So, I've been on a Sixx A.M. kick lately. The Heroin Diaries album has been playing almost nonstop when I'm on my computer (This is Gonna Hurt has gotten some play time too, but I've been sticking mainly to Heroin Diaries). The music is definitely not for everyone, nor the content. However, I am genuinely moved by all of it. The album goes through Nikki Sixx's addiction to heroin, his overdose, and his recovery. His honesty about the pitfalls and the pain is so beautiful to me.
Perhaps that sounds cruel... I don't mean it to be. I am not happy that he went through all he did, but I think it's admirable that he was able to get through, even though he relapsed, and that through his experiences, he was able to being something beautiful from his pain... and that it has been a benefit to others.
In the song "Girl With Golden Eyes," he chronicles a ten day period of rehab. "Day 4: last visit to the clinic.My whole body feels like it's cracking into pieces. Fragile doesn't even come close to describing how I feel."
It gets me. Every. Time.
I know people who have and do struggle with addiction. I know people who have and do struggle with depression. It can seem, outside of the situation that the pain can't possibly be so great, that getting better is merely a choice that can easily be made. But "getting better" isn't a choice. It's a series of choices. Or maybe it's the same choice that has to be made over and over again. In any case, it isn't easy.
"All you have to do is quit." "All you have to do is find a reason to smile every day." etc. How do you know that's "all" it takes? How do I know that?
I read a quote lately that got to me. It was something along the lines of, "Never compare yourself to someone else. You have no idea what their journey is about." And you know what? It's true. I will never fully understand the depth of what you've been through. You and I could be experiencing almost identical circumstances, but because of your past and mine, how we handle/bear it will be at a completely different level. And that's ok. Something I struggle to carry may be lighter than air for you, while something that weighs you down may be an easy weight for me. You never know. I never know.
Sometimes I need to remind myself of that. Ok, maybe more than sometimes. It can be easy for me to get caught up in all the little things... so much so that I can forget to make the effort to be kind anyway. Arg. It's frustrating for me. It's not as though anyone has to "earn" my kindness- that should be something I offer regardless. Mother Teresa said not to let anyone come to you without leaving better for it. I know I have failed in that regard. Many times. But when I remind myself that everyone is fighting their own battle, it gets a little bit easier.
Kindness is more necessary than I think we realize. On a daily basis, you probably encounter someone who is fragile to the point of breaking, hurt so badly they're almost numb. Seriously. Daily basis. People you wouldn't expect...because they won't let everyone/anyone see their journey. It breaks my heart. But it's not enough to be hurt by it... I have to love them as best as I can. That's why I don;t think I can ever smile too often or wear out the words, "I love you." Whether or not they believe it that instant, maybe hearing it often enough will get through even the smallest bit. Even when we feel our efforts go unnoticed... it doesn't matter. If it were only for us, it would. But a kindness for our own gratification isn't really kindness. Love, no matter what the result of it may be, is still love.
And that is success enough.
And in the times it seems pointless: you know what pain is like as well. Whether you've ever been broken (seemingly) irrevocably or just plain *hurt*, you know what pain is. And you know how necessary love is when all seems lost.
In the end, it comes down to love. It always does.