Even if you think it is, you don’t know what’s going on inside them that they haven’t shared with you.
From one of my Facebook posts:
One of the greatetst gifts ever given to me was a friend I found while waiting in line to see Craig Ferguson. Each day she reminds me she understands what I’m going through, reminds me that it’s okay to cry, and reminds me that she’s there if I need her. I do the same for her for all the same reasons.
While sitting on a bench, before being herded into pre-show line, I’d reached into my purse and grabbed a lemon drop. I turned to her and offered her some. I told her I had almost said, “have a sweetie?” Right away she got the reference (Saving Grace, 2000) and we were fast friends. I knew I should have just said it because it was instinct that told me she was a kindred spirit.
Her grace and her love of life are not diminished because of her illness. In fact, I think her illness makes her shine ever brighter. She’s my hero.
We all need friends like that. We all need each other. While love can’t cure depression or addiction, it goes a long way to helping people realize they are not alone.
Living with chronic pain sucks. Whether it’s physical pain or emotional pain. It sucks. It sucks the life out of you. It eats away at your heart and your head. It hurts those around you. Depression is a common cohort with chronic pain. You fight it. And fighting that kind of battle every single day wears you down. (I almost said, “wears you the fuck down”, but didn’t want to offend anyone.) That’s the truth, though. And having good people in your bunker, fighting alongside you is one of the best tools in your arsenal.
No one gets through this world alone. I think we forget that all too often. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends when you hurt. You never know…they may be going through the same thing and may be emboldened enough by your admission to open up and release some of their own burdens. In a way, just by being honest with someone you could end up saving two lives: yours and theirs
True story. My friend, my new, dear friend. She has no idea how much I admire her. She’s one of my heroes. Her life is difficult. Her illness is greatly debilitating. And yet, I’ve never known her any other way and I found her to be one of the liveliest and loveliest people on the planet. She shines. She SHINES! She is one of those people blessed with the gift of love that simply pours out of her.
Had it not been for Craig Ferguson, we’d never have met and my life would be poorer. But we did meet and because of her, I laugh when I feel like crying, cry when I really need to, and spend an awful lot of time thanking God and Craig for bringing this amazing woman into my life.
She sent me a message earlier tonight thanking me for making her load lighter. I wanted to weep. It’s she who lightens my load. Truly, she does.
I have other friends like her. You know who you are. I just wanted to take a moment out of my day to write about her as we ponder the death of Robin Williams and why it strikes so deeply for us. Perhaps it’s because you could always sense a sadness in him, even as he laughed. Perhaps it’s because we understand the depth of the pain he felt. Wanting to take your life is something I understand. Not been there recently, but I have been there. An attempt was made many, many, MANY years ago. Now? Now I try to surround myself with people who aren’t afraid of me and my ever-lovin’ mo-fo’ing pain. (I try not to talk about it non-stop, but they know and they support me.) Life is short, but it’s also too long to hang on to those who have no time to say an occasional prayer for you or who can send you good vibes.
My wish, for everyone, is that they have at least one friend who is there to remind them that they are loved. It’s not a cure for pain. It’s not a cure for depression. It’s not a cure for addiction. But it might just be the one thing that makes someone stop and think long enough to keep them from taking their own life.
Many people say (regarding Robin’s death), “oh, another addict died because he took his own life. A celebrity. And people will make a big deal about it because of his celebrity. They’ll cry like they knew him.” And that’s true. But here’s the thing, for some of us, Robin Williams was a part of our lives for more than 30 years. He made us forget our problems at times. He was the reason we sat in front of a TV with our families way back when. He drew parents and children together. United them in laughter. He was a part of our lives, doing what others failed to do. So his loss does leave us feeling like there’s a hole in our hearts. It’s okay for us to mourn him, just as we mourn anyone else. Not because he was a celebrity, but because he stood for something precious to us.
Robin, thank you for the laughter. Thank you for the tears. You were such a part of our lives for so many years, it’s as if you were part of our families. It hurts us that you’re gone. But we all hope you’ve found peace now. THANK YOU, Robin Williams. Thank you. You’ll always be in my memory as a man who had the world by the balls. I’m just sorry your hand cramped up.