"The most amazing week ever = #NSPC16 = Suicide prevention WolfPack"

Last Saturday I made my way to Canberra for the National Suicide Prevention Conference. It is safe to say, I was beyond anxious and nervous before I left. I was travelling there on my own. I was worried that I didn't really know anyone and wondering if i'd make connections with people. I was also really excited and anticipating how it was going to be. 

The first sign of me knowing that it was going to be an amazing week, happened when I was sitting at the gate waiting for my flight. My great friend David said he was also at the airport and we were going to be on the same flight (I believe in signs from the universe and to me this was one of them). 

Apart from learning heaps of information about suicide prevention and networking, I also got to develop amazing friendships with some of the most incredible people in the world (Pat, Trent, Ben, Sophie, Sharon, Sacha, Joe, Caiti, and Chealsie). I remember speaking to David, and saying how crazy it was that I had made these almost un-explainable connections with people and how it felt like I had literally known them my entire life. David said something profound; "Steffi I am beyond happy for you, the reason you are feeling this way is because you are connecting with their souls. The connection is different from anything you experience in a "normal" setting, there is no bullshit here. It is real and raw".

The days that followed were nothing short of amazing. These people had my back. When my anxiety was playing up they supported me (without me even needing to ask, they just knew). These people became not only life long friends but people I would call family. Fast forward to Wednesday night. The night that it was home time. Time for everything to end. The time were reality came to life again. Add in mental health issues and a massive phobia of goodbyes, and the last few days have been extremely tough. 

I miss my new family, I have FOMO. I live in WA and everyone else (except two) lives on the other side of the country. Too say I am struggling would be an understatement. I also thought i'd be the only one feeling this way. However, I am not. Our connections with each other are so strong that we are all feeling it. To me this is beautiful and a testament to the time we all spent with each other. It is ok to feel like this and I am not alone. I am forever going to be grateful for the experience and for these beyond EXTRAORDINARY people coming into my life. 

So many exciting things are going to be happening for us. Amazing things are in the works. Watch this space. 

Live, breathe, embrace. 

Stef 

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Tenille Westerhout