Tag: self

Friendship Failures

It’s commonplace to hear about long-lasting friendships and about the beauty of friendships in general.

That’s wonderful…but where’s the conversations about those friendship failures?

I’ve had quite a few of those in my life. Honestly, I’ve had more of these failures than I’d admit publicly.

The first question I’m asked when I mention the many failed friendships I’ve had is – What’s wrong with you?

Trust me, I’ve asked myself that many times. I’ve concluded that I’m certainly not everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to being a friend; however, I’m also a very good friend.

My lack of expressiveness sometimes causes problems in my friendships. Also my love of solitude and quiet time doesn’t bode well with many individuals. Not to mention, how the chronic illnesses which take residence in my body can sometimes make it difficult to spend time with friends.

I remember the time I changed the plans to hang out with a friend at the last minute due to my unpredictable chronic illness flare. Notice I said I changed the plans, not canceled outright!

That was the last time me and this individual hung out. I thought we were on our way to becoming lifelong friends…our relationship didn’t make to two years.

There was another lovely individual that I bonded with nearly instantly. We were fast friends! Well during the second year of our relationship we had a disagreement about lifestyle choices. After that fateful conversation we never said as much as hello to one another again.

This particular situation was difficult because during our brief friendship we’d made plans to be in each other’s lives for major events like marriage, children, career milestones. Oh we were so optimistic, yet we chose to terminate communication with each other after just one conversation that highlighted a disagreement about lifestyle.

Then there was also this individual who I called my best friend and felt like they were a sibling to me…our friendship lasted for years. Honestly, it was on and off so when I really consider the times we were actively friends I must say it lasted only about four years.

This particular friend and I had a disagreement about my choices and the relationship ended, never to be mended. The reason I say it will never be mended is because I have no real idea why it ended. We grew apart rapidly and I continued to be friends with our mutual friends. Much to the dismay of this individual

I often hear individuals say that people enter into your life for a season. That may be true, but even with that understand friendship failures are difficult.

I can often be overly optimistic when it comes to friends. I’ve also been known as someone who is too forgiving and always there for individuals even if they are no longer my friends

For example one of my former friends called me early one morning – around 3am – I was asleep. The ringing of my phone woke me up, so I answered. Short of a few significant others who worked early mornings or late night, no one called me at 3am unless it was emergent.

I was shocked when I saw my former friend’s name on the telephone screen; but I answered. This individual was having a hard time and needed a friend. They even told me during that conversation – that although they no longer talked to me they knew that I would be there whenever they needed me.

It was a long call but the crisis was averted before the conversation ended. I didn’t end the conversation expecting the flat lined relationship to suddenly gain life. I’m very thankful that I didn’t hold a grudge and I was able to be the friend I desired others to be for me.

I have many wonderful friends and I’ve learned how to be a better friend. No lessons were quite as impactful as my friendship failures.

Reveille

Listen to your body. That’s advice I give often to my friends and family.

Somehow I don’t believe it applies to me!

Ok, pause! I’m not suggesting that I’m immortal and I have no reason to listen to my body

However I am suggesting that my actions often suggest that I do not have to listen to my body.

Here’s the craziest part about this dismissive attitude I possess when it comes to listening to my body…wait for it…the same body that I refuse to listen to is filled with chronic, autoimmune illnesses.

To me it’s laughable that I actively don’t pay attention to the glaring signals my body gives.

It’s laughable because individuals like me whose bodies possess chronic, autoimmune illnesses are often and always told to listen to their bodies.

My stubbornness decides to ignore my body. Part of this is because living with chronic illnesses some which cause chronic pain individuals learn to ignore their bodies. We honestly cannot react to every single signal our bodies send out

But we have to find a balance to know when to pay attention to the signals our bodies give

And this is where my resistance is strongest.

It’s nothing for me to make an appointment 10 weeks after experiencing abnormal swelling that gets worst during that time. Health professionals often look at me in amusement and disgust when I tell them how long symptoms X started.

Maybe it’s a signal from my body but I’ve forgotten what I planned to place here so I’ll just end it!

The Magician

I associate with people from many walks of life; their beliefs and their appearances vary.

This is a wonderful thing, it gives me an opportunity to explore my beliefs and appearances.

Most who know me would agree that I have no issues letting people be who they are or even whomever they wish they were.

I don’t proclaim to know the Truth; I prefer to view it as my truth. Years ago I decided that I can only speak my truth and that my truth could be completely different than someone else’s. Neither of us are unequivocally right; although, we may each believe that we are.

Some of my associates speak about the fascinating prowess of one whom I can only characterize as a magician. Even my characterization is evidence of my truth; I’m nearly certain that my characterization would cause a pother between my associates and myself.

Thankfully, I’m constantly informing my readers that this is simply my opinion, my truth.

The magician, I’ll stop short of referring to this being as great – I have to have some respect for my associates. So yes this magician is one who comes to the rescue of many individuals – I only have their testaments as evidence.

Several of my associates affirm that the magician has rescued them during the darkest of days, those times when everything that could go wrong, did.

Let me expound by example:

One such associate loves telling a story about the time in his life when he lost his job, fell behind on bills, subsequently lost his home and his car…then the magician came in just when he was about to lose his final shred of hope and dignity…the magician came in and voila this man’s life was rebuilt.

Not only was his life rebuilt, it was better than it had been before he lost all tangible items of value.

He was provided a job that he would’ve never been considered for as long as he had the job that he ultimately loss. That’s important, the losses were purposeful and the magician was able to use these losses for good.

I could go on but quite frankly all of my associates’ stories about the magician sound the same. If I didn’t know for certain, I would swear these individuals simply traded stories or at least they were paid by the magician to become walking, talking billboards.

From what I hear the magician puts on a great show, unfortunately, the tickets sell out quickly or at least I haven’t learned how to acquire any so I have yet to see this great act for myself.

I do enjoy the stories my associates share with me about the magician.

My beauty

My mind is beautiful; you may not know that tidbit of information.

My thoughts are complex; however, they are sometimes quite simple.

My heart is beautiful or so I’ve been told

I care for many, even those I don’t directly know.

My character is intricate, not easily defined

It’s difficult to bind to words just how beautiful I truly am.

My beauty goes beyond my external facade.

Mental Health Days

During my days in elementary school, my mother taught me about self-care.

I do not believe that she was intentionally teaching my sister and I about self care when she would declare a random day – Mental Health Day.

Mental Health Day did not come often but when it did it was outrageously exhilarating to elementary me.

Ok so Mom’s Mental Health Day was a day of lounging, eating something healthy and fuss free, and enjoying board games with some sort of dessert!

The most fascinating part about these Mental Health Days is that we stayed at home from work and/or school on these days. We just enjoyed each other’s company.

If we watched something on the television, it was a family movie that we all wanted to see. Since there were rarely movies that we all wanted to see, we rarely watched television on our special days.

Looking back, I see now that my mom had to carve out time for us as a family. Time that she was not rushing to go to work or trying to rest up for the next shift at work. She knew that our school work and her employment would be there once our day commenced…however, she must’ve been acutely aware that the easygoing, laid back time we shared together would be limited.

My sister and I are adults now and even living in the same town, it’s difficult to carve out a day when we can just share each other’s company. Work, school, family, church, and so on and so on gets in the way.

Neither me nor my sister have mom’s ingenuity to select the perfect day as a Mental Health Day. We’ve tried but we just don’t have the special touch my mom did.

Now when we try it feels forced and we are often busy trying to connect to the outside world on our devices and we just don’t accomplish a Mental Health Day.

But we remember those wonderful days that we shared with our mother and we marvel at how easily she pulled them off!

Back then once our day was over and life as we knew it returned, we were refreshed. Practically skipping joyfully on our way to school and/or work.

Our behavior at school and home improved and our relationship with each other grew.

I didn’t know it then but now I know that my mom taught me that self care is vitally important and it does not take much money.

I’m pretty sure that these mental health days likely occurred on my mom’s days off and on those rare half-days at school because my mom wouldn’t just let us miss a full regular school day

However, back then I was simply ecstatic that we were having fun with each other and just relaxing.

As I mention, I don’t have the magic formula my mom had to pull off a perfect mental health day; but mom gave me the guidelines on how to take care of myself regardless of what’s going on in the world or even in my world!

Mental Health Days in my home embodied what is now known as self-care and my mom was the best at it!

Emotional Reaction

I hate you – at least that’s how I feel in this moment.

Hate is too strong of a word. One might say, but in the moment hate is the best descriptor I possess.

When I say I love you, no one tells me that love is too strong of a word.

Hate. Love. These words are often thought to be opposites. Some even suggest that there’s a thin line between them or perhaps they are on a spectrum…easily blurred.

If I tell you I hate you right now, will you even hear the words “right now”? Or will you only hear “I hate you”?

Does it even matter if you hear the entire statement?

Does the context matter? If I said it while I was upset or in the heat of the moment, does that change how you receive my statement?

I hate you right now, but I’m not sure what that really means.

I’m not feeling very lovingly toward you so does that translate to hate?

I won’t hate you during the next moment; but in this moment I do. Does that change how you receive my statement?

I hate you right now; but, perhaps I’ll love you later.

Does that matter since I hate you right now?

Breaking Point

If they paid any attention they would recognize that something was amiss.

If they listened they would hear that something was amiss.

If the knew her they would know that something was amiss.

She is slowly crumbling, albeit internally.

She appears put together externally.

She knows that she is at her breaking point; but those who say they love her and that they care are clueless to this very fact.

At this point she refuses to try and hold on.

She gave up many moons ago.

The only fight she has left is pure instinct. She only reacts now with a faint attempt to survive.

They don’t realize she is crumbling.

They fail to notice that anything is wrong.

If she ultimately breaks, in the aftermath they will suddenly recognize that she had been at a breaking point for quite some time.

They will compare notes to see whether the things become clues to her crumbling are really clues are just quirks.

Oh she is full of quirks and hard to get to know, so they disagree on what clues she displayed – this debate takes place in the aftermath of her finally breaking – and what was just her quirks.

They should see that she is crumbling, prior to her breaking…but they don’t know her well enough to truly recognize the clues.

She is slowly crumbling and losing her ability to fight it.

Unfortunately they won’t realize anything is wrong with her until the aftermath of her breaking completely.

Do better, be better, pay attention, get to know one another…don’t wait until the aftermath to realize what’s been there all along.