Hope When You Can’t See It

robin williamsRobin Williams died earlier this week.

It’s difficult to find anyone who knew him who didn’t love and respect Williams and acknowledge him as a kind, humble, respectful spirit. The sense of loss of this wonderful man is compounded exponentially by the horrible manner in which he died.

The questions stream from every corner. How could someone who “has it all” feel so lost? Why couldn’t he experience the joy and love he gave to others? When so many people loved him, why did he feel so alone?

Depression and addiction don’t look like other diseases. We don’t ask why someone “chooses” to get cancer. But it’s too easy to believe the armchair psychology that says the addict decides to use and the depressed person chooses unhappiness.

Sadly, it’s not that simple. I work with men who want with all their hearts to beat their addictions. Their absolute biggest fear is that they’re broken, that something in their brain simply won’t allow them to break the cycle.

I see life through the fog of clinical depression. It’s a chemical issue in my brain, a disease no different than diabetes or hypertension. I don’t choose depression any more than I choose paralysis.

Though I know in my head that “hopeless” is a lie, there are definitely moments when the fog settles around me and I absolutely cannot experience the hope I believe is there.

For those who’ve not lived in that fog, I’m sure it’s difficult to understand. I’m sure it’s tempting to remind me to lean on my faith in God’s promises. I assure you, I do that, and knowing the hope is real helps a lot, but it doesn’t remove the fog.

That’s why we do this thing called RICH’S RIDE. If this was about two people and a goofy dog and a handcycle, it would all be sort of silly.

We do this because we have a story to share, and the ride provides a platform from which to share it. People need to know hope is real, even when they can’t see it or they’re afraid it’s evaporated.

Becky and I believe we’re in a unique position to let people see us following this crazy dream and believe that perhaps their own dreams aren’t so impossible after all. The bike, the books, the rides—they’re all about helping others believe HOPE CHANGES WHAT’S POSSIBLE.

Thanks for being part of the circle surrounding RICH’S RIDE. We’re grateful for support and encouragement, for all of you who work with us…

…and trust God for the outcome.

Please leave a comment here.

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5 thoughts on “Hope When You Can’t See It

  1. Janet Hesselbarth - August 13, 2014

    Thank you Rich for expressing and sharing your thoughts on the passing of Robin Williams passing and the daily struggle of depression. I think there are more folks who have been there than the whole world really knows. I do believe that hope is indeed one of the elements that keeps you going- God’s love is hope and knowing that and embracing it makes the journey survivable. God bless you and your family. Godspeed Robin Williams.

  2. Sandra Sorrell - August 13, 2014

    Hi Rich, What struck me the most about your comments today on the “fog” is that you, in a sense, gave people encouragement who are dealing with depression. You use your bike and Rich’s Ride to do good in the world, and, as a side benefit, the rides help you deal with the “fog”. I guess we all need to find that something that helps us deal with adversity or “fog” or whatever, but with something healthy (bike rides?).

  3. John Terpstra - August 13, 2014

    Very well said, Rich. I have members of my extended family who know well the “fog” of which you speak. Thanks for the encouragement. Keep on riding and teaching us about hope.

  4. Jim Klock - August 13, 2014

    Excellent response, Rich, to such a horrible loss. Thanks for your vulnerability and transparency. Susan and I appreciate you and Becky so much. Blessings to you on this gorgeous Wednesday .

    1. Rich - August 13, 2014

      Thanks, Jim. We’re blessed by your friendship and support.

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