You know you are in deep trouble when you reach a point in your life you never thought you’d reach.
In my case, it’s a list of points:
Unable To Work.
Unable To Walk.
At least I lived a crime-free life and am still well enough to walk.
The unemployment point was something I was able to get my head around for two reasons: it was not my fault for not finding work and at least I found some gigs to keep me going.
The homeless point? You have no place to stay. No one wants you to stay with them. That’s something you can’t make sense of. Ever.
Homelessness brings one of three outcomes: you either bounce back and return to self-reliance, you bounce back but later relapse, or you never bounce back.
I’m paying close attention to the latter two. Very close attention. According to an article in the Toronto Star in 2016, homeless people in Toronto are dying at a rate of more than two per week on average. In reports linked by the Homeless Hub, “people experiencing homelessness or extreme poverty die at increased rates compared to housed people and suffer from illnesses at a higher rate, experience different illnesses (such as TB) and die at a younger age. There is also an increased chance of death through violent means.”
This is not melodramatics. You’ve read my previous post on how things can potentially become dangerous while living in a shelter. That example won’t be the last time, either.
I have never been closer to an early death in my life than I am right now. I’m not talking about my plans to request MAID if I end up out on the streets permanently and cannot handle the hardship that would bring. I’m talking about dying from being in a state of vulnerability brought by homelessness and chronic unemployment.
With this realization fresh in my mind, I felt it was time to mend damaged relationships and make peace with those who were hurt by my situation. I asked those people to talk with me. I also accepted offers from those who made the first move.
I wasn’t trying to make things the way it used to be. That’s foolish thinking. Life is not a TV or movie where a happy ending always happens. Some things take time to heal.
It’s also possible some things can’t be healed. That doesn’t mean a civil relationship can’t be reached.
When the meetings did happen — whether over dinner, coffee, or a Skype connection — the past events that caused the divergence of relations were never brought up. We instead caught up on what’s been going on and talked about things happening in the news. We let the familiarity of talking carry things the way a river carries a canoe.
Each of these meetings would then end with a hug, a handshake, a promise to keep in touch, or a wish that things will work out for me.
It’s important that I do this. I want a conclusion to these relationships that didn’t end with things left unsaid.
Not everyone has met with me, however. I still have one friend I asked through FaceBook and Email to contact me. So far she has not. I hope one day she will so we can talk.
Thanks for reading.