Reach Out I’ll Be There (If You Can Reach Out)


[Reach Out I'll Be There]

Reach Out I’ll Be There

The music of Tamla Motown has always been a favourite of mine, making a serious impression on me as I grew up with the great artists like Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder & The Four Tops.  Not only was their music fresh & engaging but the lyrics seemed to say something a bit deeper.

One of my favourite tracks was Reach Out (I’ll Be There) written Holland, Dozier & Holland & performed by The Four Tops.

Witten as a love song between a man & a woman, I think the lyrics are far more universally applicable to any relationship where one part is hurting or perhaps, unable to cope with where they are or what is happening. It is a real song of hope for all who read it; there are people who do care for us & want to support us …

… if we can let them.

Here are a few thoughts from personal experiences on the  practical application of this musical masterpiece.

The past week has been a very difficult time for me as the demons of depression have once again hunted me, haunted me & dug in their claws. Anyone who has been there will begin to understand that sometimes the difficulty isn’t knowing that people are there to help, it’s finding the courage, energy & motivation to ask for that help.  At a time when we are most vulnerable, we also feel a painful need for companionship & help combined with an overwhelming sense that we don’t want to be a problem, or bother people, or pull them down or burden their busy lives with yet more problem that we can’t seem to solve for ourself.

It is a disconnected circle: The help we know we most need we can’t ask for.  If we could, suicide would not be the Number One killer in the UK (greater than road traffic accidents & cancer combined). An estimated 35 people in the UK take their own life EACH DAY.  That is a daunting statistic. Is it because they don’t want help? In a few cases, maybe, but in the majority of cases I believe they are desperate for help but unable to fully show it. Sadly many of us are very good at ‘being okay’ & hiding our true self to protect ourselves & others.

So, is there a solution?

This is complicated & I would be a fool to simply say “Yes of course there is!”

BUT I do think that the words of the Four Tops’ hit song hold some hope, if we apply them.

Let me offer an explanation:

We can offer help, which is fantastic & so necessary, but perhaps also we can actually make an active approach towards those people to whom we have offered our help. Maybe we can invite them out for a coffee, round for a chat or a meal or whatever it takes to demonstrate our care & concern (our ‘reaching out‘).

Taking the initiative, being pro-active in our reaching out to them, can also be a stimulus to slowly enable them to reach out to us (& others?) for help.

This week has taught me much about how someone ‘reading the warning signs‘ & simply taking the initiative to ask me round for a meal was quite literally a life-saver.

Please don’t think I’m trying to over-simplify a highly complex situation but what I am trying to say from personal experience is, those of us who are struggling may know that help is there but, for whatever reason, feel incapable of asking for that help.  So, by taking the active step to demonstrate that help we may just be the support another person needs.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, helping someone with a chronic (longer term) problem can be very difficult, yet maintaining consistent ongoing support is essential, fruitful & sometimes life-changing.

Depressive illness can be very difficult to understand, especially for the sufferer; it is rarely logical; it can make the sufferer seem selfish or high maintenance (of which they are often acutely aware). Our relationships with our friends sometimes do need just that little bit of extra effort so that as we reach out, our friends know we are here.

For those of you who have never heard the song I’m talking about, check out the basic lyrics below & a performance here.

Now if you feel that you can’t go on 
Because all of your hope is gone 
And your life is filled with much confusion 
Until happiness is just an illusion 
And your world around is crumbling down, darlin’,
Reach out, Come on girl reach on out for me,
Reach out, Reach out for me,

I’ll be there with a love that will shelter you,
I’ll be there with a love that will see you through,

When you feel lost and about to give up 
Cause your life just ain’t good enough 
And you feel the world has grown cold 
And you’re drifting out all on your own 
And you need a hand to hold, darlin’
Reach out, Come on girl reach out for me,
Reach out, Reach out for me,

I can tell the way you hang your head 
You’re not in love now, now you’re afraid 
And through the tears you look around
But there’s no peace of mind to be found 
I know what you’re thinking,
You’re alone now, no love of your own, but darling,
Reach out, Come on girl reach out for me,
Reach out Reach out………. just look over your shoulder,

I’ll be there to give you all the love you need,
And I’ll be there you can always depend on me,
I’ll be there to always see you through,
I’ll be there to love and comfort you

(B. Holland,  L Dozier, E Holland)

Until next time …

About waywood

Hi & Welcome to my thoughts. I share subjects that are important to me. As you’ll notice, these subjects can be quite broad & varied. I like variety; I like breadth & I like a challenge. I am passionate about helping others overcome their fears, grow in confidence & succeed. Although many people would label me as an achiever, I have battled low confidence, low self-esteem & a couple of nasty, long periods depression over the years. I can’t say, “I know how you feel” but I can hopefully empathise & offer some of the things that are helping me to turn my life around. Please feel free to comment, share & enjoy. Take care, best wishes & keep well Stuart
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2 Responses to Reach Out I’ll Be There (If You Can Reach Out)

  1. Rob Grayson says:

    Well done for writing this, Stu. Your honesty and courage are to be highly commended. Keep hanging in there my friend.


    • waywood says:

      Thanks Rob & really appreciate your comments.

      It’s at times when you’re where I am that you see most clearly what would help, but you’re also fighting hardest with yourself to ‘not be a nuisance.’

      My ongoing battle just now but it will eventually come to an end 🙂


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