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Divine Intervention - by James Cleal - Trigger Warning

Updated: Jun 20, 2019

Approximately 3 1/2 years ago I lost my family. I had a partner and two girls, all of whom within one day had exited my life. Needless to say it was catastrophic and absolutely devastating. I was at work when I got the news and immediately left work. Feeling absolutely distraught I returned to a very empty, lonely house and face the inevitable. It was unbearable and too much to take. So I decided that was the time that my life will end. I grabbed whatever alcohol and whatever medication I could find, sat on the couch and began to drink. As I was about to swallow a bunch of pills for some reason I heard bells. I cannot explain it. Perhaps it was divine intervention. All I know it was enough to snap me out of the trance that I was in, enough to call Employee Assistance for help.

They were able to talk me to a point where I was more aware and then I was able to get to the University Hospital for help. I have no idea how I made it to the University Hospital. I do know that while walking across the road I did fall and only to wake up on the road looking up at the underside of a car and a tire about 6 inches from my head. I only assume I passed out in front of a vehicle. The next several months consisted of intense therapy. I went through crisis counseling, spiritual counselling, Conventional psychological counseling. I was beginning to take a turn. Approximately six months after the initial impact in my life I thought I was on the road to recovery but due to certain circumstances I did have a relapse and it was very severe. There was an incredible amount of pain emotionally and spiritually.

Once again I found myself absolutely distraught, alone, abandoned, and so much more. I began to drink, something that I typically do not do, got into my vehicle and drove out to a farmers field. Along the way somehow an acquaintance must have received news of me being distraught. I did briefly chat with somebody beforehand and they were reaching out to me to stop. It did not help as I continued to the field. There, I got out of my vehicle walked behind a clump of trees, had a weapon in hand, and laid on the grass. I looked up into the blue sky and my surroundings and it was as if time was standing still. My time was up. I could no longer bear the pain, the stigma, the loneliness and so much more. It had to end. The individual that I had previously spoken to managed to reach me on my phone as I was laying in the field. She pleaded with me not to follow through on the act. Listening to her tears and her plea was enough to get me to stop. Part of me died in that field that day. It was the end. Yet, part of me was reborn that day. Something within me helped me fight to stay alive, to be reborn. The pain in the suffering had to die.

Somehow I made my way to the university hospital once again. I was very disheartened that upon arriving at the hospital there were two police officers waiting for me. They asked me my name and then they proceeded to put me in handcuffs. I was horrified needless to say. I was met with ignorance and intimidation by these two police officers. I was going to the hospital to get help and some compassion and what I got was ignorance and handcuffs. It turned out that one of the individuals that I had spoken to earlier had called the police and informed them of the situation. I appreciate that they have to keep safety in mind but to have met me with such ignorance and put me in handcuffs was such a stigma of mental health. I wound up being put in an isolated room for a number of hours. It was a horrible experience. Eventually the doctor came in and we had a long chat. I told him about my experiences and after some consideration I was released from the hospital. I continued on with more intensive counseling.

On the road to recovery and reconnecting with life, approximately 1.5 years ago my nephew completed the act of suicide by a very disturbing way of a shot gun to his head. His story onto itself has been extremely tragic and that this young man of 21 years old decided to end his life because of fear and extensive drug use. He left behind two very young children, one that was special needs. What adds to his tragedy was that after years of gang related incidents and drug abuse he was attempting to clean up his life, turn around the tragedies that have occurred in his life and do good. But, as it turns out he suffered from depression and anxiety as well and lived in silence with this. It was noted on his Facebook account how he spoke about feeling alone and living in darkness with the demons closing in on him. I’ve often thought to myself only if I knew what he was experiencing… In knowing my nephew's death, it caused me to reflect on how close I was to completing the same act virtually the same way and for the same reasons. He gave the opportunity for me to see the impact that suicide has on those that are left behind.

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