It’s commonly said now, that we all struggle. The majority of the human race is battling demons you know nothing about. That message is pretty clear and I think any socially connected person will have seen or heard this.
But there seems to be an expectation that people will talk about their stuff. That they will reach out when they are in need, and you know, maybe they will sometimes.
But not when it matters the most.
As a human race, we simply can no longer rely on assumptions and hopes that people will ask for help when they most need it.
Most won’t. Most don’t. Most can’t.
Their pain is so strong, they will often fall into the depths of despair before you’ve even noticed. And when you finally notice, you will say “why didn’t you say something?” Or “they should have reached out…”.
It’s an easy out for us. No blame, no shame.
This expectation – this hiding behind ‘they should have said something’ has to stop.
Look into the eyes of someone, really look. What do you see? What do they tell you? Because the stories are there if YOU are brave enough to look. If YOU are strong enough to really look.
The burden of this is not on those that are in pain – this is on us, in society, in friends and family. We cannot continue to expect those that are their most vulnerable moments to ask for help.
We are all responsible for our own actions, but the pain of disconnect is not an action, and it’s not intentional, it’s a very real and significant pain that doesn’t always have the presence of mind to reach out.
As the world is mourning the death of Robin Williams today, I want you to take note, that often those who are the most generous, tend to live in the biggest darkness. They are not hiding from themselves, they are shielding you from the pain – the pain they feel. They don’t want to die, they just want the pain to go away. The deadness, the numbing, the utter disconnect that they feel.
The burden is on us, to see in others what they are not saying.
To look into their eyes and be prepared to ask the real questions.
To sleep on a couch.
To shine a light.