August 14, 2014

Profound Sadness. “Why Bother?” Here’s Why.


I can’t even try to talk about it without tears and I’m afraid that actually choking out the words will lead to embarrassing, uncontrolled, over-reacting sobs.

I didn’t know the man, never met him, yet here I feel I’ve lost a close family member. Closer even. Maybe myself.

I wonder if this is empathy or something else. The emotion is uncontained and writhing.

So. Much. Sadness.

My perception tells me he was a great man with a gigantic heart. There was just not enough room in there for himself.

I understand a little of depression. I’ve been there on the brink with this intelligent state of being.

Hopeless despair feels worst when nothing is wrong. It leaves the focus of our chronic discontent, entirely on us.

No excuses, no rationalizations, nothing to look forward to. No if it gets better thinking. Only: if this is as good as it gets, is this all there is?

And when that purposelessness persists we wonder, what’s the point? what’s the f***ing point.

When someone like Robin Williams, a man who feels like family, takes his own life, those of us who have suffered with depression and those who are actively battling it are reminded of that familiar question: why bother?

I think a lot of people with depression are deeply sensitive souls. We just feel things more. Everything.

Through the highs and the lows of life we are on a roller coaster from elation to despondency. And our sensitivity feels others’ pain as well, whether they’re close to us or a complete stranger who we admire and appreciate. And relate to.

How many people who knew Mr. Williams are saying to themselves: if I’d only known?

When I’ve been in the pit of despair there were those who reached out to me with love and compassion. They didn’t understand and I’m sure it was awkward for them. Although I stayed in hiding and probably seemed unaffected by their kindness and emotional generosity it was sometimes those seemingly small, simple gestures that kept me going. Just knowing that someone cared got me through one more day.

We are not responsible for how someone else feels. We simply aren’t. But our contribution to another’s world is felt. Let’s try to make those interactions loving ones.

Why bother?

We may never know how the slightest kindness or tiniest loving nod might change the direction of another’s life. But we won’t have to wonder: what if or if I’d only.

Practice kindness whenever possible. It is always possible.

We can’t save everyone but we can try.

Thank you to all those who bother. I {hand on heart} love and appreciate you.

And for those who simply needed to exit on the next off-ramp, I hope that somehow through the cosmos you are relieved of your pain and know that you are still very much loved.


Relephant Reads:

10 Strategies for Surviving Grief. ~ Rachael Goss

10 Simple Things to Get Happy. {Surprising Video}



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Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photos: Courtesy of the author, mymodernmet




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