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Without Whom I Would Be Dead

January 17, 2014

I have two friends. Two wonder full connected (yes, connected) friends whom without I would most definitely not be writing this post for you – because I would be dead. Yes, that’s right, I would have taken my own life many months ago when I experienced a nervous breakdown. I am well again now. I have been well again for some weeks but dared not say this out loud. I just did. How brave am I?

There is a very, very important point to this post. Stay close. Take a deep breath. Trust me. Trust you. Let’s go there together…

I have this belief that we are all connected. I do not know exactly what this connection is but it is a connection no-less. Sometimes this connection is whole – pure. This keeps us alive. Often this connection is disconnected: this can be a challenge (see what I did there?).

Once upon a career as a Psychotherapist I was working the day shift in a drug rehabilitation centre. The centre had a ‘drop-in’ for people in distress and this day I was the attending therapist when a young woman of around twenty staggered into the centre:

“I want to kill myself!” She announced to the receptionist.

One panicked phone call ‘upstairs’ to me later, I appear at the front desk and take the young lady, along with her Drug Worker, into the Counselling room. It takes around two hours to ‘talk her round’ to the present moment. It takes very, very, very and one more – very – careful wording to encourage her to stay here, with us, to live another day and see her child’s next birthday (which was, yes, the next day). It takes some challenging words, when safe enough to do so, to keep that lifeline connected – there is no point throwing a connection if you then fail to maintain it. Following the very careful wording, the challenging words and the several cups of tea (we’re English, it’s what we do in a crisis) I then had a word with the Drug Worker – practical stuff around ‘Signposting’ and further support for the young lady and her daughter:

“You’re the man!” The Drug Worker shouted as we chatted in the office (no, the client was not in the room)

“I nearly lost it in there! How did you keep so calm? I was so emotional, the words you used!” he continued to fluff my ego for sometime but I was shaking inside.

All I could think about was this young client and her daughter. All I could pray for was for her to find someone ‘Without Whom I Would Be Dead” and that this ‘Without Whom I Would Be Dead’ would continue our work so that the lifeline would remain for years to come.

And this is the point I am making:

In that moment, during that crisis intervention session – I became the ‘Without Whom I Would Be Dead’. When I was in crisis myself, my two friends ‘Jeremy’ and ’Christopher’ (I mention them loads in my new book) became my ‘Without Whom I Would Be Dead’.

The ‘Without Whom I Would Be Dead’ is actually quite a simple intervention and can be anyone who is not afraid to sit with you in the eye of the storm and throw you a lifeline. That is all. Someone who is brave enough to take action (not reaction), who will sit still whilst you fidget, a man or woman who will make you a cup of tea (again, I’m English, I can’t help it…) and a human being who is able to bring some Light through in your darkest hour.

What do you mean? You don’t have a ‘Without Whom I Would Be Dead?’

Close your eyes (yeah yeah, you’re reading this, I mean after you have read this) and take a deeeeeep breath. Plonk your feet FIRMLY upon the Earth: take another deeeeeep breath.

Smile.

‘Open’ the space in the centre of your chest. Breathe in. Breathe in again. Stick your belly out when you breathe in.

Now – Smile again. Imagine the sunlight, burning bright and warm.

Now imagine a chord of Light coming from that sunlight.

Breathe that chord into the opening in the centre of your chest.

Now. I want you to know something:

I am sending you the BIGGEST. HUGEST. MASSIVIST (yeah yeah so I made a word up) hug that you ever imagined in your lifetime.

Breathe it in.

There’s your lifeline.

There’s your ‘Without Whom I Would Be Dead’

Actually – yourself.

Got it?

Great.

Now go save the world – I know you can do it.

Much Love,

Matt xx

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