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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Hope Is Eternal

Can you help someone who does not want to be helped? Is it truly impossible? Or, do we just say that to ourselves to absolve any guilt we may have over not being enough to save someone that we love?
This concept goes hand in hand with the idea that you have to help yourself before you can help someone else.
I don’t believe it is necessarily true that you can’t help someone unless you’ve helped yourself. I think being placed in that kind of position gives you the ability to act and respond with compassion and mutual solidarity. An ability that other people may not have access to.
And, at the same time, to be at arm’s length from a situation allows you insight and an ability to help someone. This is more difficult when you and the person you’re trying to help are both knee deep in the same quicksand. So, like most things in life, the answer is both yes and no. It’s a gray area in life often unaccounted for.
I believe that thinking someone can only help themselves can be a dangerous concept. I don’t believe it means we shouldn’t try to look out for others. They may not take to our aid or even our words of advice, and that is something within their right to do, but I don’t think it means we should never try.
At some point in time, our words and our actions could become the critical point at which another person chooses recovery or chooses to continue down a dark path.
We just never know when one or the other—or to complicate matters, both—will occur.
I’ve heard it said before that the same information could be presented at both Point A and Point B and that within those two points the information could be differently encoded. Basically, I could tell you the story of X and at two separate moments you have built up a series of life experiences that will cause you to react differently to the information that is provided to you.
No one moment can ever be truly replicated. We are all unique, complex individuals who can never really experience the same exact event twice. I will never fully appreciate the setting sun in exactly the way that you do simply because I am not you. Although I may never experience your life in the same way that you do, we both experience this life in some of the same, similar ways. And so, that means that in this moment of my writing this, in the moment of my typing these words, and also in the moment of you reading these words, we are united.
We are not alone.
The next time you feel that no one will understand the darkness within your soul that you struggle to convey, think only of this word: empathy. Empathy allows us to feel with each other, to imagine the horrors that others face, and to be understanding of them even when we have not undergone the tragedies ourselves. Instead, we feel with you, and by feeling with you while being separate from you, we are given the perspective to aid you in ways you are unable to see right now.
Additionally, I think if we tell ourselves someone can only be helped when they themselves are ready, they don’t realize how bad mental illness can get. I fear this is the same misguided logic behind the concept of having to hit rock bottom before you can get help. Really, what is being said here is: “you’re not worthy of help,” “you don’t deserve help,” and “your situation is not ‘that bad.’”
The problem with all of these negative thoughts is you or your loved ones may become so ingrained in denial that you are incapable of seeing how “bad” things have gotten. And, by simply being human, for being someone who is struggling either publicly or privately, you inherently are someone who needs, deserves and is worthy of help.
Reaching out for help will always be a brave, courageous act because you do not have to experience deep emotional pain as your last experience in this life. It does get better, and it gets better as you put in the work and the effort for it to get better.
Pain is temporary. Our lives have guaranteed endings at an unknown period of time. We make the most of it, because without it, we’d be lost. And you are no longer lost, but rather, you have been found.
Part of the inspiration for my writing this article came from Linkin Park’s song “One More Light” with the chorus: “If they say who cares if one more light goes out? In the sky of a million stars it flickers, flickers. Who cares when someone’s time runs out? If a moment is all we are. Who cares if one more light goes out? Well, I do.”