Don’t suf­fer in si­lence

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - The News

At the age of 28, Me­lanie Wil­lard was deter­mined to kill her­self, revving up her car as she pre­pared to drive off a cliff in Cal­gary.

“It was a stan­dard trans­mis­sion.” For some rea­son, she could not shift into drive. “I was frozen.” She be­lieves that the cause of the in­er­tia was spir­i­tual, not me­chan­i­cal. “I wept and wept. I felt some­thing leave me. I never had a sui­ci­dal thought since,” re­calls the 43-yearold Alexan­dria woman.

She be­lieves that God in­ter­vened to save her life, to help win an in­ter­nal strug­gle that had plagued her for most of her life.

“I was never happy as a kid. I was sui­ci­dal ev­ery day. I lacked noth­ing; I had a lot of love at home; I had ev­ery­thing I needed, but I was suf­fer­ing in si­lence.”

Ms. Wil­lard spoke to Jan­uary 31, Bell Let's Talk Day, as part of an aware­ness cam­paign spot­lights per­sonal sto­ries from Cana­di­ans of all ages and from all walks of life liv­ing with men­tal ill­ness or pro­vid­ing sup­port for those who do.

The speaker and au­thor de­scribes her­self as “a fighter who is no stranger to ad­ver­sity, hav­ing over­come many life threat­en­ing bat­tles such as can­cer, loss, eat­ing dis­or­ders, do­mes­tic abuse and ad­dic­tions.” Ms. Wil­lard’s life has had sev­eral chaotic chap­ters, which she has out­lined in her book en­ti­tled “Dare to be RAW.” In her 20s, Ms. Wil­lard trav­elled to the U.S., Europe, and the Mid­dle East as a mis­sion­ary work­ing with schools, Na­tive com­mu­ni­ties, pris­ons, churches, women and home­less shel­ters. For over a decade she man­aged a na­tional net­work of chap­lains, the “Billy Gra­ham

Me­lanie Wil­lard

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