sorry to bother you… I just want to say thanks for all the tweets you do… about suicide and survivors. It provides a voice for those of us who can’t speak or have tried and given up. Just know u make a difference…be wellnobody
I received the quoted message from “nobody” as a Twitter DM. It’s the first DM I received. Up until then, I was sharing my story, naively unaware of the ripples I was creating. “Nobody” took notice and with the click of a mouse changed everything.
I received the DM in January 2016. The timing is significant.
Bell Let’s Talk
January is when Bell Let’s Talk Day happens. On that day, using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk on Twitter raises funds for mental health uses in Canada. More importantly, it puts mental health and mental illness in the spotlight, helping to reduce stigma.
I saw a Bell Let’s Talk ad mere days after my attempt. It did three things: it gave me hope; it showed me I wasn’t alone; and, it told me it was okay to talk about my illness and struggle. So, when Bell Let’s Talk Day came around, I knew I’d participate.
I was new to Twitter, still not versed in its nuances. So I began my Bell Let’s Talk Day simply retweeting the hashtag. I’d quickly scan a tweet for the appropriate hashtag and then click away. At that time, I didn’t know I could use the hashtag and have all the relevant tweets available for me.
Retweeting the hashtag was unsatisfactory. Bell Let’s Talk is also about sharing so I began to share. I hadn’t really done this before. Until then, I’d tweeted blog links for my original blog but they mostly passed by unnoticed. I naively assumed the same would happen if I tweeted my story, and I did want to tweet it. I wanted to live up to the ad.
So, I tweeted about my attempt, the despair that led me there, and of my desire to end the pain. I spoke of the darkness, The Black, that was my mind. It was important to me to make it clear my attempt wasn’t a true choice, it wasn’t selfish, it wasn’t about wanting to die. It was about ending my pain.
I tweeted on these points feeling safe in my false cocoon of anonymity and low interaction. Of course, I was wrong. The anonymity was there, but the low interaction was not. The DM from “nobody” showed me that. That DM shattered the cocoon. That DM showed me the power of Twitter.
The DM doesn’t judge, it doesn’t point an accusing finger. It acknowledges my meager efforts to share and says that by doing this, I make a difference. That blew me away. It still does.
See, those initial shares weren’t tweeted to make a difference. They were tweeted to live up to the Bell Let’s Talk ad. But mostly, they were tweeted to help me. I knew that sharing was essential to my recovery. It never occurred to me that someone else might benefit from them as well.
“Nobody’s” DM changed all that. I now understood the meaning of the ad. Sharing does two things: it helps to promote your own healing; but, it also shows others that they’re not alone, that there’s a path out of the darkness. If they just hang on, they can find their path.
One simple DM, eye-opening, fateful. I bumped into “nobody” on Twitter many times after that. We became online friends and eventually met. Sadly, I screwed it all up and that friendship is no more. But the DM remains. The thanks remain.
I thank you, “nobody”.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay