So I like the Impractical Jokers. I’ve established this in a previous post. The longer I watched them, the more I began to follow them on social media and their other projects. Through various forms of media and several podcasts, I learned that Q and I had similarities — we both had cats, loved comics and video games, and, apparently, he had mental health difficulties from time to time. I felt, out of the four of them, that I could relate to Q the most.
In July of 2015, Q tweeted out a lengthy thread (and back then it was far more annoying to tweet a thread so I give him a lot of props) about it being Suicide Prevention Month/Day (I forget which), that he also struggled with that, that he had friends who had saved his life (one of them is Sal, Impractical Jokers fans!), and there were people in our lives who want to be reached out to, to not go it alone, etc. In one of those tweets he said one of my favorite quotes.
“If you’re considering suicide, you’re not ending the pain. You’re ending the opportunity for things to get better.”
I was blown away by the tweets, and that quote. My heart swelled with love for a person who would use his public status to reach out to thousands and thousands of people to try to encourage them. There are many celebrities who do the same, and I am grateful for every one of them.
The first time I met the Jokers, November of 2015, I was petrified to meet Q. He was just so intimidating to me, and I had so much respect and adoration for him. Anyone who has met him knows he is anything but intimidating and is just about the kindest man ever. Because I was way too afraid to talk about anything real, I asked him if I could show him pictures of Cooper. He let me. I did write him (and the other three) thank you cards and did briefly mention that I greatly respected his candidness with what he dealt with on a personal level. It helped people like me, who kept it all inside.
Very shortly after I met them that first time, the day before I was to go away for Thanksgiving, I had another breakdown. I got on the highway in that winter night semi prepared to crash and die. As I was driving fairly recklessly, Q’s tweets came into my mind. I didn’t think things could ever get better, but was I wrong? My uncertainty made me pull over, let out a slew of emotion, and turn around and drive home.
That is the first time Q saved my life. I remembered his words and used his general example when I was feeling overwhelmed more times than I could count. Each time I met him, I told him a little bit more (in a card) about how he helped me. In June of 2016 I just went for it and told the breakdown story to him in a letter I left in a gift bag at the Meet N Greet.
My Christmas present in 2016 was to go backstage once again, but for the first (and only) time, I’d be bringing a guest. My mom. My parents knew how much it would mean to me to introduce those four guys to her (because Sal, Murr, and Joe have all helped me in different ways, believe it or not, and they all know how).
It was so cute when we were in line waiting to go into the backstage room. “What do you want me to do?” she asked me. I told her to say whatever she felt like saying. A second time, she asked me what I wanted her to do. I did want her to thank Q, if she felt like doing so. And that’s exactly what ended up happening.
I introduced Q and my mom to each other and that’s when my mom did it. She looked my hero in the eye and said, “I want to thank you for how you’ve helped my daughter. She’s going through a lot of the things you have and I know that you’ve helped her.” He turned to me and said, “Not have. I’m still going through it, every day. You just gotta take it one day at a time like I do, okay?”
And then we took this picture.
It was such an amazing moment for me. Q giving me personal, raw, advice. Just me. It was so special that those words circled around my head over and over until it was almost dizzying. It was such simple advice but it was also such helpful advice for someone like me, who gets overwhelmed with anxiety (and depression) on a consistent basis.
A short time later, I asked him if he would write “take it one day at a time” out for me to be a tattoo stencil. And he did. He warned that his handwriting was terrible, but there is nothing terrible about the ink on my arm. It’s my absolute favorite thing in the world. Now, instead of just imagining it, I see it. I see those words, at least fifty times a day. They are so powerful.
I had tweeted a picture of the tattoo to him (because he asked me to) but I wasn’t sure if he had seen it. Let’s face it, a guy like him gets hundreds of tweets a day. The first time I was able to show it to him was 9 months later on the Impractical Jokers Cruise. His eyes lit up (in surprise?) and said, “there it is! You got it!”.
Later on on that cruise, I was also able to thank his mom for raising a wonderful son, and gave her a Readers Digest version of the tattoo story. Momentarily, I left them her speechless.
Brian Quinn’s kindness, not just to me individually but in a general sense, leaves me speechless sometimes, too.
The moral of the story is you are not alone. At the time I really started following Brian Quinn’s social media, I felt alone. I didn’t have anybody in my “real life” that I felt I could relate to (that is very different now). He gave me hope that things would get better in my life, and god, have they ever.
I am so glad Joel Madden gave me hope when I was 16, because I would have missed the next thirteen years. I am so glad Bradley Cooper gave me hope when I was 29, because I would have missed the next year. I am so glad Brian Quinn gave me hope when I was 30, because I would have missed the rest of my life.
These three men are incredibly special to me. My site wouldn’t have been complete without tributes to them.
Joel, Bradley, and Q are life savers, life changers, and hope givers. At least to me. And they always will be.
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