Some of you have stayed in contact with me via email during my absence and each time you reach out my heart does a triple Salchow. A lot more of you didn’t and I realize now that’s okay because everyone lives their life and maintains their connections in their own unique way.
You just hit my button, so I'm going to share a personal story that I hope may help other people who are in trouble.
I had a good friend, sort of my younger brother. He lost his wife and was racked with guilt. As his life spiraled down internally, it was hard to see that anything was wrong on the surface.
He told me how he felt totally out of shape because he wasn't exercising. Then he said his friends would ask him to play tennis or go to the gym and he'd say "no" because he was so depressed.
Then he said he felt abandoned as his friends stopped calling because he had said "no" every time.
Then he blamed them for abandoning him because they should have known to keep calling and somehow find a way to get him to go exercise.
I spent about eight hours one day trying to get him to leave his old tiny shack of a house that tortured him with her memories. He could have sold that 1200 sq ft tear down in Pacific Palisades and bought a mini mansion with a tennis court next to the best high school baseball program in L.A. (his son was already big into Little League), for half the price.
He couldn't do it because he was paralyzed by his insanity, but to him his arguments were built on unassailable logic.
He never returned my calls, emails and texts after that day.
About a year later, he put his mouth around a rifle at a deserted construction site, so his son wouldn't find his body.
No one knows what's going on inside another person, no matter how much we love them.
I still feel angry, guilty and sad about my friend after six years.
When people are weighed down by big problems or feel intense pain, that is the time to reach out, not to hide in shame or denial.
I hope everyone will remember to reach out to others in times of trouble.
We human beings can be stupid and self centered, but we will also rise up and help in times of crisis.