Dear Jared,

Almost exactly two years ago, I wrote a letter of love and support to you when you had to leave Rome to be with your family. There had been an accident and they desperately needed you to be with them. Yesterday another emergency called you away from Italy, but this time it was you who needed your family. Your tweets broke our hearts because we could feel your pain.
You opened yourself up to your fans, saying, “I am in desperate and urgent need of my family. I am so sorry to tell you this but I must head home. I need all of the love I can get right now. Please please give me a few seconds of your time and write me”. Those close to you explained your absence as exhaustion and illness. You ended your message with #AlwaysKeepFighting, so my dearest Jared, it didn’t sound to us like you were tired or sick. Rather it felt like you were sharing with us one of the most vulnerable moments of your life. At the beginning of your “Always Keep Fighting” campaign, you trusted us enough to confess that you battle depression and that you know what it is like to feel isolated in the middle of a crowd, to feel lonely amidst overwhelming love and to feel confused and afraid when outwardly your whole world seems perfect. Anxiety, panic, fear and depression strike when and where they wish. They aren’t logical or convenient. They don’t ask permission to consume your life. They just attack, paralyzing your brain and strangling your heart. They suffocate hope and drain strength. Jared, you go and give and smile and share until you have nothing left, so it isn’t hard to believe that being emotionally or physically exhausted would be the result of the endless demands placed on you.

Your messages begged us for help and understanding. You probably didn’t feel very self-assured in that moment, but it took great courage and humility to expose your profound need in that way. More than any words of gratitude, respect or unity you have ever expressed for fans before, your openness showed us just how genuinely you love and trust your Supernatural family. Be assured that we are the lucky ones. We are honored to have found a person who cares so deeply about others. Our lives are enriched with your example of sincerity, loyalty and compassion. You may not be feeling very brave right now, but we will hold your honesty and vulnerability in a safe place in our hearts.

Jim Beaver experienced a similar moment of human frailty last week, which he also shared publically with his fans (on Facebook). A few days later he expressed the inevitable embarrassment that follows whenever we let down our defenses and bare our souls. He is wiser and more eloquent than I could ever hope to be, so I presume to repeat his reflections here for you.

As is typical after I post some public notice of my own fears, worries, insecurities, or failings, I feel a bit ashamed of having done so. Despite a massively kind response from many, many people, I'm a bit embarrassed at having been so open. Even though I'm pretty accomplished at baring my soul (and get a surprising amount of praise for my "courage" in doing so), in aftermath it always seems rather self-indulgent. It is a maddeningly strange quality in humans that our own natures make us reluctant to reveal evidence of our humanity and, if we overcome that reluctance, makes us ashamed of having done so. I live a paradoxical existence. I'm inclined toward revealing all, toward literally baring all, toward naked vulnerability. Yet I'm also knotted up in bonds of disdain for myself for that inclination, wrapped in feelings of "unmanly" behavior, of the stigma and ignominy of seeming to ask for pity. Weird creatures, these dichotomous human beings. We ask for what we want and are ashamed to take it. We crave companionship and communication and feel unworthy if we reach for them. We isolate ourselves as protection against the warmth and bonds we yearn for. For all our vaunted position at the top of the intellectual summit, I fail to see how we've improved on cows in the area of consistency.

At any rate, this musing just popped out as I was about to say thanks for all the kind words, advice, recommendations, support, succor, and wisdom. The truth is, sometimes just saying something is bothering me is all I need to do for it to stop bothering me so much. I'm having a great time on my last day in Greece, and while I wouldn't throw the next girl-of-my-dreams out, I'm not lonely. Life is good. Life is extraordinary. It's so extraordinary, I feel a little ashamed for having so much.


Humans. Go figure.

Jared, you are not alone in your need for rest, reassurance or love. You give of yourself so freely and generously that it is our honor to give back to you whenever you need it. You empty yourself for us, gifting us with your talent, creativity, empathy, humor, warmth and sincerity.

You are dearly loved and deeply respected. You are a light in our lives. Feel our friendship and support surround you whenever you need us. Take whatever time you need to recover, recharge and rekindle the spark of life that is uniquely you.

You asked for your family to write to you. If you ever doubted your value to yourself or us, please read the hundreds of messages of love that have already been posted for you here.

Jared, now and forever, keep fighting. We have your back.

Nightsky

...and your SPN Family



Image credit: Karen Cooke Photography

SPN Family, please feel free to add your good wishes for Jared. Just follow the link given above.

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Editor's Note: Hundreds of notes of support were written to Jared in the comments to this letter. All were archived during a recent system conversion.