Giving You A Bridge To Cross

, , , , , | Hopeless | September 2, 2018

Almost exactly ten years ago, when I was a University student, I struggled badly with depression. It reached its worst when, over the course of about a month, I started to struggle with my course, began having financial difficulties and housing issues, and found out that my girlfriend had been cheating on me for months. It got bad enough that I tried to take my own life.

One night I walked to the edge of town where there was a bridge that crossed over a railway line. I sat down on the edge of the bridge with the intention of jumping in front of the next train that passed underneath me.

Some time after I got there, I saw a man approaching where I was sitting. He very calmly sat down next to me on the edge of the bridge and all he said to me was, “If you want to talk, I’ll be here all night.”

True to his word, he was there all night. I think it must have been somewhere around three or four hours before I could bring myself to say anything, and as soon as I started talking I absolutely broke down, crying so hard that I could hardly breathe, almost unable to get any words out at all, but this man kept sitting there, not pressuring me into talking, not trying to make me move away from the edge, just being there so I didn’t feel alone.

After a while of this, I remember him speaking up again, although I have no recollection of what he said. What I do remember is getting up and walking away from the edge of the bridge, and this man draping his coat over my shoulders and waiting there with me for an ambulance to arrive to take me to hospital. The last thing I remember is him giving me a hug and saying something like, “I hope things get better for you from here,” and that was that; I got in the ambulance and he went on his way.

Ten years later, I’ve gone on to finish my degree, travel the world, meet the love of my life, and get married, Now I have my first child on the way. I have never forgotten what that man did for me. He saw a stranger in need, and when he could so easily have walked on and ignored it, he chose to give up an entire night of his life to give what support and comfort he could, and if it wasn’t for his actions I wouldn’t be here today.

I never saw him again after that, but I still have his coat. It hangs at the front of my wardrobe, and every single day I see it and it reminds me that there are some truly good people in this world.

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