Video Transcript

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

That feeling of safety is the basis of mental health. When you're not feeling well, you don't feel so safe.

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

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. If I say it almost like a mantra and I found myself living alone. 

[Sandi speaks in background]

I'm resting my body.

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.

[Man's voice in the background] 

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

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

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.

"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] 

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.

Illustration of two people in a hot air balloon

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