Crisis on the Burlington/QEW Skyway

I initially heard about this at work today, from one side of a casual, phone conversation a co-worker was having around 5:30. I had no context, only hearing half the conversation, but it immediately caught my attention. It caught the attention of a few others in the office, but not for the same reasons.

Burlington Skyway reopens in both directions following police investigation

All they picked up on was something about jumping off the bridge. They laughed.

What I heard, was that a person was on the skyway, ready to jump, and my brain immediately translated into, someone is in crisis and they want to end their life. I felt their pain. I still feel it now.

I don’t know anything about this person, aside from that it was a male, in crisis, and is now being treated by professionals.

Both sides of the skyway were shut down for nearly 2 hours. Post of me thought it was odd that they’d shut down both sides, course o don’t know where exactly the incident was taking place, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how necessary it would be.

I have never gotten to a full blown crisis point, but it has gotten to the point where I have had the scenario play or in my head, minus the first responders trying to stop me. I’ve gotten to that point several times over the past 15 years, but the worst has actually been just in the past 3 months.

Hearing this incident being mentioned in such a causal manor actually hurt. No one in my office knows that I’ve ever been suicidal. Some of them are aware I have anxiety. Two of them know that the reason I didn’t come to work on Thursday was due to the panic attack I had Wednesday night. A few others knew I was having sleep issues back in December-February (it was severely effecting my day to day functioning – turned out it was being caused by the high dose of sertraline I was on at the time)

The thing is, most people don’t associate anxiety with suicidal ideation. I mean, in the majority of cases, it is connected more to depression than anxiety, but a lot of people with anxiety also have depression.

But I haven’t talked to any of my co-workers (except for one, who left last month) about the fact that I have depression. I find it’s easier to talk about anxiety. For some train I feel like it’s more normal or accepted. Tell someone you have depression and they somehow treat you differently, or they don’t believe you. Especially on my case, because I’m apparently really good at hiding it (my counselor actually told me this last week). I’ve always felt like anyone I tell, who hasn’t been through it, or other mental health issues, just doesn’t see it. But anxiety is different for some reason.

Anyways, I’ve wandered a bit off topic. I’m not sure anymore what my original point was, other than that, as a society, we need to be more sensitive to this kind of thing. I know the only way to do this is to talk about it, but it’s hard, when it makes people uncomfortable. It doesn’t make me uncomfortable, I’m just highly sensitive to how uncomfortable it makes others.

Also, I hope this man gets the help he needs and deserves and I hope he knows he’s not alone!

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