The sun is shining; it’s a gorgeous 75 degree day, but I still just feel immensely depressed & need a good cry. It started yesterday when I had a random thought about my 1996 college English trip to New Mexico. Kevin Bell went on that trip. We always thought he was a happy guy—funny, quiet, odd like the rest of us in that group. Then one day, he committed suicide. I never saw it coming, but when I thought about it, I realized that outside of our English interests, I never knew him really.
A couple weeks ago, someone criticized Doug for not being transparent about the problems we’ve had the past three years with Doug’s law license and with certain lying, individuals who chose to pin the blame on him rather than face the music for their crime. Sorry—we thought everyone knew. Old news. But, I’ve been thinking about this transparency topic. How much do people really know each other? Most people prefer to not air their dirty laundry for the world to see; they’d just prefer for everyone to think they have the perfect life. And why is that? Because it’s easier to not have to deal with people’s pity? Because we fear that someone will think badly of us if they knew. Or maybe it’s a fear nobody will even care. Or maybe the shame of it all, even if it’s nobody’s fault like the years Doug and I spent in emotionally & physically difficult infertility treatments and the two miscarriages before God blessed us with three children.
You can live the façade, but I’ve had enough of it. I have a very good life, a blessed life—I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But how many people do I keep at arm’s length because when they ask how I’m doing, I just say “fine” and go on, even if I’m not fine. How many people could I help with their problems if I only shared my own experiences? And what’s worse, how many people do I accept their answer of “fine” instead of saying, “No, how are you really doing?”
I don’t care who you are—friends now, friends from the past or just someone whose name I once knew—if you need someone, I’ll listen. I’ll pray with you. And I’ve mastered the art of keeping my mouth shut. I just don’t want someone I know to become another Kevin Bell.