I got an email from my sister on Tuesday morning – almost exactly 24 hours before yesterday’s tragedy. She titled it “This one is a little emotional…” and she’s explicitly given permission to share.
——— Forwarded message ———
From: Sinead McDermott
Date: 6 May 2014 11:29
Subject: This one is a little emotional..
To: Alastair McDermott
May 6th 2014
I just wanted to write to you and tell you how proud I am of you for doing the Cycle Against Suicide. I’ve been watching all of your posts on Facebook and reading your blog and Jim’s everyday and each time I feel such an immense wave of emotion come over me. You and your fellow cyclists are such fantastic role models and leaders.
Every picture, every post, every blog hits me deep in my heart. You saw me many times hitting rock bottom. You were there so many times to put your arms around me and tell me I was going to get through this. You know how many years I have battled with anxiety and depression. You know how hard it was for me to find my way back into the light. I came back stronger and more determined than ever. Now I get to help people who are just like I once was. Thank you for being part of the team that lifted me up out of that black hole of despair. Thank you for being a leader and being that light for people.
I just love the motto ‘It’s ok not to feel ok.’ I’ve long since left depression in the past, but I do have brief encounters with the darkness, days where I just don’t feel ok, days where I think I’m slipping back, but I don’t. I know that as soon as I start to feel that way I pick up the phone and talk to someone. Talking about your feelings is vital. It’s so important that people are open and aware.
The message of ‘It’s ok not to feel ok’ is so so powerful. I wonder if you and the other cyclists know just how powerful it is. So I just wanted to say I am so proud of my big brother and all of the people who are involved in the Cycle Against Suicide. Thank you for giving people hope. Thank you for raising awareness, and thank you for letting people know that it’s ok not to feel ok and that there is help out there. There is always someone to talk to. There is always a way out and I can tell you it’s so much brighter on the other side of depression.
So keep going, and be the light.
From the bottom of my heart,