Don’t suffer in silence
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