After all my months and months of pain and heartache and joy and love and reflection and…
My therapist told she is proud of all the work I accomplished and said she didn’t think I needed to come back, I could always call if I need her, but she thinks I’m going to be alright.
I know I still have so much work to do, I just feel like I’ve got a handle on it now. A good friend of mine just came over, right after my appointment, and telling her about this news made me so happy so I’m sharing it with all of you!
I hope all of you keep reading me, and learning and growing, and struggling and…remember to incorporate gratitude as well…I feel like it has been so valuable to my recovery, even though it was a little late to the party…
So I mentioned that I had some good news…I’ve been thinking about how to share some of my “wisdom” with others and I kept coming back to Louise and Sam’s rules for life that I blogged about previously. Louise Dietzel has an office in my state and so I decided to write her a letter and ask if I could share her rules in a children’s book (Sam passed away years ago).
I carefully crafted a letter reminding her of our previous encounters years and years ago. I explained to her that I have been healing from depression and that I feel a need to share what has helped…I asked for an opportunity to discuss sharing her rules.
And now for the best part: the minute she opened my letter and read it, she called me. I was in the midst of making pancakes and cutting up melon while 5 kids set the table. To say it wasn’t a good time would’ve been an understatement. But I took the call, listened and answered and asked if I could call her back in a little while.
After I hung up the phone, I started to jump up and down. I was smiling ear to ear and couldn’t find any words to describe the feelings…the kids asked, “do you have to go pee?” I smiled and told them that I was really really excited. It’s only a couple weeks later, on the eve of my resulting meeting with Louise, that I finally found the word to describe how I was feeling after that phone call:
Stay tuned to hear about my wonderful meeting with her!!
I truly believe one person can make a difference, and I use this blog to do this in my own way (hopefully it’s working😉). But when I see others who think the same, I like to bring attention to it.
Now this guy has a voice, notoriety, a well-established platform and an Emmy…but it’s for his work with sharks. I want to highlight his why…and he has conveniently provided a little film for us:
I love this film because he is open and honest and vulnerable, sharing how he always felt different. I think it’s important to share our stories to help others, and to remind young people especially, that being different can be a good thing. Accepting your own weirdness or quirkiness can unlock a whole new world for you, and it can free you to find your niche, where you feel belonging and connection and find your passion!
And of course, there’s a beautiful message here about conservation which is incredibly important…all creatures of the sea are connected and impacted by humans and what we put into the oceans. And one person CAN make a difference!
It’s been a weird week with a few bad days that culminated in something amazing happening, but more on that later…
I’m finally detaching myself from my dear friend, and I think it’s for good this time, but more importantly…I’m doing ok…and that’s the surprise.
Long story, but he is no longer able to have me in his life, though I know it is not his preference, which helps me. It makes me still feel valued…the last time I saw him, I got to hear how he was taking time for hobbies and reconnecting with friends. I feel like he’s been listening and has some newfound resilience built into his world now.
I also was able to tell him how much he’s meant to me and changed my life. And while I still feel a little unsettled and wish I could see or talk to him, I’m focusing on my relationships, my work, and myself.
And I’m surprised at myself. I’ve been trying to let go for the past year, and just felt like I couldn’t…and while I still don’t want to, I now know that I can…I’m going to be okay, due in large part to the healing prompted by my dear friend. My dear friend that I will never forget, always care about, and wish well 😊
Over the weekend, I had a chance to spend some time on the beach. I watched boats go by, and saw the wake of each one gradually make their way to shore. It got me thinking…
Now that I’m getting better, I’m noticing things…trying to notice the impact of my actions. I used to feel like I didn’t matter, didn’t have any power, and, well…you know where I’m going with this…
So to keep my insecurities at bay, I try to notice when I have an impact…so I launch a boat, and watch the wake left behind in the water. Here are a few specific examples that have stayed on my mind:
- I bumped into a young man I’m acquainted with at the grocery store awhile back. He was buying a lot of frozen meals. I have a tendency to be a mother hen, so I say, “be careful, those dinners are loaded with salt, you should try not to eat them so often.” Well, a few months later, he has lost 12 pounds. I asked what his secret was, “cooking more often.” And while he gave me no credit, I’m quite sure I had a little something to do with it!
- In my work with young children, my teenage son is frequently nearby, and I’m always modeling how to resolve conflicts, meet their needs, and validate their feelings. I hear him using my words, echoing my tone, and mirroring my body language…that is one strong and persistent wave!
- When I was finally ready to share with my mom that I was in therapy, i was nervous. I didn’t know what she’d think, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised…she has been taking inspiration from my journey, yet another ripple, long lasting.
- I started my first blog to write about child care issues for families and providers. I eventually started this blog to share my struggle with depression, and hopefully bring awareness and help to others. Now this ripple might be a reach, because I was just a passenger in the boat that someone else was driving, but a young woman in my life started a blog sharing her thoughts as she is working to make sense of her mom’s illness. Another small ripple…
- And my dear friend that I’ve been going back and forth with, but trying to let go…from the beginning of our friendship, I tried to impart the wisdom of my years, specifically the importance of having friends. And after almost 3 years, he is finally making an effort to connect with friends for the first time since college. Guy friends, outside of work, outside of his marriage, are becoming part of his world because I drove the loudest and fastest boat I could find. That wave hit him hard again and again!
I love this question because it takes me all the way back to why I write this blog: I failed to care for my own needs after several family issues demanded I care for others first. I ignored my need for friends and connections, my need for physical health, my professional goals, and my emotional well-being as well.
And while it’s not a choice I would make, this failure led me to where I am right now, and the value in that is immense: I AM FINALLY ME. I broke as a result of that failure and as I unraveled my failure, my life, I learned about myself, and slowly became the person I always wanted to be.
Now I am doing my best to take care of my needs, because I cannot afford to fail again, at least in that department!
Photo by Stacy Brown
As my son finishes up his 6th lacrosse season, I finally feel like I’m connecting with the other parents. His first season, I was shy, and nervous, especially because all the other families seemed to know each other so well, while my son had been an outcast early on because of some behavior issues.
Anyway, some of the parents were actually unkind, and others just doing their thing. There were definitely some parents that were inviting and helped me feel at ease. But as I watched the boys gather after a tough championship loss, I felt more connected to all of the families than I ever had before. And while it’s true that over time, those relationships develop, I think it was more about me: I wasn’t connecting with myself.
I was a mess, insecure, emotionally volatile, and couldn’t meet my own social and emotional needs. I feel like now that I’m listening to myself, and meeting my own needs, I’m more open to connecting with others. And in turn, people are more open to connecting with me. Feeling proud and happy today, truly. What a feeling!