Stop Sign – Friday Fictioneers 13th July, 2022.

“Stop, Jane! You’ve gotta stop!”

Yet, Jane couldn’t take her foot off the accelerator. She’d said nothing to anyone, but lately she’d been considering driving over The Gap.

“What do you do for self-care?” Her therapist asked, knowing she was on the brink.

“Self-care?” Jane exploded. “@#$%!! I don’t even exist. I’m squished in between Stuart, the kids, work, Mum’s stroke, Dad’s cancer. I’m driving to appointments, soccer, ballet and then there’s church. Busy, busy, busy!”

“I’m prescribing you a week’s holiday. Before you say you can’t go, please consider what will happen if you don’t. You matter too!”

“Do I?”

…..

100 words PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

For so many of us, it’s impossible to stop and get off the treadmill, but there can come a point where too much activity and no rest reaches breaking point. It’s important to consider things the rests which are inserted into music, full stops and commas inserted into sentences and if you think back to when you were first learning to write, putting that all important finger space in between the words.

The Gap, Watson’s Bay, Sydney.

I hope my story this week isn’t too triggering for anyone. If case you haven’t heard about The Gap in Sydney, it’s an ocean cliff at Watson’s Bay which is infamous for suicides. So much so, that if someone’s going through a rough time or having a particularly bad day, they might say: “I feel like jumping off The Gap”. However, it’s generally used to let off steam, and not as an expression of intent.

The flipside of this story, is that much has been done to try to reach or help those wanting to take there life. In particular, there was Don Ritchie, who was known as the Angel of the Gap. I encourage you to read his story and it’s interesting how far a smile can go towards saving someone’s life. It’s really something to keep in mind!

Personally, I see this as a good news story, because Jane is very overstretched but she is seeing a therapist which is a help and she is releasing much of the inner tension she’s been holding back.

About a month ago, I actually did a two day course in suicide intervention run by Lifeline who run a telephone crisis line here in Australia. I have been a first responder and I was surprised at how well I actually handled the situation. However, I wanted to skill myself up. Be prepared.

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff Fields.

Best wishes,

Rowena

13 thoughts on “Stop Sign – Friday Fictioneers 13th July, 2022.

  1. granonine

    Yes, I lived something like that life for many years. For me, retirement has been my getaway. I was afraid I’d be bored. No such thing!

  2. Rowena Post author

    Thanks so much, Dan. Fortunately, I haven’t been thrown too far in the deep end since the course, although I’d rather be there for someone in that situation than not. I go to alot of dance performanes and try to encourage the dancers. You never know when I simple smile might be that different. Mind you, I’m not superhuman and also have my cranky and what’s the point moments myself.
    Best wishes,
    Ro

  3. Rowena Post author

    Yes, indeed. I had a rather indulgent Bastille Day lunch at a French restaurant in Sydney yesterday as my self-care. It was amazing. My school friend and I were celebrating 30 years since we were in Paris for Bastille Day 1992. I watched the fireworks in Paris today. Hard to believe we were actually there.

  4. Savoring Sixty and Beyond

    Self-care is so important, and it is puzzling as to why that can be so difficult at times. Low self-esteem, fear of failure, inner pain, and setting the bar too high can put you in a dark place. It is always good to read articles such as yours as a reminder that even the simplest of gestures can make a difference in someone’s day. Now off to read Don Ritchie’s story.

  5. msjadeli

    Giving oneself permission to *do* nothing is difficult with all of the messages that are flooded at us to be productive. You’re so right, that those empty spaces are vital to one’s peace of mind. I think a lot of people fill the spaces because there are things they don’t want to think about. Learning ways to recondition one’s mind to either go to happy places or to clear out in either sitting or moving meditation (I use gardening and leisurely bike rides) can be the difference between explosion/implosion/self-harm. Good story and good educating today, Rowena.

  6. GHLearner

    An important story and an important task. Modern life is overwhelming and alarming that so many of us can indeed relate to this story.

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