On January 6, 2017, my husband was not in a good place. He had written and sent a suicide note to me. That day, he had planned on taking his life.
It was mid afternoon, he had cleared out his desk at work, and walked out of the office like he would never see any of my colleagues again.
In his letter to me, he had told me to look after our then 5yo, 4yo & 11mth old children. To guide them thru life in his absence. He would do his best to look over them from above. Life for him was too hard. He had given up. All the years of fighting his inner demons, the anxiety, depression had caught up with him. He thought the kids and I, plus those around him were better off without him here. How wrong was he?
Thru some divine intervention that day, and unbeknown to him, I had contacted the NSW Police Force. People who know me, I don't do police due to my dad passing away in a motorcycle accident, and having to deal with the knock on the door from the people in blue uniforms, but I was desperate and had no other option, as this was my only available and last resort to save my husband's life, the father of my children. Dad had to be saved. I was blessed that on that day, there were 8 patrol cars out looking for him. They cared.
The police were monitoring his every move thru texts that were being sent via my phone and tracking his whereabouts accordingly. In short, they picked him up that day before he was to do something he would regret, taking his life. He spend the next 72 hours in the Mental Health Unit at Blacktown Hospital.
For those that know him, he is your typical happy go lucky kind of guy, the guy who you would never expect to be suffering from anxiety or depression. What is your typical kind of guy? That's right, there isn't one.
For those who know me, I take each day as it comes. I know that there will be challenges along the way but everyones life is special and important - even when they can't see it themselves. I have kept my cards close to my chest to many on this issue for the past 12 months but that is not helping anyone. We need to be there to reach out and support each other. Its time to talk.
Mental Health is a serious problem that many of us in the community face. It's real. It affects 1 in 5 people. However, with the help of loved ones, doctors and health care professionals, schools and workplaces, all supporting us, we can triumph over mental illness.
He is 12 months down the track now and whilst he has good days and bad days, he is grateful that on January 6 last year, he had someone who cared so much for him, that I did whatever was possible to save his life, and I did. He is now learning to live with his mental health issues and gain strength every day. He won't lie, life is certainly not always easy, but it's better than the alternative that he was looking at.
I know he loves me.I know he is grateful that our 3 beautiful children will now grow up with a Dad and I still have a husband whom I can grow old with too.
Always ask those around you if they are okay? If you sense that something is not quite right, where possible, don't give up on them just as I didn't 12 months ago.
So please, if you can donate to a wonderful cause, however great or small, I would be most appreciative.
The Black Dog Institute means the world to me. It's an honor to be running for them in this year's City to Surf as one of their Charity Superstar's. I am certainly not a superstar, but just someone who is trying to make a difference thru a wonderful charity.
I will be representing so many people, sadly those that are no longer with us, but also those that we can hopefully reach out to now, and into the future. Education is paramount and together, as a Community, we can help so many. For me this is a life changer.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story,
My name is Rachel Gotsis and life is worth fighting for!