Brain Pain.

The other night, I had the honor of meeting Kevin Hines, author of “Cracked but Not Broken” and suicide attempt survivor.

He has a gift for intertwining lighthearted jokes with deeply emotional and poignant realizations, which is incredible considering he survived the painful jump off of the Golden Gate Bridge.  He was nineteen.

As you all know, I struggle with a few brain disorders.  I’ve had some extended episodes recently, and I was getting worried.  My depression said “What if the meds aren’t working anymore?” and the anxiety said “What if you don’t actually have anything wrong with you?” and the OCD said “WHAT IF SOMETHING GOES TERRIBLY WRONG AND DID YOU COUNT TO THREE AFTER THAT AND ALSO WHAT IF THAT BABY HAS RINGWORM?”

This is what Mr. Hines so cleverly referred to as “brain pain.

This is also what his father refers to as “What the hell are you doing?!

Anyway, his talk reminded me of one night when the brain pain was high.  It was in college and it was one of those times that I felt unsafe.   I was not well.  I hadn’t slept more than a couple hours a night for about a week.  Feedback I was getting from certain people in my life wasn’t helping.  So I reached for my phone and called my best friend, a man I hadn’t really talked to in over a year.  Not for any reason, we just lost touch.  Depression does that.

He walked me through what I had to do.  He immediately came over and stayed on the phone until he got there.  He brought me a frosty and held me for about two hours as I sobbed incoherently.  He convinced me to go on meds.  He forever changed the course of my life.

One of the things Mr. Hines had us do before his talk was over was to turn to a stranger, look them in the eyes, and say “Be here tomorrow.”  Coincidentally, my friend said the same thing to me as he left that night.

Friends, please be here tomorrow.

I encourage you to watch Kevin Hines’s TEDtalk as well as to read his book.

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He insisted on meeting with every person in the audience.  There were easily 600+ people.  Yes, those are tears in my eyes.  Yes, I hugged him twice.
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