When I started writing this blog I certainly had no intention of touching on anything particularly testing or trying, but to find me writing this, my third post about suicide leaves me thinking deeply about the subject.
Yesterday as I was driving home from my counselling placement with the Place2Be, I saw something that just looked wrong and as I drove past I had that internal conversation with myself about what might be going on there.
It was wrong because there was a man, sat on top of a bridge post, some 10 feet up, over a significant drop – which on its own might have been a bit risky had it been a fit and able teenager – but parked below the man was a mobility scooter and a set of crutches attached to the back.
As I drove past, I put together 2 + 2 and called the police, reported that I thought there was a man who might attempt to jump off the bridge, the responder asked if I thought he was trying to hurt himself and I said yes I think he is.
I turned around the car, and headed back knowing in my heart that it wasn’t something I could drive away from. I pulled up, got out and walked up to the man, he looked late 30’s early 40’s and had headphones on, at first I wondered if I had made a huge mistake, maybe he was just enjoying the view but none of it felt right, none of it.
We had a short conversation, where he assumed I was there to talk him down, I told him that I wasn’t, that I respected his choices and had no concept of what had got him to that point, but that I didn’t want him to be alone, and would he mind if I stayed with him, to be honest he looked puzzled, possibly even relieved and shrugged.
I stayed still and just waited with him, my mind racing with alternatives, what would happen if he jumped? Was I making matters worse? Should I be trying to do more? Would I feel responsible for what might happen next…?
The responsibility felt immense, completely immense
So many feelings and emotions, but overwhelmingly just sadness that this human being – around the same age as me – was in a situation like that.
The police arrived in a matter of minutes and I felt completely relieved, they quickly took control and sent me on my way. I got in the car, shaking and drove home, tears came almost immediately.
I’ve still no idea whether they got him down, I hope beyond hope that they did. To me the fact he was willing to communicate with someone gives me a tiny amount of optimism that they could have got him down.
So here I am this morning, wondering again about the physical and mental pain that people that we know and love walk about with, hiding it well, or not as the case may be.
Driven to the edge, to do something life ending It makes me feel sad, so sad.
Somebody’s son, somebody’s brother, somebody’s husband, just somebody
So today I’m going to reach out to people that I love, in particular those I know are struggling and let them know that I am here and they are not alone, in my heart and in my thoughts.