September is Suicide Prevention Month. Some of you who had seen some of my IG story would wonder why I have such affinity to articles on suicide cases. The truth to this is that I would had become part of the statistic if not for interventions that happened to me.
It’s kind of hard to share a darker side of me on social platforms. It makes me feel vulnerable; not knowing how some of you would view about me after this. However uncomfortable it may be, I felt I am obligated to share how I came out of the darkness. I hope this story would serve as an encouragement to anyone who are in dark places and those friends who know someone struggling with this issue. I should not just kept what I had gone through a secret. So, here goes…
Most of you would know I went on an entrepreneur adventure in 2018. I fulfilled my dream in starting a bakery business. It started out to exciting and challenging. However, this adventure had to come to an early end due to several factors. Both me and my business partner felt it is best that we end the business in order to cut the losses. This short lived business made me realise that not everyone is suited to the entrepreneur life and not all business would become a success.
During the days in the cafe, people who visited me in the cafe might had sense something off with me. Else I would had think I had hide it pretty well. However, most of the times I would hear comments that they noticed that I looked very tired. However underneath that tired look or the forced smile at times was something even darker that I hoped not one would know. Mentally, I was exhausted. Running a cafe was not something I had imagined how it would had been. The beginning, I struggled with opening the cafe alone; keeping stock of the bakes and making more when it’s running low; doing publicity, networking, promotions – I simply felt overwhelmed. I was so drained that I only ate a meal each day before I sleep. The reason for that was because I am not had any mood to eat and another reason was that I did not wanted to spend any more money as I do not see much income being generated in the cafe.
I kept this fear and worries to myself and rarely did I shared the fear of going bankrupt to only my best friend and my business partner. Although they tried to make me think positively, I got more and more depressed as I see the figures coming in each day. Somehow things are not working for the business and I was at a lost and stress up to solve the problem. I did not want bother my friends to support my cafe and yet I do not know what else to do. Apart from that my relationship was not doing well too. I felt something aloof but I was assured that there’s nothing wrong about it.
My best friend know I was struggling and kept checking on me once a while and shared articles to encourage me. Although I read whatever he sent me but I was not in the right state to accept whatever logic or truth shared with me.
All the negative thoughts kept bothering me every night. I felt so miserable at times I just felt I want to end the pain. The thoughts started to come in and I thought through the steps to take in order to be “responsible” with my actions. These steps kept playing in my mind and I allowed my mind to entertain them. Everyday I prayed that some unfortunate event would happen to me and it would make everything easier for me – this did not happen.
On days I was given a break, I just slept through the day and still feel exhausted. I felt trapped and there’s nothing I can do to make things better.
My best friend tried to show me a different perceptive by telling me how there other people who are in a worst situation compared to what I am facing. However, at the state back then, my mind was not concern about others around me. My issue is like a huge boulder on me and I just want it off me.
Although I receive praises from patrons on my bakes, it did not registered in me. The only emotion I was able to feel during that time was stress. Everything around me contributed to the stress. I got even more stressed up and tired by trying to hide the stress. I missed the times when I even truly happy.
Although we did hire other chief to relief me of the workload, I was still very overwhelmed by our sales figures. I felt responsible for the cafe and I blamed myself for making the decision to start this venture and and wasted the savings of our friends who supported us.
Looking at how stressed I had become, we recognised that running the cafe was not my strength and we planned for an exit plan for me such that I would be be back working and I can supervise and give creative input on the bakes. However, making this transition would require time.
The emotion stress was so bad that I could not believed that it could actually translate to physical heart pain. I remembered one occasion where I felt such a sharp pain in my heart that I went to A&E and get myself checked. The results were normal and when the doctor recommended me to stay overnight for observation, I declined because the first thing that came to my mind was the cafe.
Every morning I struggled to go to work. I cannot remember the countless times I open the window to the balcony and tried to go over the railing but did not have the courage to do so. However there was one instance where I was all prepare. I got myself nicely dressed up for work and the emotions rushed to me to write a note – “sorry, sorry, sorry”. 3 sorries were written on a piece of paper on the bed and I felt I am ready. I felt I let down everyone around me, my family and my friends. I climbed over the railing and was standing on the edge of the balcony. I told myself to just look forward and take one more step. This final step I can finally end every. However at that instant, I felt someone stopping me. That prompting asked me to just wait a moment. I paused and I heard a text message on my phone. I climb back over and have a look at who texted. It was my best friend who texted me and ask me not to loose hope. Looking at that I cried and did not continued my plan.
Eventually I went to seek professional help and was introduced a councillor. The councillor seat me down and got me to share my story to her. She immediately thanked God that I didn’t end my life and affirmed me that we will walk out of this together.
I had a few sessions with the counsellor and she helped me to see my issues in a different light. She also made me take small steps to work on the issues. Things finally got much better and I could sleep better.
I was fortunate enough that I managed to return back to my old company and the cafe was able to have a closure even before the two year lease was up. Looking at how Covid-19 affected many F&B businesses, I am thankful that I did not have to go through this. I really admire those F&B owners who are still fighting through this situation and salute them for not giving up.
Back then, I would never believed in anyone who tell me that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. However, looking at where I am now, I did managed to get out of the dark tunnel.
I believe in the divine intervention and God’s planning in this. I do not fully understand why God allows me to go through all these but am thankful that He did not allow me to take my life. Without His interventions in holding me back at the balcony and sending a text message just at the very moment, I honestly would believe that I may not be here to share this.
I am in a much much happier place now. This is part of my journey very personal to me and there’s much I am grateful for. I am not going to lie that at times when I am at high storeys looking down, the feeling I had standing on the balcony still haunts me. Haunts me in the sense that I wonder how would everything turns out without me.
For those who are in the dark place right now, what I can share and affirms is that things WILL get better. Although you may not see any hope, HOPE is still there. I can relate and understand the frustrations when people try to encourage me back then and how I felt like no one understands. Please remember that, you are really not alone.
I understand now it is really important to share with someone you are close with or even to seek professional help if needed. Do not keep everything to yourself.
For those who suspects or know your friend is going through a difficult time, please do not give up on them. My best friend did not give up on me no matter how depress and hopeless I was. He continue to check on me to make sure I was alright no matter how negative I was. I am thankful that he constantly read up on articles to share with me and to better understand how he can help me through this. In my best friend being here for me and acknowledging that I am going through a difficult times helps a lot.
To end my sharing, my whatapp status is something I personally find it meaningful to me.
雨后会有彩虹， 云上终有太阳 黑夜之后会现去黎明的曙光
After the rains comes rainbow, behind the cloud is the sun. After the Night will come Dusk with a ray of light
Remembrance of my Korean bodybuilder friend, Lee Minjin (1985-2015).
Take care and God Bless Wyatt