The Invisible Battle

The Invisible Battle
But he was so funny!
He made so many people smile!
I never would have guessed that he was suffering…

These were just a few of the reactions that have been heard by many after hearing of Robin Williams’ passing. I also learned that a high school friend of my brother’s took her own life this past week as well, which also shocked and affected many.

She was such a sweet girl.
She was so kind to everyone.
I never would have guessed that she was suffering…

No words can capture the immense sadness that these passings have caused, so I am not going to attempt to do so. However, I think that there is one very important thing that we should certainly take away from these lives, lives that were taken far too soon…

In both of these unfortunate instances and in many others like it, we are completely unaware of the internal demons that individuals are fighting.

They are struggling and battling with demons that are invisible to us, but all too real to the individual. Sometimes those who seem to be the happiest, funniest and most cheerful, are in reality the unhappiest and are fighting a relentless internal battle, like Robin Williams.

What can we do

Now I am not going to get into our society’s stigmas surrounding depression and mental health. I believe that is a separate issue in and of itself. But what I will say is that at the very least, what we can do in our daily lives is to approach others with compassion, no matter what.

Every interaction we have with someone is an opportunity to show them the kindness and care that they may be in desperate need of at the time…

Further, if someone is rude to us or does us wrong, we can of course do the same and respond negatively. Or we can consider that perhaps this individual is suffering in some way, perhaps fighting their own demons and their action was a result of this.

This is not something that is incredibly easy to do and it is something I struggle with often as well. But it is something that could perhaps be just what someone needs at the right time – perhaps enough to steer someone who is suffering in the right direction. One single act of kindness can go a very long way, and maybe even change a life.

“We’re all in different stages of suffering and our journey to happiness; if we understood this, the world would be a better place.” – Corey Keyes

Rest in Peace, Robin Williams & Kira.