I heard the train once and ran the other way.
The Emmaus train has called people for years. The whistle blows through the town announcing its presence.
Every hour the sound echoes through the community as if to say, “I am here. Are you ready?”
In spring/summer of 2014, I heard the low sounds of whoo whoo whoo in my ears. It is like an eerie old witch’s voice saying, “I have some sweets for you to try.”
Now, I know the train doesn’t say that but when you are experiencing raw emotions and ending sadness that’s what you hear.
Yes, the joyful whistle that most kids love turns into a haunting call. A call that tells you to go with the train and be released from the feelings.
Why do we what the release?
Why does the train call people every year?
From my little bit of research and my personal experience, I believe we don’t want to feel anymore. And if we feel, we don’t have the skills or resources to cope.
Sadly through time, we have lost the ability to sit with hard emotions, work through them and figure out what to do with them. At least, that was my story.
But after two years, maybe three years of therapy, I have discovered that emotions are okay.
And humans feel, have different emotions, feelings come and go, each emotion is telling us something and we need to listen.
But that’s where we miss it. Some of us haven’t been taught how to feel and cope and work through deep life stuff and this is where the hard, grueling work that has to be done.
More and more, I advocate for parents to teach coping skills, validate feelings, and make all feelings acceptable, not a stigma, but part of life and a thing that is okay and can be actively supported.
The train will always call my community. It will always roar through town whispering to the sad, lonely, and depressed.
It has done that for years, but with every loss, we must try to harder to provide accessible mental health supports in our community, make feelings valid and help others run the other way from the train and to appropriate help.
Never easy. But it can be done. I am living proof.
I write about my struggles because I hope, someone will read this and can help another and why I am going to drive the US and talk about mental health, alternative ways to cope with emotions and promote people to feel.