On Saturday I saw a woman at the local YMCA who, if seen on a television infomercial would have prompted people to give so that she might live, that she might eat, that she might find nourishment and health. She was THAT thin. She may have been 10 or more years older than me but it was really hard to tell. She moved with a zombie-like gait from weight machine to weight machine and I almost thought I'd see her catapulted across the room when she began to work with the bands and ropes.
On Sunday I had a chat with my sister about a mutual friend who was battling depression and we felt helpless to help. I also watched a Real World episode with a girlfriend where one of the residents of this "real" house was obviously "really" battling alcohol.
With each instance I wondered about intervention. When is it ok for someone at the Y to say, "Enough! M'am, you need to walk away from this machine and let us talk to you about the other side of health . . . eating."? How do you stop a friend's spiral when you know you don't have the tools and that any suggestions will probably just add you to the list of those with whom ties have already been broken? Can television producers be held accountable for stepping in when one of their "real" characters is in real trouble?
Relationships take guts. I sometimes wonder if I have the intestinal fortitude to live life in community.