SANDI | Grief, loneliness and blooming where you’re planted


Sandi talking to her support group: That feeling of safety is the basis of mental health. When you're not feeling well, you don't feel so safe.

Sandi voiceover: Well I was renting a place on my own,
and I felt incredibly isolated and lonely.

Sandi talking to her support group: And now that I've moved here,
I realised, wow, you know,
just to see somebody, even while you're
taking your garbage to the bin,
you can bump into someone and
and have a chat.
So it's very much part of what I need
to stay mentally healthy.

Sandi voiceover: When I was 20,
I lost my brother to suicide.

[Soft piano music plays]

I can't describe a more gut
wrenching grief.
Why didn't we see it
and why couldn't we stop it?
I really struggled with that.
I thought if people are loved,
they would never do that.

In 2018, my long time marriage ended.

Sandi talking to her support group: If I say it almost like a mantra

Sandi voiceover: And I found myself living alone.

Sandi talking to her support group: I'm resting my body

Sandi voiceover: Not only did I not have 
my now adult son around
and my then husband, but a lot of friends
seemed to fall by the wayside.
I ended up hospitalised
with major depression.
I thought 'Gee, you'd have to be 
really sick to self-harm.'
And I was really sick.

I connected some dots with my brother
and realised just how 
unwell he must've been.

Support group member: What if a person doesn't want help 
and doesn't believe they've got depression or anxiety?

Sandi to support group: You know, we've become really good at wearing masks.
You know, like, I'm fine, I'm coping,
everything's good. 

Sandi voiceover: My son very bravely said to me one day,
"Would you think about a retirement village?"
And I remember saying to him,
"You're very brave mentioning 
a retirement village to me.
I'm not retired and I'm not that old."
And I remember speaking with 
my counsellor and saying, 
"Oh I, there's a part of me that feels like
maybe I'm just going there to die."
And it's been the exact opposite.

Sandi reading pamphlet: "The universe wants to congratulate you
on your healthy new approach.
You've broken the chains, baby.
And now you can walk away
from the limiting attachments
into a bright and unlimited future."

[Music shifts to upbeat guitar track]
Sandi voiceover: When I first moved in here, I remember thinking,
'Oh well I'll do all that community stuff later,
you know, 10 years from now'.
Then I was here less than a week
and I was at happy hour
with some of the other residents.

I don't feel lonely anymore.
[Background laughter]
[Sounds of snooker balls hitting each other]

I still live alone.
But all I have to do is 
take a walk down the road here
and I'll bump into somebody and
have a chat with them for five or 10 minutes.

That sense of isolation and the sense of
loneliness have just dissipated.
It's all about mindset.
And I very much believe in blooming
where you're planted.