Sunday, August 29, 2010

Have You Ever Seen Someone Jogging and Crying At the Same Time?

Well, you would have if you were near North Avenue Beach along Lake Michigan in Chicago at around 2:00 PM today. Usually running is when I do my best thinking, and it's the time where I'm most confident; Not so confident this time.*

I found it kind of odd that hundreds of people saw me running around crying, sitting in the fetal position trying to distract myself by watching volleyball, again, crying, and no one asked me what was wrong. Is that a big city thing, an American thing, and/or a detached modern society thing? I feel that in Sweden, for instance, someone would have stopped and asked how I was - preferably the concerned pedestrian would be a buxom blond-type Swede. Still, when one is going through a horribly depressing episode, as I am, one can tend to get a little self-absorbed, so I guess it's possible I'm apt to jump to the conclusion that no one cares about poor, poor Ken.

Still, I said to myself that if I ever saw someone in a similar position, I would make sure that person was okay. Oddly enough, as I was on the home stretch of the run, I saw a young woman sitting outside of her apartment building, talking on the phone, and she was either crying or had been before. Since I made a pledge only moments ago, I just had to honor it, so I turned around and asked if she was all right. She assured me that she was fine, and to me it was evident that although she didn't want any of my "counseling" at that time, she smiled in a way that suggested that she was touched that I took the time to see if my fellow Chicagoan was okay.

So, what do you think? Given similar circumstances, would you stop and ask someone if he/she was all right? Oh, and you don't have to ask how I'm doing. Old Gancey is going to be just fine. I promise.

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*The day before was during the anger stage, so it was, of course, a very angry run complete with swearing, punching street signs, and ripping leaves off of most every tree I passed. Very tough-guy, right?

13 comments:

Mr. Shife said...

After what I have experienced the last 2 years with losing my Mom and my furry friend of 11 years it is definitely comforting and nice when your friends reach out to you and make sure you are OK. And it is nice when people who barely know you or don't know you at all but know you are hurting do a nice gesture for you. I am sorry no one bothered to ask how you were doing, and I am glad you decided to be a better person and human being by showing concern for someone who was having a hard day and you probably made her feel a little better about this messed-up world of ours. Sometimes it is hard to give a shit about our fellow humans because we see and hear a lot of bad stuff they do but I think if we all did stop and try to give a shit on a more regular basis the world might be a better place. A song I like has the lyrics "Give away what you want to receive" and you will be getting something good your way buddy. I truly hope you are doing OK, and depression blows. I have tried many meds and it takes awhile but if you find the right one it does help a lot. But in my case meds alone are not enough and I see a therapist once or twice a month because I need to talk to someone about all the stuff or I will go even nuttier. Well I have rambled on long enough. You know how to reach me. I hope I was helpful, and please take care of yourself. Definitely need guys like you around making the world a little more interesting and better. Take care.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Shife: Yeah, I must admit that I was feeling lonely and sad, and that's why I reached out to you on FB just now. I had no idea that you would blow me away with such insightful heartfelt words. We've known each other a long time in this blog biz, and you always struck me as a solid person who cares about others. Thanks so much, and nothing but love to you, your family, and your new dog. : )

radioactive girl said...

I think a lot of times people don't ask because they don't want to deal with it. When I talk to someone who is hurting, it makes me hurt too. I still would try to be there for someone who was obviously not ok, but I think I am learning that just because I think something is the right thing to do doesn't mean it is what other people would do.

Sometimes people forget what is important in life and get too "busy" or wrapped up in their own things to pay attention and notice that someone else is hurting. I don't think it is that no one cared, I can't imagine it not sticking with someone the rest of the day if they saw that and did nothing. If I didn't stop and ask if you (even if you were a complete stranger) were ok, I would think/worry about it the rest of the day. Even if it was a complete stranger that I saw.

I am feeling kind of alone right now and if someone tried to comfort me (a stranger) I am not sure if I would share. I would want to, but I hate to burden other people with my own things so I'd probably do what the girl did and just say I was fine. But it would make me so happy that someone cared enough to check so I think you did the right thing for sure.

I'm thinking good thoughts for you and if there is anything else I can do please let me know. I have been told I make some pretty awesome brownies, if that might help at all send me your address.

HeatherLynn said...

Dearest Ken,

First let me give you a big virtual Ohio hug...from the sound of things, maybe small town Ohio hugs are more comforting than big city indifference. I'd of asked you if you were alright....at the very least, I'd of looked you in the eye and gave you the best sympathetic "look"...that would let you know that I care...without actually saying it...someone gave me that look at a stop light the other day when i was crying my eyes out....that "i'm sorry you're sad" look...and it made me feel better for about a minute...or maybe 30 seconds.

If you need to vent....Turkey42@hotmail.com

I'm all ears/eyes...

your truly,
~hl~

Miss Organizized said...

Hey Ken! First and foremost I'm really sorry for whatever's tearing at your soul right now :( I've been MIA from your awesome blog and this particular title caught my eye because just last weekend I was jogging and crying huge huge tears and no one stopped to ask me why. Now my reason was because I got lost on my 14 mile route (in the middle of nowhere)...your reason undoubtedly has much more weight. And for that I lend my hand. Not sure if you catch Primetime's What Would You Do? but John Quinones rules and there was just an ep on where dudes were crying on the side of a park path and they were testing whether or not people would stop. The whole segment made ME cry! I felt so bad for these guys even though they were actors. It made me want to jump into my television and give them huge hugs and buy them meals and coffee. Anyway, your post clinched it. If I see sometime in distress, I'm stopping and reaching out.

To make a long story longer, I read over some of your past posts and they're better than ever so consider me the Prodigal Son. 1. I wore out my Justice cd too. 2. My boyfriend is waaaaay too into Joan as well, but I'm right there with him...yummy! (she's like the real life version of Jessica Rabbit!) 3. If I were a coug, I'd be Maggie May.

Chin up buttercup! I look forward to more from The Gancer!!

Heff said...

Apparently LOTS of people cry when the jog.

I would imagine Dolly Parton probably does, anyway....

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Radio: I'm sorry to hear that you are also going through something shitty. Spending time with your kids helps, right? I know my nephews have been wonderful therapists for me just by being cute and loveable - not even knowing they're helping. Also, when I was on the pathetic crying jogging trip, the only times I smiled was when I saw dogs and kids, so maybe animals are good too.

I kind of want a cat, but I feel like that might be a little homosexual for a single man to have a cat, no? Anyway, thanks for your support and brownie offer, and I hope we both pull ourselves out of this sooner than later.

Lyn: Thanks for the virtual hug and support. It sounds like you got a really good guy out there in Lima, and you deserve it. I really appreciate you reaching out.

Miss O.: You know, I have some crappy self-esteem, and it doesn't make sense because I have a lot going for me, but I need compliments. People showing me they care has been really helpful, but believe it or not, compliments on my writing helps just as much, so thank you.

Heff: How'd you know boob jokes would cheer me up?

Everyone: Thanks a lot. I don't get the 30 comments like I used to, but I'd much rather have just a handful of really quality ones like this.

Mr. Shife said...

Thanks buddy, and the same to you. Glad we found each other on the Internet. Hope that didn't sound too gay. Like I have told you before you are a good dude even though you root, root, root for the Cubbies.

Kadonkadonk said...

It's definitely a big city thing. Like when my tire blew out in DC, I changed it - no biggie. But out of the 150+ people that walked by not ONE PERSON asked if I needed help.

On the other end of the spectrum, mothers with kids in the car still pick up hitchhikers and truckers pull over to make sure you are okay if you are on the side of the road in Alaska.

Or maybe it's just that everyone in Chicago specifically is an asshole...

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Shife: Yeah, that didn't sound gay. When I hang out with roommates and people ask how we know each other, I like to say that we met on Craig's List without saying we're roommates. Good times. You're good people, Shifey. Keep doin' what you're doin'.

Donk: Yeah, small town folks for sure slow down to make sure you're all right. I'm losing a little faith in my city for sure, and now I feel like I'm the old guy at the bar and I hate all the kids, so it's not looking good.

mysterygirl! said...

Hang in there, Dr. K. E-mail me if you need anything. [hugs]

BeckEye said...

Well, I hope things are OK, Dr. K. And that's probably a stupid thing to say because obviously they're not.

I'd like to think that I would ask someone if they were OK in that type of situation. I've actually done it before. But sometimes, you can get burned by doing that. Occasionally, you stop to ask someone how they are and they take it as an invasion of their privacy and tell you to shove off. So, I don't always think it's inconsideration if another person wouldn't stop to talk to a crying stranger. Sometimes it's worry that they'll get told to MYOB, good old fashioned shyness, or lack of anything to say. Or maybe they're late for work. Who knows. Ignoring someone who's emotionally hurt probably isn't as bad as, say, walking past someone who was physically injured without trying to help.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

MG: Just went back and saw this. After your most recent comment a couple posts ago, I may take you up on the email because you really have a solid head on your shoulders. Thanks for visiting again after all this time. : )

Beck: Yeah, but when you're in that state you're all, "No one cares about me!" It's a bad way of thinking because the person who needs to put in the work towards feeling better is me, and I am. : )