Posted by Danny
I recently learned of an acquaintance who committed suicide and it brought to mind something that I’ve discovered over the past year: people are hurting.
I didn’t really know that before.
It may be that I’m more aware due to my own intense pain. Or maybe folks are more willing to share their hardships with me because they think I might better understand having experienced dispair myself. Perhaps I just care more than I ever did before. But I am much more conscious of the fact that what I see on the outside may not mirror what’s on the inside.
I’ll have to admit that I spent the first forty-four years of my life in a bubble. I had no comprehension of grief. I did not understand someone’s inability to control their thoughts or feelings. I didn’t understand how it felt to really be down. My general attitude was “Suck it up! I have.”
The problem with my former point of view was that I hadn’t “sucked it up” – primarily because I didn’t have anything to suck up. But you couldn’t have convinced me of that two years ago. To me my teeny problems were equivalent to the loss of a job, or fighting ongoing depression or a serious illness.
Someone told me not long after Lisa died that I would become resentful of the world around me that had seemingly just gone on even in the wake of my devastation. I remember going to Subway a week after Lisa died to grab lunch. As I was walking up to the doors, a couple was in front of me talking and laughing like it was a normal, sunny, early spring day. But it wasn’t. It was a sad, gray, crappy day. A day where I’d struggled to get out of bed. A day where I’d cried all the way to the Subway. A day where I was holding back tears as I watched them grin their hideous little smiles.
I wanted to smack the hell out of them.
But in time, I became more aware. I think I listened more to what others were dealing with. I prayed harder for those I knew in turmoil. My heart broke more deeply for people who were going through pain.
After experiencing what I’d describe as an “almost” anxiety attack three days before Lisa died, I had a better understanding of a mind that was racing out of control. I imagine that a difficult thing to live with on a regular basis.
So no, don’t just suck it up. Talk it out. Seek a friend. Go get counseling. Come visit the Tanners for a few days! We’ll either cheer you up or you may leave thinking you have it pretty good!
And for those who do have that perfect life, show some compassion. Cook up some patience. Realize that every person you come in contact with could be struggling to the core of their being – even if they look real pretty on the outside.