CW: Brief suggestions of suicide
I’ve been in an awful headspace for so long, but I listened to a beautiful podcast by the Black Fluid Poet called “Coincidences” today and it put me in a much better mood.
John S. Blake (the most captivating person I’ve seen and listened to maybe ever) speaks about their experiences of people appearing in their life when they most needed it and saying or giving something that was so needed in that moment. And also being that person for someone else.
It made me reminisce… I enjoy going back over my traumatic memories and remembering all of the wonderful people who were there to pull me through, in all types of ways.
I think about them all the time. Some who I have no idea how I would contact, and some that I speak to constantly.
Often I feel like those people have no idea the incredible impact they have had.
When you’re in the depth of the worst experiences of your life, horrifically affected by other humans who treat you like dirt, any glimmer of hope is a light. A reason to keep going. A reminder that good people exist. A reason to stay alive.
Humans are built to focus on negative things and a safety mechanism. To see patterns of things that hurt them so they know to avoid them. The animal kingdom and evolution requires that. So it’s so hard sometimes to see the light.
But some people bring that sort of energy that can override the terribleness, the trauma, the deep agony and pain, even just for a moment, a day, a night.
I consider these people my human guardian angels.
You’ve kept me alive.
I’ve had people say that if they had experienced what I’ve experienced, they would have killed themselves by now. And that’s very dark, but I get it. Some things have been pretty fucking bad and some people struggle to even hear the story, let alone imagining experiencing it.
But I also don’t think they would have. Cos there was ALWAYS a reason to live. There was always a person. ALWAYS. They’re everywhere. I promise.
No matter how alone I’ve felt. No matter how awful things have been. No matter how many people hurt me. I will still always believe that people are inherently good.
The amount of people that have done things for me with no expectation of anything in return is astounding. And so often the randomest people.
I’ll aways remember when I had a door knocking job in the UK, on commission. We weren’t getting paid, and our pay kept getting pushed back a week, and another, and another, until I had no savings left and was left with nothing… in the UK! And was never paid in the end either.
I was living in a little flat with a couple of friends, sleeping on a tiny fold out childrens’ foam chair that I had borrowed, on the floor, in a damp room with mushrooms growing in the corner. And I am me, and was undiagnosed, so naturally I got a hundred lung infections, and then glandular fever.
I was so poor and so sick and needed money so badly that I kept working regardless… or attempting to at least!
One day, myself and two of the guys from work had driven to a residential area, and divided up the map to sign all the people up. I knocked on one door and almost collapsed in their doorway with exhaustion – glandular fever will do that to ya! Then I knocked on door two, and was really tempted to have a nap on the grass verge by the footpath. Like, just super quick power nap.. ya know?
I realised this was crazy and had to give in. I asked one of the boys for their key and slept (comatosed) in the car while they kept working all morning. They stopped for lunch, but I couldn’t afford any food.
And I was happy to not eat – that’s what happens when you are poor… you pick and choose your meals and I had planned a perfectly good bowl of Cheerios at home for my dinner. At £1 a box and the same for milk, that’s a pretty good deal to get 2 meals a day for like 3 days! So nutritious.
But they weren’t having a bar of that!
Maybe it is just basic human decency, but they hadn’t been paid by work either and in no way did I want to be a charity case for them. And I didn’t want them to pity me… just because I had no money, and was thousands of miles from home, and was extremely ill…
They ordered a couple of pizzas and shared them with me. Forced me to take some slices. Get some actual food in me.
I almost cried at the generosity. It seemed so unnecessary to me! But I won’t bite the hand that (literally) feeds me, so I gave in and had a slice or two.
Then I went back to sleep in the car as they kept working and we went back to the office after.
One of the guys, Big D we called him (the meaning of that name has changed a lot in the past 9 years 😂), offered to drive me home, and he swung by Tescos with me to do his grocery shopping.
He was excited to make spaghetti Bolognese that night and was asking me if I like spag bol, and if I knew how to make it. I hadn’t made it before so he was describing how he makes it so I knew the best way for when I made it. I thought it was cute how into this meal he was.
He spent a while going around getting all of his ingredients. I was happily stocking up on a single box of Cheerios and some milk and waited patiently.
Then we went to pay, and as we walked out of the shop, he gave me his grocery bag and said, “This is for you, for dinner”.
I was like, “Uhhhh… no it’s not, that’s your dinner… I’ve got my dinner already, right here…”
He said, “Nope, this is your dinner, it’s all the ingredients you need to make a nice warm, filling meal. I have food at home, I’m fine. You’re sick, and you can’t have Cheerios for every meal!”, and just put the groceries in my hands.
I can’t explain it, but I was compleeeetely overwhelmed at this gesture. I had never had this sort of intense, unexpected kindness before.
I started crying at the generosity. We weren’t even exactly friends – we barely spoke at work! I was more than happy to suck it up and deal with the situation I was in.
I was absolutely, fully, completely content to eat some cereal and lay down in my cold, fungi-laden room, cough all night, and just do what I could to get enough rest to be able to maybe knock on more that two doors the next day!
He didn’t make me feel guilty, there was no pity. He had no other intentions but to see me getting fed.
Big D said goodbye, see you tomorrow, and jumped in his car and left me shocked outside the supermarket. And I went home and cooked the best meal I had had in a couple of weeks.
Spag bol hit different when you’re low-key starving and was expecting cereal, I tell you what!
And afterwards, he never once acted like he had done me a favour, or like I owed him anything, not even friendship.
Honestly, it’s so rare to get these true acts of selflessness that this example shines for me.
And I’ve had so many more.
Some of the people who could probably be credited for the reason I’m still alive have done quite simple things, like drink wine and listen to NZ music with me in a hotel room, or lend me The OC DVDs and have little meals out with me.
My best friend once ditched work for a couple of days and travelled hours to stay with me and support me when I was in the worst place ever, without even a thought of practicality or cost or even accomodation. Just knowing that she had to be with me in my time of need and that is literally all. And that’s my best friend, but it’s still above and beyond energy that, when done for lil old me, I struggle to comprehend the wonderfulness still to this day.
One friend I didn’t know suuuper well paid for me to train to Paris and hang out with him for a weekend, covering the cost of literally everything because this was after my door knocking job and I was in debt and in a terrible place emotionally. With zero expectations of anything except company.
All of these things are just what some people did in the UK, when I was being super mistreated by people. Scammed out of money. Abused. Being bullied and accused of terrible things. When I was super sick as well, and financially stuck.
Just generally feeling surrounded by people just wanting to take from me anything they could lay their hands on, just wanting to hurt me and laugh in my crying face. Happy to watch me starve and spend my savings and take payday loans.
These people shone like guardian angels, in ways that I’m really, positively sure that they have no idea exactly how deeply and intensely their kindness and generosity hit me. They reminded me that good people exist and that the world is worth living in.
So, the answer is no, to the people who think they would have killed themselves in my situation, I don’t think so. Not with these people around. They make life worth living.
And this is a message to me, the girl who’s been drowning in mental and emotional pain for months now, who’s been having a beer at night just to feel a minute amount of much needed numbness to dull it.
Look around, the guardian angels are everywhere.
The invitations to dog walks. The relaxing camping trips. The guy who is somehow always there for you when you have a panic attack. The sneaky beers and the fun outings from kind people. The park walks and deep chats. The beach hangs, sunbathing and self dev times. All the amazing women who have appeared in my life out of nowhere, literally like angels.
All the people who will ask the uncomfortable question, “how are you REALLY?”, and of course the people who make sure you know that they are always there and are more subtle with how they support you.
They are the reason to hold your head high. To see the positives. To see a future potential when right now it feels hopeless and impossible.
Those people make life worth living. They’re reminders that the world is kind, that people are inherently good.
That you’re worth getting better cos all of these people will be there for you when you’re in a bad place. Imagine how it’ll be when you’re happy again! A concept!
This is a big fat thank you to everyone I’ve mentioned and the tens/hundreds of people who I haven’t mentioned. I only have so much space in a blog but I see you!
It’s a shame most people will never truly understand how I feel, because I can’t possibly verbalise it, this is the best I can do. I love you so much, your souls are beautiful and I am endlessly grateful to have your kindness anywhere near my vicinity.
I can only hope that I can do a smidgen of what I have received for other people who need a guardian angel. A glimmer of hope.
Stay beautiful and appreciative of the wonderful humans that are everywhere. They make life worth it.