It Doesn't Take Much to Fall
There's a guy named Kevin. He's middle aged, walking around with a heavy heart and wish. It's a pretty simple one, yet somehow outside of his grasp.
I was waiting for the number 40 bus on Colorado after leaving my therapist's office. My therapist asked me to show the same compassion to myself that I show to others. The challenge however is that my compassion falls short.
I took a picture of the bus stop sign, then turned around and saw a man walking toward me. I stopped the podcast I was listening to (The Hilarious World of Depression, fittingly enough) in preparation of saying hello. The sidewalk is really narrow and it's a busy street, so we were going together end up in each other's bubbles.
His t-shirt is black. In tan Papyrus font were the words "The hottest place on earth. Death Valley."
As the man entered my bubble of space, I said hello. He was surprised. It was as though he didn't think I'd notice him passing. His response was quiet, almost apologetic. He asked me how I was doing. I told him I was fine and asked the same of him.
An audible sigh was followed by a hushed, "oh shit..."
Kevin and I share the same wish. The wish is to be happy. The wish is to be free of suicidal thoughts.
There's been a bit of a problem with some paperwork, and because of that, Kevin is losing his home. A series of events transpired that led to this place, but now it seems we've reached a dead end.
A 72 hour 5150 involuntary psych hold for suicidal ideation became a few weeks stay in the hospital as a heart condition was discovered. Work was lost. His bike was stolen from his house. Seemingly small things, but when you're living on the edge, they become tipping points. Tipping right over the edge with no safety net.
One ray of hope is that Kevin has a case worker. A case worker who is over-burdened with cases and is unable to make his a priority. I hope they can pull something together so he's not living on the streets.
He fist bumped me as I got off the bus. My measly "best of luck man," felt really shallow.
There's nothing more I can do than share his wish and hope for the best.