When This is all Over

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

There has been something weighing heavy on my mind lately. We are living in a different world than we were at the start of 2020. People are inside more than ever, and every day our lives are changing because of the coronavirus.

Yet, I have seen so much compassion for those on the front lines. People are reaching out to those that are losing members of their families. For those who are the unfortunate ones that have gotten the virus. I am amazed by the outpour of support of one of my contributors of this blog, you can read about her story here. I see it on social media. I see it everywhere. I make it a point to thank those people who still have to go out in the world where they are at risk every day.

Yet, we are not always compassionate when life is good. We forgot in these times that there is still real hate out there, and it affects our society as a whole. Look at the Asian Americans that are being attacked simply for being Asian. The coronavirus knows no race, color, religion, or sexual orientation. Is it not possible that we, as a whole society, can be these empathetic to everyone we come across? Not just when we are in a pandemic. A wise person told me recently that we are more alike than different.

When this is all over, let’s be better people. Let us put people in power that want to help the people without a voice because they are the disfranchised. I hate getting political here, but we have seen how politics are being chosen over helping people. Let us remember how, since people have been sheltering in place that the environment has been helped and improved in a short time. Let’s have compassion for people dealing with anything that is taking over their lives. We can be better people, we have been doing it for a month now.

I am by no means not part of the problem. How many times have I not said thank you for someone doing their job? I know that sometimes I feel disconnect because I am an introvert, but now more than ever, I crave connection to others. I want mental illness to be recognized by all as a real thing that we have to solve. There are so many problems in the world that we need more compassion and empathy. We are the human race, and we need to do better, not just during a pandemic.

One last thing. If you have to go out into the world, make a plan, and limit yourself to exposure. Get items delivered if at all possible and make sure that you sat thank you to those who have to work in this crisis. If you see a nurse, paramedic, grocery store worker, delivery drivers, or anyone who still has to brave the world because they are essential, be kind. These people are the real heroes of this pandemic. Always stay safe.

Always Keep Fighting

James

You can visit the author site of James Edgar Skye here.

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You’re Not the Only One (And That’s a Good Thing)

Don’t you think that you need somebody?
Don’t you think that you need someone?
Everybody needs somebody
You’re not the only one

Guns N’ Roses – November Rain

Loneliness – the dreadful, gnawing sense of abandonment and despair that comes from knowing that no one in the world suffers as you do – can be devastating. Worse still, you often feel as though you deserve it, because you’re somehow less than other people – less capable, less valid, less … human.

I used to feel this way a lot. I still do, sometimes, although as I’ve gotten older and weathered the storms of depression I’ve learned that even despair passes with time, and that even the loneliest among us aren’t really alone. It doesn’t change the feeling itself – in the moment, when the black closes in around you, you know beyond any doubt that you are utterly, completely alone.

It isn’t true, though. Not really.

Humans, by nature, need companionship. We crave it. We want it with every fiber of our being, and yet … sometimes we reject it. Sometimes, even when a friend comes knocking, we fail to answer the door. When a hand reaches out in the dark, we see it – and turn the other way.

Many of us … struggle with feeling valid. [But] it’s possible to be wrong.

I used to wonder about this. I used to think that loneliness could be a kind of strength, a measure of how deep my depression ran. That, somehow, being alone meant I was validated in my despair, that it was … okay, I guess, to feel so miserable. And I would see overtures from friends and family, and I would actively push them away, driving them off like rats with a stick.

I used to wonder why I was like this. Why on earth did I reject others’ attempts to help me? Why did I want to be alone?

The answer, I believe, lies in the belief of self-worth. Many of us, especially here on this blog, struggle with feeling valid, with believing that we’re worth something. Something deep inside triggers us into feeling that, no matter what, we don’t deserve the love of friends, family, colleagues … that, simply put, we aren’t worth the effort.

I know this feeling all too well. It once was bad enough that I remember thinking that I was punishing the world simply by being alive – that the air I was breathing would be better suited to someone else. I wanted to die, not only because of the depth of my misery, but because it somehow felt that it would be fairer to those around me to just not have to worry about me anymore.

But here’s what I’ve learned over the years. What you feel doesn’t change how others feel. Your beliefs don’t affect those of the people around you. And it’s possible to be wrong.

You see, from the moment you’re born to the moment you die, there are people who care about you. And the don’t care because they must – they care because they want to. There are, of course, varying levels of care, based on the feelings of sadness and hurt when you suffer, but there are so many, many more people in the world that care about you than you know.

Because every single word you utter, every sentence you type, every glance you give, affects the people you know – and sometimes the people you don’t. I don’t know you – we’ve never met – but I care. James here at The Bipolar Writer cares – for crying out loud, he’s even offered his phone number publicly! And believe me that the people who do know you care even more.

I attended a funeral last year for a friend of mine. If I’m honest (I hope he forgives me), he was no one special. He didn’t write books; he didn’t make movies. He wasn’t famous. Sometimes he was depressed; sometimes he didn’t want to carry on, especially towards the end. But he did; he powered through his cancer until the bitter end, because he wasn’t alone. And nowhere was this more evident than at the outpouring of love at his funeral. Yes, there were tears – but more than that, there were laughs, and good memories, and a sense of companionship between the rest of us who live: brought together by one person.

So what I’m trying to say here is simple: you’re not the only one to suffer. And you aren’t alone in your suffering. Every one of us here at The Bipolar Writer has, in one fashion or another, been in your shoes; we know what it’s like. We care. So do many. And the community James has built here should help you understand this simple idea:

You aren’t alone.