I feel like there are so many thoughts running through my head today. It's only noon and it feels like it's already been a full day.
As I drove up to my doctors appointment the loneliness set in. I'm so glad I was driving during "daylight" hours. The last time I drove by myself for a long period of time it was 4am... not too many of my friends are available at that hour. Today I called a dear friend that has been so supportive of me during this process. She's not someone I talk to regularly but someone I trust very much. We've been in each other's lives for almost 20 years. It's nice to have long standing bonds. And she isn't someone who assumes she knows how I feel, so she still asks, still tries to learn.
We talked during my drive, a healthy thing for me. I voiced my experience that few people seem to reach out, and that when I tell people I'm having a "good" day I know they don't really know what I mean. People see me as so strong, I think it's hard to see that I'm not the me that they think they know. Maybe I'm stronger than I realize, but I'm also more in need than most people realize.
She mentioned that people probably know I'm riding a roller coaster and they don't want to be the tipping point to sending me down hill. That they know I live in this reality all the time (you can't really escape it), but they don't want to trigger a sad mood for me.
I hadn't thought of it that way. She's very good at giving me perspective while also validating my feelings.
I also was reminded that whether it is "fair" or not I need to initiate my interactions with my support system. Sometimes, often actually, I wish that people would just show up at my house (A dear friend basically did this recently and it was WONDERFUL). Bring a bottle of wine and a desire to talk. We can talk about Abby, we can talk about books, we can gossip... I don't really care, it's just so nice to be connected. It's nice to feel important/special enough to someone that they would make that effort.
I know that I am surrounded by so many wonderful people who are willing to do whatever they can when I need it... I just have to learn to ask. That's not an easy task for me. It's hard to say that I need help, it's hard to figure out exactly what I would like (going out, staying in, with families, with just the girls, etc.). It feels amazing when someone just suggests something and then makes it happen.
It's such a valuable lesson for me, to learn to seek my support system. To learn to be open and forthcoming with how I am doing. It's a gift I can give those who love me, to let them support me. I'm still very early in this learning process. I don't think I depend on others easily.
And it teaches me to continue to reach out to others who may be in need also. Not to wait for a request but to initiate something. Someone I know just lost her brother to a motorcycle accident. I know she is heart broken. I don't know her well, but I still want to make sure I reach out to her. That I continue to ask her how she is months from now. And if I can pull it off, maybe I can even remember in years to come that this time of year will always bring her sadness.
Thank you my dear Abby for giving me an opportunity to grow as a person, a mother and a friend.