Every new day poses a question to each of us: how are you going to live today?
Though the internet has moved on to its obsession with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, I still find myself unable to quite process the “old news” of Robin Williams death a few weeks ago.
I did not wade into the fray of online grief and tributary at the time, I did not want to add my voice to the collective cacophony. His death brought back some pretty frightening reminders of a time when the Black Dog stalked in the shadows of my family and the outcome that could have been.
I see Robin Williams death as a very real and present reminder that you never truly know the daily struggles of the person standing next to you. To the world, this very talented and hysterical comedian was Robin FUCKING Williams. If you have ever seen the man do stand up or speak in interviews, you know that he is an incredible performer and improvisor, one who is vibrating on a different frequency than the rest of us.
And yet the man took his own life.
It just stands as a reminder that we are each doing battle daily with our own demons.
From the girl I know, who is Cancer free a year later, who has been quietly fighting since her diagnosis, to the friends who have JUST moved to Toronto to start a new life – leaving their old ones behind and struggling to figure out where they belong in this jigsaw puzzle. To those fighting heartbreak over lost love, and still others bravely facing the frustration over unemployment, financial difficulties, and family trauma – everybody has their something.
Sometimes I need the gentle reminder to be kinder to those around me, because as the quote reads, everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about, and it is all too easy to point the finger and say “they don’t have it as bad as…(fill in the blank).”
Every day we are faced with challenges, be they big or small, and it is the way that we navigate them that makes us who we are. Sometimes there are days when getting out of bed is the hardest thing we have to overcome, and to do that requires immense strength and the flexing of determination and will. There is no way to say that achieving one foot in front of the other on a given day is any less important or incredible than fighting a dragon or climbing Mount everest.
I try to be as open as possible. There are few things you could ask me that I wouldn’t be brutally honest about.
Why is that?
Too much of life is airbrushed and photoshopped out into the perfect image of what we think our lives should look like.
When I have struggled in the past, I would look around and think “everybody has it all worked out, but me” and I would feel like a failure.
And we all know that is not true, we’re all just winging it daily, fighting our battles the best we can, and going on.
Because the only other option than to continue on is to stop.
I wish someone had helped Robin see that wasn’t his only option.
Not all battles have to be fought alone.