I’m done waiting for someone else to fix things.
So I know I come across on here as all sweary and grumpy and “I hate people,” and trust me, that’s not a show. Those who know me well can attest to that. But they might also tell you something else about me, something that I don’t share much about on here because it’s not funny or snarky or in line with the “Quitter Brand,” whatever the fuck that is.
And that’s that I care about helping people. In a really big way. And sometimes caring about people can make you do kinda crazy things…
About a year ago a good friend and former colleague of mine and I got chatting about the serious lack of immediate help for people in emotional and mental crisis. In our previous work together in social services there wasn’t a day that went by where we weren’t scrambling to find people support and having to explain to someone crying on the other end of the phone that the waiting lists for the kind of help they needed were long and/or there would be significant costs involved. It sucked and kept both of us up at night.
Things Get Personal
And then someone I love got sick. Sick to the point where she began hurting herself and putting herself in harms way. Sick to the point where she no longer resembled the beautiful shining light she used to be. And when she was finally ready to ask for help there was no help to be found. Instead she was told she wasn’t “sick enough,” anymore to warrant help. And that her name would go on some long list and maybe someone who didn’t know her at all might see her in twelve to eighteen months for forty-five minutes if she was lucky. But in the mean time she could take this pill to help her sleep at night and these other pills to help her get through the day.
And I lost it…
Our healthcare system is broken. We are failing people everywhere. People are hurting and desperate and we do nothing but give them a number and ask them to wait their turn while they get sicker and sicker. I’ve watched it happen. I’ve sat with terrified parents, grieving children, broken people. Something needs to change.
And I’m done hoping someone else will fix it.
Quitter is the Change
And this is where the crazy comes in. Two weeks ago my friend and I opened a small office space to offer affordable counselling and free support groups for people who need help. Neither of us are businesswomen. So far it’s costing us money. And to be honest I don’t care. If we never make a dime, if all we ever do is break even, that’s cool with me. Because caring for people who are hurting has nothing to do with money and everything to do with believing that things can be different, that the idea of community and kindness haven’t been lost and above all, that when someone finally has the courage to reach out for help, there will be someone there to offer it to them.