I ran across this comment on the website Reddit, and it really struck me. I had to share it because I know there are many people out there through pride or ignorance who refuse to ask for help.
You can always ask for help.
This is exactly right
About 4 years ago I worked with a guy, really smart, funny, neat guy. A little bit wired at times, and when he got frustrated, he often talked to himself and would curse himself. It never bothered me but it did bother some others in the office.
He worked a different shift and we only overlapped for an hour or two.. But I still got along with him, he was a hard worker, but he would never seek help if he needed help with work. He was a bit stubborn and would rather sit with a problem for 2 hrs then get someone to help him and get over it in 15 minutes.
This also translated to his drinking problem. Often he came into the office with the smell of alcohol on his breath or clothes. Some people said he would go to his car on his lunch break and drink some more, because they would smell it when he got back from lunch. He would even show up to work with bruise, cuts, bandages etc. He often played it off as “i fell down” but we knew it meant “i fell down drunk” some surmised he may be getting into bar fights.
His work did suffer a little bit from this, and he was making some co-workers uneasy. Management sat down with him, our benefits package includes help for personal issues, whether that be dependency issues, divorce, stress, counseling etc. They will help you get help and benefits will pay some of the cost. They outlined this and offered him help on his drinking. He refused, and wouldn’t admit to any problem.
Eventually the economy went south, and they had to cut our hours, and they let hi go. It was unfortunate, but that’s how it went. I heard he fought for wrongful dismissal and won a settlement.
A couple years later a supervisor said he saw him walking down the street and he “looked rough” we wondered what he was up to these days, but heard no more.
Just after christmas, we found out a bit more, a newspaper article in one of the papers mentioned his name, as the homeless man found frozen to death outside of the former Maple Leaf Gardens (now a grocery store). Someone (a fellow reddit user here) investigated the prone homeless man to find him not moving and called 911. The paramedics tried to save him, but failed.
It has been 2 months since that happened, I think about him often. I only worked with him for a couple hours a day, I didn’t have an in depth relationship with him. Just casual office chit chat, that sort of thing. But it really hit me hard, and saddened me.
A memorial of flowers, candles and pictures was erected where he was found. I went to visit that the first chance I got, on a very very bitter cold day. There I got to see pictures of him as a child, and It made me even more sad. I am not religious at all, and don’t believe in an afterlife, but I still had to say goodbye to my co-worker, who did not need to die, frozen to death on a sidewalk, as people walked by, purchasing groceries. As security stood 10 feet away in a warm building while this man lay on the sidewalk on one of the coldest days of the year.
Most of all, if he only said “Yes, I need help, I have a drinking problem”. He would be alive today, doing well, living in an apartment or maybe even a house. Instead he lived on the streets begging for food and money to sustain his addiction.
The sheer thought of that really weighs on me. If Only… If only…