Dawn Casas was at her favorite breakfast spot, Kneaders Bakery and Cafe, when a terrifying thought popped in her head, one that she couldn’t shake.
The Colorado woman had always felt safe and welcomed at the cafe where she spent every morning, according to The Denver Channel, but that day was different. She realized she was going to have to say goodbye to her “family” at the cafe.
As the mother sat at the table writing in her journal — as she always did — she hid a dark secret from the employees whom she called “family”— she was overdosing on pills.
Something inside her told her to say one last goodbye to the people she considered a big part of her life, so she flipped over her receipt and wrote a note, dropping it on the table before she left.
“I was in a really hurt place. I decided that I no longer had the will to live. I honestly don’t know why I wrote the note. It was a last-minute thing. I wanted to thank them for being my home away from home.”
The cafe’s owner and operator, Joe Barnett, saw the note Casas left in her regular spot. He recalled:
“Whenever I went to pick up afterward, I found the note, and it was pretty heartbreaking.”
Barnett didn’t think twice about saving her life instead of looking the other way:
“It was a matter of calling somebody do something, don’t take it lightly.”
Not knowing where the woman lived, Barnett figured out her address by searching through the cafe’s frequent diner rewards program.
He found it and immediately contacted the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. They made it to her home just in time.
Casas spent a week in the hospital, and she is now enrolled in therapy and intensive treatment.
The grateful customer who described the cafe as her “Cheers” said:
“I wouldn’t be alive today if he wouldn’t have done what he did. I wouldn’t.”
Casas now wants to share her story to help others. She explained what made her keep her deadly pain hidden away from the world — depression — while letting other people considering suicide know there is hope out there if they ask:
“Those of us living with depression don’t speak out because we feel ashamed by it. It gets better if you’re not afraid to ask for help, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.”
Anyone considering taking their life can find help by reaching out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK.