After I was done speaking in Topeka a couple of weeks ago, someone said to me:
“It’s so inspiring that you never gave up during the worst of it.”
It’s a tempting fiction that I would love to step into, basking in my own majesty, but it’s a fiction.
If I have made any changes or developed any discipline or force of will, those are all relatively recent parts of the story, like within the last three or four years.
The truth is:
During the worst of the Tourette’s Syndrome years, when my body was breaking and my mind wasn’t in great shape either, I tried to give up. Over and over and over. I had hit the proverbial wall and was lying like a lump at its base.
The only things that kept me from drying up and blowing away were the people around me.The people who urged me to keep attempting to scale the wall, or who outright tried to throw me over it.
I tried to give up and I would have, but they wouldn’t let me. I have been the beneficiary of that great cliche, “Team effort.” The effort has spanned decades now.
Family, friends, and teachers. Saviors every one. Why did I get them in my life? Why was I so blessed to have such a built-in support group at every step?
Is it part of a plan? Is it dumb luck? Chaos? None of that matters to me. I don’t care why. I only know that they’ve been there and I’m grateful.
Think about the people you are closest to, that you spend the most time with. Do they make you better? Would they coax you over the wall? Would they do everything they could to keep you from giving up, even if they suspected that thing weren’t going to get any better?
Keep the good people close. Tell them you love them. Show them you love them.