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I forget how lucky I am sometimes.

I walk everyday and recently got the habit of doing a nice path that goes along the vineyards and the forest. It’s quiet as it’s above the end of the village and I never meet a soul there. I was finishing my round in the evening a few days ago when I heard what I thought were 2 dogs fighting, then again, something resembling some animal growls. I didn’t pay too much attention to it, until I had a look and realised the sound was actually coming out of a human being.

The guy was sitting in the middle of the service road few meters below me, arms around his head, until he started hitting his own face and torso. From the time I realised he needed help, he had started at scream on the top of his lungs, several times. Some primal and desperate cries of desperation and sadness. My heart stopped.

I called an ambulance. As the guy got silent, I came a bit closer, he seemed to be in his 50s, visibly under some substances. I asked him-in a terrible German if he was ok, he insured me he was, so I gave him space while I was waiting for assistance. But he was not. A few minutes later, he started to shout again. It was heartbreaking to witness such a level of human suffering- and not being able to help. Luckily, the ambulance arrived fast and he was in good hands fast enough.

Still, I couldn’t help but to feel an immense wave of gratitude when I came home. Grateful that I got someone waiting for me there. Grateful that there was some nice food on the table. Grateful that I had a roof above my head and a door to close every night.

I remember to be grateful for all of this. Every day. I just sometimes forget to thank for the most primary gift of being sound and healthy. Free of drugs, illness or mental health. That was a great reminder… I hope he is as ok as he can be, wherever he is…

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