I was asked by my therapist recently who my support system is. I stared blankly at her for a good 12 seconds, not because I don’t know what a support system is but because I don’t have one. I have no family and one parent whose depth of conversation usually involves my dogs and work. I know plenty of people but have no good friends ( I had several childhood and close friends but we are no longer in contact). I’ve heard the saying we can get used to anything but hadn’t truly grasped how real that was for me. I am alone. Not out of choice but out of circumstance. Truly alone. And I’m so used to this I barely noticed it. I could say support isn’t really necessary, look how far I’ve made it. Look how strong I am but that would be false. I am in fact so without support that I am paying someone to be there for me (insert laughter, because I find humor in everything). I pride myself on being able to outlast anyone and live through anything but I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. We need support, friendships, relationships to go. To learn. When all you have is yourself you become a different kind of tough and it’s not always for the best but it’s because you have no other choice.
I was talking to a friend today about a situation that I just can’t seem to completely remove myself from or have removed from me. I said I was aware that my actions often backslid myself into the position I didn’t want to be in and I had two choices: 1. do things how I usually do them, which is to make continual, slow and griding process-up the mountain 3 steps forward 4 steps back or to stop walking completely and just sit with it. Sit with it until it’s gone, until it means nothing, until it means everything. She noted that that is obviously, short-term the much harder option but long-term the less exhaustive option. Sitting with it is what we are least likely to do, we will do anything to avoid having to deal with pain, the suffering, the anguish head-on with no distractions. We live in a culture that does not value the time it takes to do this or the willpower and decisiveness. And that is why I think sitting with it is always the answer.
It is easy for us to be upset when our expectations about what we think we want are not meant. However, understanding that if you worked hard, put in 120%-no bullshit, no excuses and it still didn’t turn out in your favor then it was not meant for you. The only way to reconcile this is to continue working and realize you have to have faith that something better is coming.
Being honest is hard. There is no way around that. It’s hard when you feel weak and tired and you are maybe even afraid. It’s hard when you know, being honest is going to bring you nothing but pain. Relationships are where I struggle the most with honesty. Not in a -keeping secrets, lying to my partner sort of way but rather I don’t want to feel the rejection or disappointment or frustration from them when I tell them how I feel…what I’m struggling with and that it’s hard. Continuing to be honest even when you know the pain is going to come, even when you know the roadblocks are going to come and you have to keep fighting through that fear is the only solution. We hide so much of what we think because we fear the outcome, we fear the response but most of all we fear the pain. You’re already in pain, you’re already suffering why not get a reward from it. Go that last half mile and finish. Get it off your chest and be honest with yourself and the other person because ultimately the truth really does set you free.
Had the odd experience this week of being completely blindsided by someone I thought I knew really well, which got me thinking-do we ever really know anyone. Of course, people have shocked, hurt, surprised me before but rarely has it been someone I’ve known almost all of my adult life. This is in part due to the fact that I rarely let anyone into my closest circle. I think it’s the most jarring experience of being human…never fully knowing what someone is thinking and if the reality they are portraying is, in fact, the reality they live. Having no expectations and understanding that investment is transmutable, it’s not fixed and the outcome will never be certain is all we can really do. No doubt, no judgements, no fear. You can’t ever know someone fully, we all have pieces we keep to ourselves and even when you think that person would never do you like that, or never not come to you I can guarantee that you will be disappointed and proven wrong 100% of the time.