Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Kind Word Could Save A Life

It has been an interesting few days.  Between the circumstances surrounding the passing of Robin Williams, and a string of lonely nights by myself while my daughter, Melody, and Faithful Pup Scout are staying with my parents all of this week (and next!), it would be very easy for me to fall into the trap of depression.  I find myself feeling as if the media is overdosing on analysis of Mr. Williams suicide.  Let the dead rest in peace.  Of course they won't, and it just makes me angry.  Unfortunately, this anger is another trigger of my struggles, as ridiculous as it sounds.  But when is depression reasonable?

So the previous two days were spent with my office peers discussing a lot of organizational issues requiring us to dig deep into what makes us tick as leaders.  Certainly, these types of discussions can get personal, and they did.  I've made no secret of the fact that I struggle with depression (among those I'm closest to, including my boss), so these discussions caused me to retreat into my introvertedness.  In the past, I may have shut down completely.  Fortunately, I fought it and came out punching.  In fact, I made so much of an impression (not all of it good) that my boss made a point of telling me, in front of everyone, that it was apparent I had come out of my shell.  Despite the kind words, it was the last thing I wanted to hear, and caused me to feel embarrassed.  While it's nice that my boss seems to be keeping me in her good graces, it had the double goal of also letting my peers know that I was the "teacher's pet", for lack of a better term.  This was not the message I wanted everyone to hear.  Ugh.

Well, water under the bridge and all that.  What's done is done.  All I could do was grin and bear it.  How many more sayings and figures of speech can I fit in one paragraph?

Going home after the sessions, I reflected on what was said during the meeting, and the reality is it had a double effect.  First, it DID embarrass me.  I don't like having attention drawn to myself, whether someone else does it or myself.  However, what I realized later is that what my boss said was her way of complimenting me, and I have to say that it impacted how I've been feeling recently.  I had been given a boost and it brought me right out of the funk I've been in.

Many people are suffering, and a simple negative action, word, or deed, can set it off and drive the victim into a downward spiral that can place them in the depths of debilitating depression.  It's an awful feeling.  However, a kind word, a compliment, or a positive action might be enough to turn someone completely around.  It may make all the difference in their outlook, and could even be life-changing.

So what I'm trying to say is that a positive word or two or twelve might really help someone who is battling some demons, whether it's depression, stress, suicidal thoughts, or maybe only a bad day.  A kind word or deed is always going to be better than the alternative.  That's my ask.  Say something nice to someone tomorrow.  It might just make their day.  It could save their life.

Have a great evening, everyone!

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