A man named Edmund simply tweeted 'I am not OK' and received a worldwide tsunami of support

Eight months into the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are feeling the weight of it growing heavier and heavier. We miss normal life. We miss our friends. We miss travel. We miss not having to mentally measure six feet everywhere we go.

Maybe that's what was on Edmund O'Leary's mind when he tweeted on Friday. Or maybe he had some personal issues or challenges he was dealing with. After all, it's not like people didn't struggle pre-COVID. Now, we just have the added stress of a pandemic on top of our normal mental and emotional upheavals.

Whatever it was, Edmund decided to reach out to Twitter and share what he was feeling.

"I am not ok," he wrote. "Feeling rock bottom. Please take a few seconds to say hello if you see this tweet. Thank you."

O'Leary didn't have a huge Twitter following, but somehow his tweet started getting around quickly. Response after response started flowing in from all over the world, even from some famous folks. Thousands of people seemed to resonate with Edmund's sweet and honest call for help and rallied to send him support and good cheer.

Some people sent pet photos and videos, because what's a quicker cheerer-upper than an adorable companion?

Some also sent photos and videos of animals out in nature to remind Edmund of the beauty and wonder of the wild.

Some offered the gift of music.

Others shared poetry, either written...

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...or spoken.

Some people offered motivational videos they keep on hand for when they need a lift of their own.

And others shared silly humor to make Edmund laugh.

Some, upon seeing in his Twitter bio that Edmund was interested in aviation, shared images and videos of airplanes or from airplanes. Dublin Airport even sent him "hugs from back home," since Edmund is originally from Ireland.

From artwork to photos of babies and rainbows to words of solidarity and understanding, the responses to Edmund's tweet were diversely and profoundly uplifting.

Edmund responded to some, but there was no way for him to thank everyone who sent him good wishes. It was so moving to see the flood of support for this random man who put his need for connection out there on social media, with no idea it would result in such a tsunami of love.

And while it was so lovely to see people show up for Edmund in such a big way, the impact spread far beyond just him. Other people who have been struggling shared that people's reactions to Edmund helped them as well.

It was like a huge humanity fest, with words of encouragement and inspiration flowing out in all directions to everyone who caught part of the thread.

Though we can't fully connect with people in the ways we're used to during the pandemic, people are finding ways to reach out and be there for one another—even perfect strangers who live across continents and oceans from one another.

BBC Breakfast talked with Edmund about his viral tweet and the overwhelming response.

"The whole experience has been absolutely surreal and provides me with a lot of hope," he said. "I've gone from feeling like a nobody to feeling like a somebody. To have that happen overnight is just surreal, something that most ordinary people have never experienced or will never experience."

He added: "Eighteen and a half million people and counting have seen my tweet. Nothing can prepare you for that!"

Just by being vulnerable and putting his feelings out there, Edmund created a beautiful wave of support for himself and others. This collective, global act of pure human kindness is exactly the antidote we need to this crappy dumpster fire of a year. Thank you, Edmund for making it happen.

Courtesy of Movemeant Foundation


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