of a suicide it in not my job as a Christian to condemn their actions. It is my hope that the God I believe in is truly a God of forgiveness, love and understanding. A God with mercy in his heart for these sad people. When someone dies this way, you pray for them the same way you would any other. Pray for their soul to make it up to the heaven we all went to end up in, and that God is there to welcome their weary souls home.
There are many places to find information about depression and mental illness. It is still a very taboo topic that people are very leery to talk openly about. Let me give you some startling facts; 1.6 million Canadians over the of 15 deal with depression every year. 24 percent of deaths in 15 to 24 year old's in the country every year are from suicide. I think that is an astonishing number. To know that there are thousands and thousands of people walking around missing loved ones who lost their battles is utterly heartbreaking.
If you think there is a person in life who is struggling with the scary battle of depression there are some things you can say to them, even if you think that don't want to hear it. You can ask them about a certain change in their behaviour that will let you start a conversation. You can ask them if something hard is going on at school or work. Ask them if there is some way you can help them. If they don't want to talk, then there are three easy things to say that may make all the difference in the world to that person.
“You can't save people, you only love them.” Wow. How powerful is that right? I may not be able to save some of my friends, but I will love them with all the power in my body and soul.
Just remember you are never alone. You are beautiful-in a You kind of way
If you are personally struggling as you read this, please reach out to a safe place. Because no matter how much it hurts and how dark it seems, there are people here for you.
The crisis Hotline is 1-866-531-2600 toll free.
Robin William's death was shocking and tragic and has opened up a lot of conversation in the last 24 hours. I am so heartbroken for his family and the loss of the laughter he brought to the world. His movie “The Dead Poet's Society” is the reason I read and write so much. I owe him a lot and I am truly sorry.
I want to you leave with a Quote from Rick Warren tonight, “Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts”. I think that through pain and sadness good things can come and if all talks help to save even a single life, then maybe we have started in the right direction of removing the stigma of mental illness.
Just remember you are never alone.
You are beautiful-in a You kind of way
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