In efforts to bring awareness to mental health and to honour my friend who lost his battle with mental illness I am challenging myself to run Cape to Cabot in a 100lb vest. I want to let people know we are here to listen and help, to get people to open up about their feelings, and to let them know….
“It’s ok not to be ok.” Matthew Cyril Smith.
To support me in my efforts to honor Matt and to raise some much needed funds for the Canadian Mental Health Association, Newfoundland and Labrador Division
Matt worked with me off and on for 3 years. During those years we became very close, he literally was like my brother. Matt struggled with depression and anxiety during this time. It affected every aspect of his life: work, relationships, and self-image. Matt had good days and bad days. I found that one way to get someone out of their head was to keep them busy. I would delegate tasks to him and give him leadership roles. However, the bad days would pop up unexpected. He would disappear for days without calling. I suspected he was using prescription drugs; however, Matt hid this part of his life really well. The third time Matt came back to our team (Enhanced Forming Inc.) he stopped up to my house and asked me to read a letter he wrote. I look at this letter every day and my eyes fill with tears. He thanked me for everything I did for him and apologizes for how he treated me. He states that he respects me and that I’m a true friend. The letter is something I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Matt and I had a falling out 2 months before my wedding and I let him go from my company. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about “what if.” What if, I talked to him and worked it out. One week before my wedding Matt and I had a talk and I asked him to attend my wedding. Little did Matt know, before we had the falling out, I was going to ask him to be one of my best men. I regret that I never told him that. Matt attended my wedding and we had so much fun. It was like old times. I asked him to return to work with us again and he accepted. He worked with us for three days. My wife (Randi) and I went on our honeymoon. While on vacation I was told by my lead hand that Matt had not returned to work and that they were unable to get in contact with him. I returned from vacation and Matt avoided me. I then found out he went back to Alberta to work. At this point I felt hurt, abandoned, mislead, lied too, etc. So many emotions ran through my head. I tried many times to reach out to Matt while he was in Alberta, however, he would not respond to me. Four days before Matt ended his life he messaged my wife on Facebook. My exact words were “Don’t respond to it.” Four days later he ended his life. I let my emotions get in the way. Matt reached out to many people that week and in the end no one had the right words to help him. Matthew Cyril Smith ended his life on July 26, 2015 by carbon monoxide.
Enhanced Forming Inc.