How to Save a Life

Earlier this week, I was listening to ‘How to Save a Life’ by the Fray. I never really listened to the lyrics so I never knew what the song was actually about. Yes, I know it’s in the title but that just went right over my head.

There’s a line in the song that goes, “And I would have stayed up with you all night had I known how to save a life” and it just keeps repeating over and over in my head because it’s so powerful.

Last year immediately after a manic episode I had a severe depressive episode. I didn’t hit rock bottom; somehow I was below that. I was just about ready to end everything because I wanted nothing more than to give up. I had lost all hope in everything and everyone, especially myself.

One night when I was home alone a friend of mine called me on Skype. Immediately he sensed there was something wrong and spent the entire night just… talking to me.

I remember something he said clearly, and it stays with me to this day.

“When you hurt yourself, you’re hurting me too.”

The next day I had a handful of codeine and I was so close to taking them all. But I heard those same words over and over in my head. Instead I went to my daily outpatient program at the hospital. I actually confessed what my intentions were and that’s how I ended up in the psychiatric ward.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you feel like something’s off about someone, even if there’s been no prior symptoms of depression, talk to that person. They don’t even have to be a close friend of yours. Honestly, I was willing to talk to anyone who was willing to listen. Because that’s all I really wanted. That’s all anyone really wants.

It’s a delicate situation and it’ll be difficult trying to figure out what you can say. Don’t try to tell them what to do or, even worse, pin the blame on them. That’ll go absolutely nowhere, except maybe downhill. All I can really say is that the most important thing to do is just listen.

Knowing just one person cares can save a person’s life.

I mean it saved mine.

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