’Til I am myself again: Taking mental health one moment, one day, at a time

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On August 5, 2004, I heard a knock on my rented townhome door in Nepean (now Ottawa), Ontario. Curious, almost dangerously so (curiosity has, at different times of my life, led to some close brushes with injuries of various types), I opened the door and came face-to-face with one of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) chaplains from HMCS (Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship) Carleton, my naval reserve unit at the time.

It would not take long, unfortunately, to find out that my then-brother-in-law, a naval reservist like myself and my first husband, was gone. The smiling, talented man I knew, who had, at one time, spoken about opening up his own restaurant, had taken his life at the age of thirty-one, in one of the most horrific ways you might be able to imagine. I still shudder at the thought of what he must have looked like to his best friend, who found his body in his family home in southern Ontario.

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