Blogger Barry: Recently, I was requested to write an inspiring and
educational article for a friend who runs a depression counselling
care line in Bloemfontein. Read on…
As you are probably well aware because of the field you are in, I
can only obviously write from a personal view point…. I have
only walked in my own shoes – no one else’s.
Dear Befriender Volunteers,
I am Barry, a pretty ordinary kinda oke that discovered a silent
talent due to a big trauma in my life….
Half way through my life, I had a major motor car crash which
stopped my hugely successful life dead in its tracks!
Before the accident, I was just an average guy. A qualified motor
mechanic, having achieved many of my hopes and dreams… Owning my
own business – a beautiful wife and loving family of 2 kids – A
nice cosy home – and racing my own sports car.
Then WHAMO! one evening I take a friend on the roads of our suburb
for a “show-off” spin in my Lotus and…
The “bragging ends with the car getting out of control and crashing
into the rear of a parked car.
The sudden impact threw me forward and my face into the windscreen,
my chest into the steering wheel and both my legs were trapped
under the dashboard and were badly broken.
Thank God my friend in the passenger seat was only scratched and
The facial contact with the screen shoved and broke my specticals
right into my eyes and damaged them to the extent that both retinas
became detached – resulting in my instant blindness. Many ribs
were broken against the steering wheel and later that night, the
doctors wanted to amputate my legs.
Your lovely Anna’s brief to me was to motivate and up-lift… At
the point of the accident and once I knew I’d spend the rest of my
life blind, I was not too worried and concerned about myself, I was
hugely anguished about what was going to happen to the woman and
children I loved, my business and our beautiful little home.
For many months the hospital recovery was extremely painful – both
physically but much more so mentally.
The lack of visitors and stimulation during the daytime and that
terrible way in which the mind goes into overdrive in a time such
as this, caused major depression, and a sense of helplessness and
hopelessness to the point of serious suicidal thoughts.
As mentioned in my most recent mailshot, the big thing that kept me
together and reasonably sane, and away from suicide was the
incredible and amazing way in which all kinds of people popped out
of the woodwork and ended up having parties in my hospital room.
My family, close friends, members of my motor racing club, distant
friends, my customers etc, all rallied around and spent their
valuable time with me – encouraging, stimulating, motivating and
Although this was not the only factor, it was the biggest that
helped me to grab and get a hold on my own “run-away” mind.
Even all these years later, I can’t really explain it but at one
point, late in my hospital stay, something clicked and I felt the
overwhelming warmth from all my visitors pressuring me to “come
right!”. A sense of suddenly wanting to prove to each and everyone
of them that I will recover and re-build my life popped in my head
and from that point onwards, I made myself a personal “mission”
statement and bite by bite and step by step, I slowly began to heal
and improve internally and mentally.
I don’t know how this can help with your highly important
counselling as each of your callers will be a unique individual and
have a very different story to tel and as such, the angle of the
counselling with be very different for each case.
Suffice to say that in the few people I’ve counselled on my journey
I’ve always suggested diverting the mind – away from dwelling on
the things that cause the depression and ugly thoughts. Easier
said than done. When I got home after the prang and still in
plaster of paris, I got myself as busy as I could… Anything from
mundane things like fixing things around the house to drawing up
future plans, learning to touch type and obtaining a talking
computer. Absolutely anything to keep ones mind from overworking
I Sincerely hope my little story helps and you find some value in
You are welcome to contact me on my website below.
Blogger Barry: Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed. Please
use the comment and follow buttons.
Barry Blomkamp Nd. Bsc (UL)
Professional Public Speaker, Trainer and Corporate Entertainer,
Motivational speaker, Guest & Key note speaker, Seminar &
Conference speaker, Team Builder, Comedian, Master of Ceremonies,
For your Strategic Planning sessions, Management or Sales meetings,
Conferences and/or Seminars, Award functions, Year end parties,
Cape Town, South Africa.