I would take this opportunity to share my story and thank a woman I met in Rosslare Strand last July...what this woman did without her actually knowing and how she ultimately saved my life.
Due to the nature of my work and for family reasons I wish to remain anonymous as I share my story.
I am not from your county and do not know how I even ended up in Rosslare that morning. I was in a very dark place, desperately alone and desolate. My gambling addiction had hit an all time low. I was thinking of suicide as I could not see a way out.
I had a plan in place down to the finer details and had everything sorted apart from a final note to my family.
This woman, just an average middle aged woman, was jogging alone on the water edge.
I do not know why I approached her when she stopped for a brief moment. Things seemed confused and my life was just one big blur.
We chatted for what seemed like a few moments. I just seemed to connect with her. She could have just walked away but for some unknown reason she didn't, she responded to me as a kind, caring human being. No judgement, just taking the time to listen.
I did not go into great detail. My mind was made up at this stage and I felt a sense of relief that all the pain was going to end. It was as if she could hear what I was not saying.
On departing, she handed me a small stone, in the shape of a heart that she called a gratitude stone and said she regularly collects them along the beach. She said she uses them as a daily reminder that life is precious and we need to be grateful for what we have.
She passes these stones on to family and friends. Maybe some family member might read this and pass on my thanks. I took her heart-shaped gratitude stone, placed it in my pocket and did not think any more about it.
Later, as I sat in my car and was putting pen to paper with a final farewell note to my family, this woman's gratitude stone fell from my pocket and it was at that moment, a realisation hit me as to what she said and what I was about to do to myself and my family. I broke down and don't really remember the rest of that night. I was so alone with total darkness in my life.
That night I plucked up the courage to seek help. I am still getting help and am far from OK, but with help have realised there is another path that one can take and suicide is not the answer. It is a slow process but I am getting to a brighter place.
I am here today because of this woman who took the time out to just listen,and with her kindness to give me a simple beach pebble in the shape of a heart that I now treasure.
I did not get this woman's name or know anything about her apart from her love of the beach and that she jogs there on a regular basis. She had fair hair and kind eyes and smile. I owe my life to her today and for that I shall always be thankful.
Please share my story, in case others find themselves in a similar situation. There is always hope and help, just please find the courage to seek help. It is OK not to feel OK and addiction can be beaten.
Hopefully this woman will see this, or her family and friends. You saved me from suicide with your kind actions and ability to reach out to me and hear what I was not saying. Your gentle way was so powerful and meaningful, you saved me and my family from a life of hell.
Read more here: Response from the jogger on the beach