You’re Not Alone

Tonight at dinner, our waitress looked to be about 20 years old. If I’m allowed to acknowledge this, I’ll say that she was strikingly beautiful with the sort of smile that made you think she was incapable of having a bad day. Then she served us our dinner and I saw that her right forearm was covered in scars from cutting herself.

I wanted to pull up my sleeves and show her my scars so she would know that it’s okay to hurt. In fact, it’s even okay to hurt so bad that you would choose physical pain over emotional pain. I also wanted to make sure that she knew what I had found so comforting: that self harm actually releases a “high” in your brain much like taking a drug. There’s a reason so many people do it. They aren’t tempting fate; they’re trying to feel better.

***

Earlier today, I had lunch with my friend who has already written various instructions that will someday accompany her suicide note. There’s nothing about her life that isn’t filled with the darkness of depression. I don’t see suicide as the selfish act of someone who couldn’t hack it. I see suicide as self-defense against a brain that simply won’t allow for the things that make life worth living: hope, joy, laughter, curiosity, ambition, love, and so on.

I know that someday I will lose her, and you may think I’m terrible for not trying to talk her off the ledge every chance I get. But I just want her to know, while she’s here, that she’s not alone. And to be honest, I need to know that I’m not either.

***

Then there’s the friend from my childhood who recently left behind a wife and three children and killed himself. We hadn’t spoken in decades, and I have very little clue what led to his demise. Then again, do people kill themselves for any other reason than hopelessness/despair/depression? What more do I need to know? I just wished that somehow, some way I could’ve let my friend know I loved him and maybe even sat with him in his final moments. I wouldn’t have judged him or tried to fix him. I’d just want him to know he wasn’t alone.

***

I began writing this blog because I wanted to establish a community of people who could encourage each other. That hasn’t happened to the extent I had hoped. It was probably unrealistic of me to expect Oprah-like results within a few months, huh?

But over time, I had grown weary of writing, frankly, wondering if it was worth the effort. But tonight, seeing that girl’s arm reminded me of what I started doing this in the first place. More than anything else, I just hoped that one or two people would feel encouraged.

So this weekend, please, for whatever reason or for no reason at all, let someone who might be hurting know they are not alone.

9 thoughts on “You’re Not Alone

  1. You’re not alone Tim. You are loved by the creator of this amazing universe and he knows every thought and feeling you experience. I’m certain he smiles on you for reaching out to love on others experiencing the same hurts. God bless you.

  2. Dr. Blue, I was actually just recently thinking about your blog and how it had been a while since your last post. If it’s worth anything, I’ve missed reading your posts, and I’m glad you write them. Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder to pass it on.

  3. Thanks Tim for sharing, glad to have you back! My sister took her life at the age of 28 and left three young children (thirty four years ago).
    Even though it’s been a long time my heart still aches for her every day.
    A quote from Tim Blue “You are not alone”.

  4. Tim, what comes to mind after reading your post – it is all about being real for the possibility that it might help one other person.

  5. I have definitely missed your posts! While I’m on the other side of depression right now, I am achingly able to relate and remember how LONELY and SCARED one is when in the midst of that wasteland of a place. It was only 9 months ago. And I had stumbled on your posts via a mutual friend. Your posts helped me not feel as alone and scared. I hope you always have the energy and inclination to write. You are needed!!!!!

  6. Tim, I am glad that you posted & recently put sending you a message on my mental “to-do” list (but never sent it as I’m clawing out of a depressive episode myself & wasn’t quite sure what to say). Your words & posts are always appreciated and I believe many people like hearing your perspective on things

  7. Next time you come across that server, perhaps you can just leave a card with this web address on it….it may reach a few folks who haven’t gotten the privilege of knowing you, or would otherwise never stumble across it. And it’s discreet enough to make a point worthy of significant impact without ‘outing’ them in front of any coworkers or customers or inducing a wave of shame or discomfort.

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