In 2013 I posted I Used to Love Her… http://www.novaonthemove.com/2013/10/16/i-used-to-love-her/
A blog about falling out of love with yourself and depression. I’ve been thinking a lot about this as of late, having been in relationships with women diagnosed with clinical depression or severe anxiety, having a best friend with Bi-Polar disorder and loved ones that are possibly running around undiagnosed. There is a layer of fear there that you live in…. it’s not something you can understand unless you have lived it, a constant concern for that person… are they ok… are they getting better… how long can they go on like this… do I need to get them some help… questions, always questions.
Over the last two years I took the steps to become a certified life coach, took the courses and absorbed the material… I wanted to help people. then life happened… sick relatives, a bad beak up, my own weird illness, moving, work… blah, blah blah… so I haven’t taken the official exam. I still want to help people, I’m just not sure what that looks like in this new reality TODAY.
I am at a peaceful phase in my life; work is a misery, dating and relationships are hit or miss, my friends are A*M*A*Z*I*N*G truly one of the greatest blessings I have and my family is back on track. I’ve reconciled with my sister, my mom is doing well, my niece is heading to college… there is a lightness here that has not been attainable for years. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is still insane… EVERYONE… and yes, I am counted in that number, but it doesn’t matter. I am in a still phase, the waters run deep and while I have storms raging within me I find solace in faith, family and love.
Have you ever listened to Logic’s song 800-273-8255? That is the actual telephone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. There are several important people in my life that have contemplated suicide. I wish I could say it never crossed my own mind but I would be lying. Please do not jump to conclusions, mine was a passing thought not given much contemplation… something more common than people will admit. Sadly, that seed, that line of thinking is easy to fall into… as easy as breathing. Sometimes you want to stop and just be still, to hear nothing, look at nothing… to FEEL nothing.
I enjoy my alone time; self-contemplation is not practiced as much as it should be. We are taught that God is love and I believe in love. I believe understanding IS love so I try to understand. I believe to love another person is to see the face of God. I see his hand in all aspects of my life, in all of decisions I have made and in all of the outcomes. Taking these things into consideration when ‘coaching’ someone, using the tools I have learned to ‘hear’ someone, and working for the betterment of another human being is an amazing experience. I am propping my loves up, listening, giving advise as needed, passing out tissues when needed and helping to shoulder their burdens. It just takes a toll though, I have my dark days like everyone else.
Last night one of my friends said to me “you never unload on me”, and of course I asked her what she meant… “You never unload on me… I unload on you all the time, but you never unload on me. There are days I know you are stressed, or hurting and I unload on you… I know I shouldn’t because you are obviously struggling but I can’t help myself, but you never unload on me. You just sit and listen, give me advice and a kick in the azz when I need it, but you never unload on me.” I’d like to say that I vented then, but I would be lying, the answer is simple really, it’s just how I am built.
I’m an empathetic person not sympathetic, most people do not understand the difference so I will explain starting with the definitions:
Sympathy – feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune
Empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another
I wish I could say I felt bad for how bad other people feel, but I don’t. Instead I work to understand how they feel as they do and ultimately come to terms with sharing in some of that feeling. People think me cold and uncaring because I am not warm and fuzzy. I don’t really know how to address that except to say I love hard and I always try to understand where people are coming from, if that makes me cold… well then, I guess you are entitled to your opinion.
I unload plenty, through writing and reading and music and travel, and bookstores… Lord how I love bookstores (and libraries) … they have always felt like another form of Church to me. It seems like the older I get I go through long periods without putting pen to paper, which for me is a bit dangerous because it just means everything I have been taking in I have not been releasing. Even in my most burdened state I still try to BE there for my loved ones. It always catches up to me though… I get sick or just tired, or sick and tired. There are days I can’t or don’t want to get out of bed. Some of this I wrote, and erased, wrote again and re-worded.
There is guilt in feeling vulnerable, tired and having your choices taken from you. We all want to be brave, we all want to be strong but really… sometimes we need to break down before we can rebuild our selves stronger, and I so desperately want to be strong.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this, having been in relationships with women diagnosed with clinical depression or severe anxiety, having a best friend with Bi-Polar disorder and loved ones that are possibly running around undiagnosed. There is a layer of fear there that I live in… more people live in it than we realize, a constant concern for their loved ones… are they ok… are they getting better… how long can they go on like this… do I need to get them some help… questions, always questions. In the past year 2 friends of mine have discussed contemplating taking their own lives.
I wish I could say I talked them off of the ledge, that I made them see the light and had them counting their blessings (because really, they are blessed), but I can’t. I doubt much of what I have to say is acually useful but I do try to listen, and will continue to listen. Have you ever heard Logic’s song 800-273-8255? That is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We never really know what someone is going through so try compassion as a default. The road to Self Love is not easy, it takes work and more effort than almost everything else in life. It starts with talking… talk, talk and keep talking. If there isn’t anyone there to listen… no one to hold your hand or hold you tight, find a phone… please use it.
(rough draft, still have some more thinking to do)