By Sean Plunket, Magic Afternoons host.
I had been thinking a lot about talking about this because I think back literally to just a year maybe, and a couple of weeks ago.
Where I was at, you know, it was as dark as I got in my life and literally I felt, because of the way my brain was working, and had been working in a decline that it probably taken a year and a half or two years.
It involves all the everyday challenges that people have; financial challenges, romantic challenges, work challenges, employment challenges and I just ran out of gas.
I started slipping and sliding.
I was at the bottom, I had the plan and I was good to go.
Literally down to figuring out who would take care of my dog and everything and how I would work it out.
Something changed and I'm going to share with you what changed actually because I think it is important in the context of the conversations that we have.
What changed was a job and I started believing in myself again and that job was here at Magic Talk.
I haven't even told the people who gave me that job that probably in some ways saved my life.
So you people are very important to me.
Re-engaging and feeling that I had some worth as a broadcaster and I wasn't washed up or useless and I wasn't universally hated or rejected.
That I wasn't too old, I wasn't too pale and I wasn't too stale.
It has lifted me up and I'll look at myself now a year on after what has still been an incredibly difficult personal year.
I suppose in a mental sense on a journey towards some greater sense of well-being. Man, I've learnt some stuff in the last two and a half years and in the last year.
I've learnt how to take care of myself better in a mental sense.
I haven't sought a whole lot, or had available to me, a whole lot of counselling. I haven't taken any drugs, I haven't been to see a mental health professional, I had just decided that I was either going to live or I was going to die.
So when I hear people who are reaching out to others and trying to help them, and I had a family that really helped me, some very close friends who really helped me, some people without even knowing it just by treating me as normal, allowing me to re-engage in society helped me.
I just feel for people and I particularly feel for people who I know might be heading into what is meant to be the happy time of the year nowhere near happy.
I ask you to be as compassionate to them, as patient with them as possible because they need you.
I've lost a couple of people I know, a couple of them very close to me, this year to suicide.
I didn't see it coming, I didn't maybe listen hard enough or look hard enough.
I have been wondering for the last month or so whether or not I should share that with you people at any time.
I didn't plan to do this today but it came up and I was thinking about Dee and how frustrated I feel at that so I just want to share that with you.
I want to say to you that the best thing you can give anyone for a present is time and understanding.
You don't need to wrap that up in a bow and put it under a Christmas tree, just being there for them and just listening and telling them they are part of the world and someone cares about them.
It is a very, very valuable gift that only human beings and caring human beings can give each other.
Where to find help and support
- Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633
- Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
- Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
- What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email email@example.com or online chat
- Samaritans - 0800 726 666
- Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Sean Plunket is host of Magic Afternoons, weekdays noon to 3pm.