Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.
“It’s Not A Funny Story That Pagliacci Was Sad And Is Dead” - Nishat Ahmed
To Ned, for putting in words how the darkest of days can be like.
To Robin, for showing me how to smile, laugh and fight through those days.
I know this poem doesn’t do either of these two men justice, and I wish they didn’t leave us, but I respect all the work they’ve left behind and I am so proud of all the things they have accomplished despite fighting mental illnesses. It’s scary, so god damn scary, to know that mental health issues could claim these two amazing humans (and so many more) but I think they’d want us to have the strength and hope to get through whatever we are battling.
If you are struggling, don’t keep it to yourself. Tell someone, anyone.
Here are some hotlines you can call if you find yourself in a bad place:
Remember that someone loves you. I love you. You can always come to me if you’re struggling.
It’s been almost eight whole years
Of fighting with black and bloody knuckles
Against the thoughts inside my head that say
Jerk the steering wheel or
Take that one extra step.
I have watched depression open
Up black holes inside people brighter than stars,
Seen them pulverized by the sadness
From the inside out.
It’s terrifying to think that
Even after all this fighting,
All these good days in a row,
It can still strike quick like lightning.
O captain, my captain,
I know that you’d go down with the ship.
But o captain, my captain,
When you go down
Does the vessel come with?
I have thrown myself into poetry
To try and save face with this illness,
But will throwing down words be enough
To keep me from falling off the edge?
It didn’t work for you even when you said that you were better,
So how am I supposed to trust you or myself?
Where did your spark of madness go?
Did it burn you that bad?
I looked up to you,
You inspired me.
I had faith in you,
I thought you could do it.
Now, since you couldn’t,
It leaves me scared and wondering
Can any of us?
I want to believe that you are free,
That the shackles are no longer manacled onto your heart.
I hope that you are finally anchored in a happier place.
I hope that there is laughter at heaven’s gates.
The video begins humorously as Anthony Carbajal, a photographer, dresses up in a neon bikini top and soaps up a car before being doused with ice water.
It warms my heart to see all this support for people struggling with ALS, but I hope people know what it is people with ALS are battling against. It may only affect 30,000 people in America, but it has touched my family by taking a wonderful man from our lives. Watching him deteriorate and struggle before our eyes was heartbreaking- a man who was once so charismatic and funny could hardly speak. I pray Larry that your soul is at peace and that no more people have to succumb to this horrible disease. What a wonderful man you were (a fighter to the last breath).
You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and God damn it, you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about the business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way.