Several times this week, a fellow helper has asked me how I am doing, and I, instinctively returned the question in kind. We pause, smile weakly and share a moment of understanding. Understanding that the world we live in is draining at times, reciprocity over a drive to make a difference- no matter how slight, and a long sigh in that at least we are in this together… whatever “this” is.
This year has seen me expand to the far reaches of our state, and in that expansion comes great joy and deep sorrow. A joy in that I have the ability to meet new amazing souls and share a passion for helping people find purpose and life. And sorrow in that I also hear, far too often, of the lives we lose daily. Every day. Men, women, children, fathers, sisters, sons…. pained and broken by the harshest, most unforgiving sides of society and themselves. Those pains hurt deep within the crevices of my ever-breaking soul. I want desperately to stop children from losing their parents so that they can love them when I couldn’t love mine; halt the heartache of parents who have lost their children, so they can watch them grow into dreams realized; and share some small sense of hope because we all need a lot more hope.
Unfortunately, I am unable to work or even be awake 24/7. I’m not always able to bear the weight of the world at all times, no matter how desperately I try. Nothing is worse than waking up to missed messages at 11 pm, 1:30 am, or 3 am and frantically reaching out to help someone who won’t respond. Nothing is worse than worrying myself into a wreck over whether they won’t respond because they are ashamed or if they can’t because I lost them in the middle of the night. And I always feel responsible. It eats at me. And as much as I love my work, I must be healthy in my mind to care for you all. So I am requesting that you expand your resources, be considerate of my time with those I love, and help me do more by doing more for yourself and those within your life.
So, in the true essence of self-care, I am upping my mental health stakes. I ask you all, as friends, as acquaintances, as fellow human beings, to share this number for my sake, for their sake, and for yours:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 and the Crisis Text Line at 741-741.
These are 24/7 numbers, and they will always answer you. They won’t judge. And more than likely, they will understand you because they are there as volunteers to help. Most of us in this work are here because our worlds were affected personally by these issues.
You are not alone. I am here for you. We must all be here for one another, always.
Thank you for being you.