How Fragile Is Life

From an early age I have battled with depression. At worst I have been alone *(in company) and heavily medicated for months at a time and at best I’ve simply forgotten that the depression existed – that is until the time would arise to laugh and feel joyous about something – at some celebratory event or occasion, at which time I’d find it so difficult to do so that I’d be subconsciously yet sturdily reminded of my condition.

I recently (last night in fact) felt deeply suicidal. So deeply in fact that at around 2am I searched and found out the telephone number for the Samaritans helpline (a local charity created to respond to people in distress) with an intention to open up to someone about my feelings.

Having found the number I rehearsed for a few moments in my mind, what I would say, how much I was willing to share and depart. I had visions of me breaking down into incontrollable sobs as I declared myself ready to end it all. But I didn’t call them. Instead, after some lengthy procrastination and under the influence of the heavy medication I’ve currently been prescribed (for another condition I’m coping with) I fell asleep with the phone in my hand.

The next morning, remarkably, I felt better.

A bright glorious sun was shining in through the window and I dragged myself out of bed ready to face the day. And I noticed that in myself I was feeling grateful.

I was grateful for not having taken any drastic actions that would have resulted in my death, alone in a house that would have been difficult for anyone to access on account of all the doors being locked. I was grateful that I’d found that another day of life had been afforded to me and that I could try again to make sense of just being.

And as the day progressed this feeling of gratitude continued.

I was grateful that my mother paid me a visit later in the day and brought with her a bottle of milk thistle that she recommended I should take daily to aid my immune system. I was grateful for her care, her love, her smile and the hug that she gave me before she left.

I was grateful that as my mother departed a friendly neighbour paused at my doorstep to ask me how I was and to wish me well.

I was grateful for the decaffeinated coffee that I made for myself later in the afternoon, for the vanilla flavoured soya milk that I made it with and for the honey that I added to the mixture that made it taste even better than it would have already tasted.

I was grateful that I didn’t need beer, lager, wine, cannabis or any other intoxicating substance to get me through the day and at the time of writing this, almost 7:45pm, despite being alone in a silent room with just me and my pc for company, I don’t feel like I shouldn’t be here.

I was grateful for many other things that happened today, things that I won’t list on this occasion but will definitely acknowledge silently and humbly to myself.

I once wrote a poem called ‘How Fragile Is Life.’

I was driven to write it because, having lost so many of my friends over the years, some in very sudden and tragic circumstances and others to the just as tragic but perhaps more foreseeable effects of illness and disease, I realised that death will come for us all, every single one of us – when it’s ready to take us away from this dimension – no matter what we do. As resilient as we are, and we are extremely resilient, we are also extremely fragile. When the time comes, it’ll just come.

Many people may relate to what I’m about to say.

Despite being someone who has battled with this condition for many years I’ve also been known to others as a great motivator. I’ve even held a position as a ‘Coach’ in various fields including sports and customer care and I have been rewarded for my efforts to inspire and motivate others to try to achieve their fullest potential in life. I don’t think that will ever change – I’ve enjoyed and still enjoy seeing others succeed and pushing people to overcome the obstacles that they face, especially those blockages associated with low self esteem and a lack of self confidence.

If I’m correct it may be quite typical for people such as myself to be more adept at solving other people’s issues than solving our own. That’s just an assumption based on comments I’ve heard along the journey but for me it has often felt true.

Although I’ve been very close to doing so, I’ve not given up yet.

In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that I believe that I’ve died already and somehow returned – so I’m absolutely sure that I’m here for a purpose. Yes, I’ve died already and returned – but that’s another story.

In the meantime, here’s the poem. I wrote it many years ago but today, at least for me, it seems as fresh as it ever could be. I hope it makes as much sense to you as it does to me at this time.

I will try to be strong.

I will try to keep building and I will endeavour to keep growing.


How Fragile Is Life