If the suicide of Anthony Bourdain, the beloved restauranteur and travel personality taught the country anything, it’s that depression is still poorly understood.
In 2014, a young woman named Trieste Belmont was struggling with depression. Her grandmother had just passed, and she was going through a dramatic break-up.
She was teaching a dance class at this time, but without a driver’s license, she relied on a friend to drive her to and from work every week. One day however the friend didn’t show, and Belmont waited for hours before being forced to walk home.
The route she used went over a high bridge. And when she got there, she stopped for a moment.
“I was just having one of the worst days of my life. And I was looking down at all the cars, just feeling so useless and like such a burden to everyone in my life that I decided that this was the time and I needed to end my life,” Belmont told NPR.
“I was sobbing and crying and working up the courage to just go through with it, because I knew at that moment that it was going to make everyone’s lives better.”
At that moment, a driver, whose face Belmont didn’t see, and whose hand she would never shake, passed over the bridge and hollered out of the window.
“Don’t jump,” they said.
It immediately clicked a lightbulb on in her head; that if a stranger could care enough to speak up, then suicide was not the answer.
She enrolled in therapy, and with the help of her friends, family, and therapist, she is far down the road indeed from that dark and fateful day.
Belmont uses the incident as an example to teach others to be kind to people, as it’s never obvious what they’re going through. The smallest kindness is multiplied by the distance, socially, between two strangers.
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