Like many of you, I have been watching some of the Olympics this year. The lack of crowds and stories about the new relationships forged by athletes from different countries have made it less interesting for me but I still enjoy watching the competition. The evolving story about Simone Biles has impacted me the most. In the past, it would have been unheard of for an athlete at the top of their game to prioritize their mental health much less withdrawing from competition. I believe that it took a lot of courage for her to withdraw with the entire world watching with such high expectations. It is testament to how far we have come in being comfortable with discussing and addressing issues of mental health but I also think we have a long way to go in being more proactive in addressing the issues before they are so damaging to a person.
Issues of mental health touch us all. We all know someone, maybe ourselves, or family members or friends, who is struggling and trying to find solutions. Some people have found, after a year and a half of life in Covid hibernation, more recent issues with mental health. As athletes and celebrities talk about their struggles, others will feel that they don’t have to live in silent desperation and will be comfortable reaching out for help. I both admire and sympathize with Simone, for what she has gone through in the past and what she is going through now. I hope that she recovers fully, not necessarily to being a top athlete, but to being happy and leading a fulfilling life, whatever that means to her. Our awareness of her struggle is the silver lining to this otherwise terrible situation and hopefully, we can continue to march forward so that others can be helped.
This week’s selection is:
The Midnight Library by Matthew Haig
As noted by Goodreads, “Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets? A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived.”