Note on Mental Health: A Better Way

In the wake of a certain celebrity death, many things from my own past were riled up. It sounds stupid to say, especially considering I never met the man. But I did meet a girl once upon a time, and we became fast friends. Four years later, I received a call that changed my entire life trajectory.

That day was ten years ago next March. A decade ago, I saw a closed pine box and knew my friend Michelle was inside of it. I could not see her face, but I knew she was there.

Five years ago, I started what would become FVR. Part of it was to share my work with the world, to find old souls like mine, and to revel in the beauty of their words as I hoped they would dwell on mine.

But part of it was to commemorate my friend, grab life by the balls like she never got to, and be a fierce advocate of mental health and suicide prevention on her behalf.

Today, I fear my day has come, where all the ghosts of my mind have come to claim what is theirs. Not in a way that makes me want to end my life or harm myself, because I know how much there is to live for. But in a way, I have been rocked to my core the last while, not able to sleep or think, eat properly or write, which is soul food in itself.

I fear the only way forward is to seek help. I say fear because there is about twenty years of unresolved mental struggle in my heart and mind with which I can no longer co-exist with.

I was not triggered by a personal inspiration of mine ending his life, but the memory of my friend which has haunted me too long coming back to life.

I am writing this because it’s almost 2 in the morning and poetry no longer quells the revolt inside me. I am writing this because I am exhausted and feel utterly alone, although nothing could be farther from the truth.

But most importantly, I am writing this for all those who think that final solution is the only way out. I would be lying if I said I didn’t contemplate it daily, but somewhere, there has to be a glimmer of hope for you. Another way.

I am writing this to say you are okay, and will be okay. So will I, eventually. If you suffer from the nights like I do, morning will come.

All you need to do is to simply want to see it once more.



This post originally appeared on the FVR Facebbok page on July 27, 2017


33 thoughts on “Note on Mental Health: A Better Way

  1. My heart aches, my eyes fill. I’m forever scared the inevitable will happen. She tried it once, will she allow help? We wait in the wings, sometimes on tenderhooks, fearing the worst, hoping for the best. It is not her life she will take with her, but pieces of all of us who love her most. That is how I feel about suicide. The pain for the one is gone, the pain created for everyone else, insurmountable and unending. What if anything could should we have done we didn’t? Thank you for this, Nicholas. I’m with you. Others are with you. I am completely undone by your honesty and your words. Don’t give up on you! You are worth it. There is light at the end of the tunnel. It awaits you. Your friends and family await you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so welcome. I speak from personal experience, I’ve been there for many, even helped turn a life around, and the young man managed to walk another path, which I didn’t know until he walked up to me on the street and hugged me. I was taken aback at first, then he reintroduced himself. It had been a couple of years. He’d become a chef, his life changed drastically. I was humbled indeed by hid gratitude, but in reality he was the one who did the work. I’ve also seen several that weren’t so lucky. I carry that weight sometimes as I had no idea the young man was in love with me. I was in love with another. Tragically he took his life the day I got married. I mention these two incidents only as a gentle reminder if to myself that we cannot control the actions of others, only be there for them. I am once again faced with this dilemma, but if you need a hearing ear, I’m here. Remember YOU are worth the time the effort and the love of family friends and the world. Take care, knowing touch are thought of and shall be now by me, you are special Nicholas Garnier. There’s a reason you are here, you have a purpose…as with me, it was a matter of finding it 😊does that make Sense?


  2. I related to this post and admire your courage in sharing. Existing in a dark and secret world inside of your own head is lonely and dangerous. Your encouragement to others is admirable. Take care of yourself.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is such a powerful piece Nicholas and extremely relevant. I work in the field of public health, and I understand how mental health issues are gradually becoming a grave problem and there’s an urgent need to bring about greater awareness around it. We all go through such weak points in our lives when we are overpowered by that very thought of giving up on everything. It’s usually a momentary thought, but powerful enough to trigger such severe reactions that we even end up harming ourselves (or others) at times. It’s just a matter of being able to break that chain of thought right there and then as soon as it starts consuming us. Not easy to do of course, but we must find out ways which may help us do that. May be just a phone call to a dear friend, or getting out of the house for a walk, may be just praying or simply washing our face or taking a shower. It could be different things for different people. I just hope we all find our own ways of not succumbing to our devastating thoughts, that we find the strength to always hold on to the hope no matter how glim it is and to never ever give up on ourselves and our precious lives.

    I truly appreciate the honesty with which you have penned this piece. It was so very stimulating and so thoughtful. Thanks for sharing this my dear friend !

    Peace ! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for this post, Nicholas. I think you’ve probably helped many readers who can relate – many who are hiding their pain and feel isolated as well.
    May you find what you need in order to heal. You’re not alone, never forget that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you and me have a little something in common man. I’m conjuring up something right now that I think you’ll like.

    Something you can relate to.

    I’m approaching 50 and have lived within the evil shadows of depression for most of my life.

    I have some pretty heavy insights to share that will hopefully save some lives.

    They’ve saved mine a time or two, or ten.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Another way indeed. It is funny how we regard ‘help’ with an uncomfortable smile, yet whenever I’ve sought help I’ve learnt there is another me which dwells behind the depression, who has an aversion to death and altruism I often need. In every conversation with a doctor, therapist or friend, all the ‘help’ has taught me is to talk, communicate. Most importantly, to communicate with myself so the next time I feel as if my legs are just cylinders of air and the room is spinning anti-clockwise to the earth, I can reach out and take the hand of the woman behind the depression who only wishes to save me. I’m positive this was written by a Nicholas wishing to do the same. Keep breathing bud 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have had my problems with suicide over the years. 4 attempts over the last 12 years, but finally have been in a much better place for the last year when some much needed changes happened. I’m so grateful I was unsuccessful, and I’m so happy to see your mindset regarding your depression. That you believe it will pass and that you can beat it, although you’re surrendering to it not being possible NOW exactly. Wish you the best and hope the poetry and positivity can come back sooner than later.


  8. I just posted it…

    I’m new to this and don’t know any other way to let you know that it’s up. I think you’ll like it. It’s not as poetic as yours, and my grammar sucks, I also misuse the crap out of the ellipses…but I like them and they seem to fit:)


  9. Anna Deneau

    The availability of mental health care is pathetic in the US, especially if you’re a challenge. I have Bipolar Disorder, and after getting out of the mental ward (the first time…) I had a really tough time finding a psychiatrist. This was in Seattle and I had good insurance. There should have been a ton of options. Waiting list after waiting list. I did find a great guy, but I was in and out in 15 minutes every session, even after a suicide attempt. It’s the only way to handle the volume of patients.

    Suicide – by the time I got to that point, there was nothing that could convince me living was worthwhile. There was no joy for months on end. Nothing interested me. I was dead inside. Sleep was my only relief. I needed to be treated medically because at that level of pain a person is no longer in a rational state. Talking to me would accomplish nothing.

    I had so many more options than most – ECT even. I am one of the lucky ones. It’s a tragedy how many people are dead because help is either too expensive or not even available.


  10. “All you need to do is simply see it once more”. That’s an amazing line. Good motivation here, I hope you see find the motivation to want to see that morning once more in the future. Good luck!


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