I feel miserable, more miserable than I’ve felt since December when I was last “knocked on your ass by a herd of stampeding elekk” sick. The yo-yo’ing temperatures coupled with allergies finally caught up with me, just when I thought I could escape unscathed. Hell, last night I was too sick to even play WoW. Yeah, that oughta tell you something.
But, there’s always a cure. For the times when I’m sick, when I’m down-and-out, when I’m fresh out of optimism, when things seem astonishingly bleak… It’s funny how being sick can make you think of the strangest things. Maybe it’s because I’m still feeling the effects of Easter, that shot of hope and resolution I feel every time when I think about it.
Coldplay’s X&Y came out at a very crucial time of my life: I was just graduating high school and about to embark on my college adventure. “Fix You” was my anthem for that summer and, I thought, the story of my life— all eighteen years of it— encapsulated in song-form.
For the longest time, I thought the song was for me, that it was speaking to me. And, at the time, it was true. I’m well aware of how emo and perfunctorily “teenaged” that statement sounds, but bear with me.
It’s been nearly seven years since that time and, for the past two or three years, have flat out refused to listen to this song… Reminded me too much of my silly, defeatist self— those youthfully selfish thoughts I harbored that made me feel entitled to more love and attention than my peers whose problems werenothing compared to mine.
But I did start listening to it again recently. It came up on my MP3 player while I was driving with the little one. She seemed to like it: the slow, soothing cadence of the first verses, a piano’s gentle trip-drip-dropping notes. Instinctively, I started singing along; I still knew every word by heart, every key change.
I realized, somewhere in those seven years, I went from being the recipient of the song’s message to being the messenger herself. That day, I was singing to my daughter; to every connection I’ve made by listening to their problems and tales of woe; to each person I’ve chatted for hours with in WoW without having ever met them in person; to every person I failed to help because I lacked the knowledge. And I discovered, especially on the last thought, that the “I” used in the song wasn’t just referring to me, a solitary messenger.
It referred to every single person out there who stopped to listen to their friends and loved ones, to strangers and momentary acquaintances borne out of compassion.
The song took on a new meaning. This was the anthem for everyone who’s been a light in the darkness for someone. This was a message to every person who felt like all hope was lost that, somewhere out there, is a person who’s willing to help “fix you” because you mean a heck of a lot to that person. That person may be me, or someone else you know, or someone you’ve yet to meet— but they’re there.
We are here.
Lost in the shuffle of beta testing, trying to obtain that ever-elusive bow, clearing raids, and everything else in the game, I’m reminded of my number one reason for loving World of Warcraft: its incredible ability to bring together people from different cultures, backgrounds, and regions— people who never would have crossed paths if not for Azeroth.
If you ever find yourself in a place of despair or utter sadness, know that there’s always somewhere you can go to find a willing ear and help.
National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
There are also a lot of local/regional resources dedicated to ensuring the mental and physical well-being of anyone who feels needs a hand to get back up. Remember: we’re here and we’re glad you’re here, too.