It helps to talk.

Someone Else'S Shoes

We were leaving the E.R. after getting treatment for my son, when we saw a man outside in a wheelchair. It was pretty hard not to notice him as he was distressed and shouting about something we couldn’t understand.

As we approached, I noticed he had a cast on his foot, so I asked him what he’d done to himself. That question unleashed the story of his 44 year life at a pace my boys and I were all finding hard to keep up with. We got the idea that he’d pretty much had a life of constant pain and been given pain medication from the time he was 15 which had continued to increase in potency until he became addicted and now couldn’t live without it.

We stood there and listened to this poor man’s ramblings and he finally started to slow down when he realized we hadn’t abandoned him. When he was finished, he apologized for speaking so quickly but told me he’d become accustomed to it because no-one ever stuck around long enough to listen.

I said I was sorry, but I’d have to go as my son had a migraine. He asked me my name and gave me his hand as he introduced himself and thanked me for listening. “It helps to talk”, he said and told me how much better he felt just that I’d taken the time to listen. I wished him all the best and he told me to have a wonderful life and take care.

It wasn’t a lot of time and my boys were quite overcome by his sad story, but it meant the world to this man who was now calm and composed from just those few minutes of being able to let it out. – Lis 🙂

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