Don’t Look Away

By February 13, 2019 March 7th, 2019 Uncategorized

Lady Gaga hit the nail on the head at the Grammy’s Sunday night. While addressing mental health issues in her speech, she said, “If you see someone that’s hurting, don’t look away.” Three simple words that sum up an action that could change the trajectory of a life. 

“Don’t look away.”

Speaker, author, and mental health advocate Kevin Hines talks about his experience with this concept. He is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and survived a suicide attempt of jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. He told himself that if one person asked him how he was on the way to the bridge that he would not hurl his body over the edge. He didn’t expect someone to fix it for him or give him answers. He only wanted to know he was seen, acknowledged. But as people sat on the bus with him, tears streaming down his face, they all looked away. He jumped. But he survived and shares the same message as Gaga. 

“Don’t look away.”

From my experience, I can tell you the same three words. Battling for years with depression, inside I felt like I was dying and so very alone. My face and body were a canvas that communicated my pain through my tears or the emaciated state of my eating disorder. Yet as I cried out, many people looked away. It is painful for people to watch the self-destruction of mental illness and addiction. But there were a precious few who loved me despite the uncomfortable and didn’t look away. And I am still here and sharing the same message as Lady Gaga and Kevin Hines. 

“Don’t look away.”

During this week that celebrates our love for others, take this opportunity to be aware of those around you. Share a mosaic heart with them, ask them to coffee, hug them, or maybe even all three! You aren’t required to fix it, only to acknowledge it. You too can be one that positively impacts the trajectory of a life.

“Don’t look away.”