May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Timely. I was at our outreach room in London yesterday and met a new fellow, let’s call him Andrew. He came inside the building, asked if he could have a cup of coffee, and then began talking about the salt content of eggs. There was no clear connection to the coffee.
I spent some time talking to Andrew at the coffee maker. He talked about drinking Mountain Dew, but didn’t know if he should have it while in the truck, or outside the truck. What we learned was that drinking the Mountain Dew while in the truck can help you to fly.
He also shared that though he was born in the early 1970s, he talked about an incident he endured in 1962. As a member of Light and Dark, he was able to experience things from a different time.
Andrew just wanted to talk. And I listened. There was little else I could do in the moment but to hear him out and validate his feelings about the events that he had experienced.
With blood on two cuts on his head and a dribble hanging on the tip of his nose,
Andrew spoke of microwaving eggs, 24 at a time, with a lot of salt. Frying them killed them so he couldn’t do that. But his thoughts immediately led him to the colour of his cigarette packages, then back to Mountain Dew, then to butane that caused him to light his coat on fire because his pipe was too short. I don’t know what he was really talking about, but to him, every word mattered.
He spoke of mind melding with others to find out how old he was. Andrew said that someone told him that he was as old as cigarettes and by his calculation that was approximately 16 years old. He was stunned to hear that cigarettes had been around longer than that. And he seemed to forget he was born in the 70s, and ssaid that he had traveled to the 60s.
That was just a snapshot of a day in the life of Andrew. It’s a part of his story. Everyone has a story. Andrew’s is probably more of a challenge than what I can really appreciate.
This month, remember that everyone is facing something. Please be kind with each other.