On the evening of September 10th, I joined others from Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Charlotte County to walk for suicide prevention at Gilchrist Park, Punta Gorda.
After the walk, there was a Yellow Rose ceremony for those loved ones lost to their illness.
Being a big guy, with bad knees, I was not able to walk the full route. However, this year, I walked some of it. I was able to get a few good pictures and videos. The above photo is of Jay Glynn, CEO at CBHC. I was able to video the Yellow Rose ceremony.
What will personally stick with me the most? What someone said about what I wrote: “who” I was walking for?…I wrote: “ME.” I did not write it as a joke because I’m a Mental Health Humor cartoonist. NO, but as a serious statement of a living/breathing participant…Something my Bipolar Disorder almost took away from me in 2008. (I did not expect anyone to notice or say anything about me writing: walking for “ME.”)
One woman, who was walking for suicide prevention, approached me at the end of the walk to commend me for personally walking for…”ME.”
She and I talked for a bit. Her amazing story was so empowering. I asked if she would say a few words on video for my readers…What she said next are the most powerful words you should never forget if you live with a mental health disorder.
Here is what she said:
You are not alone, say it now: say it again, “You’re not alone!”
Words that, at the right time, can save a life! Something we should write down and repeat daily to remind us we are never alone. These simple words of hope can hold so much power…Yes, if the words are coming from the right source, from the right person and at the right time!Chato Stewart Consumer Peer Ambassador