Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Perhaps consider...

If you have been reading my blog, you have a sense of how I am doing. I talk pretty openly about stuff. I even began the blog - in part - as a way not to have to repeat myself, especially if the news wasn't exactly the kind I wanted on repeat. It might be the first time a person would hear things, but for me, the first time I had to say it was already probably one too many.

I share this because I struggle when people who care about me send me an email, "How are you doing?" How do I respond? First, an email is probably one of the least ideal ways to reach out. There is a chance I will miss it. Even if I see it, I can forget it was sent. It also is harder for me to respond to an email than just talk to someone. Plus, an open-ended question like the one above is really hard to answer, especially if I am in the midst of harder times. (One time someone I know asked a person dealing with cancer how she was doing. Immediately he knew it wasn't a good question. She snapped back, "I have cancer. How do you think I am doing?!")

I find myself wondering if they've read my blog at all. It would certainly be helpful to know. Someone rather jokingly sent me a message asking if I was "still alive and kicking." I am sure it was meant in a light-hearted way. At the same time, my logical self thought that a very easy way to tell would be to visit this blog. 

I know every time I start talking like this I make people uncomfortable. I know they are already uncomfortable, and I am probably just pushing them away. It is already hard. They already don't know what to say or do, and then I tell them that what they are doing is "wrong."

That is not my intention, though. My intention is more to share how things are over here. It is to give insight into what I am experiencing. It is to explain how I might react, or respond, or to explain why you may not hear anything back from me. It really is more about me, as I know most people are really only doing the best they can with what they know/think they know. And I share in the hope that I might broaden their base of awareness of what I, or someone like me, might be going through.

Of course, I realize that "your" side ain't so fun and dandy. Reading this blog ain't no cakewalk at times, I am sure. You probably minimize the level of bad/sad news by having me sum up things for you. I can understand that.

So many times if I say something to the effect that people say this is not all about me, I get told of course it IS all about me. I am not sure I believe that, or that the people saying it aren't just wanting to say something to make me feel better. The actions of others don't always seem to point in that direction. 

I am not saying this to say there is anything wrong, but rather to point to the fact that rarely, if ever, do I feel I am being treated like this is all about me. Others are living their lives. Others are doing their things.  Days - weeks - months - go by and there are many I do not even have contact with. If this was "about me," I would guess things would be different.

What is about me is what I need to do for me. Given that I wind up handling most of what needs to be handled by myself, I need to make the best possible choices I can for myself. I need to do whatever I can to take care of myself. In the process, there are times the expression of what I feel, or the choices I make, can upset others. And, if someone wants me to so something I don't want to, I can be considered selfish. 

I am not sure how to "win." Unfortunately, people not winning often means a bunch of losing. On-going disagreement rarely has anyone feeling like they are winning. And, if the goal is to win, I think people will walk in regard to situations that don't seem to be able to be won.

Maybe there is a way for us to interact that isn't about right/wrong or winning/losing. I think it "just" comes from an acknowledgment of the other person and their perspective and reality. Acknowledging doesn't have to mean agreeing. We can agree that things just suck every which way. For you. For me. They just suck. And then go on from there.

If we could stop making other people's concerns and perspectives about us, it might go a long way in helping us interact. The fact is, I am not going to deny how I feel, but that doesn't mean I will know how to say what I feel without making someone uncomfortable in the process. And that really sucks. It really sucks to not be able to just be myself without being a bit on guard, or defensive.

It also sucks when we haven't had contact in a while. The once in a while interactions are sometimes harder than the more frequent ones. If we only all once in a while, I strongly suspect you're not gonna want to really know what is going on. And. If I am honest with you, and it is a downer/negative it is not exactly going to encourage you to want to be in touch...is it?

That is another reason occasional/infrequent emails, no matter how well-intentioned, are difficult for me. I really have a hard time knowing what to say in text. At least if we spoke, there would be inflection and interaction, and more than just a few words that may be misinterpreted. Of course, if we talk it could still happen. But, as most of us know by now, text is often ripe for misunderstandings.

I am really emotional right now. I have been on the verge of tears for the last hour, or so, I am really feeling frustrated and lost today. The last several days I have been craving hot dogs and an ice cream sundae with all kinds of stuff on it. I am guessing there is something about those foods that represent "comfort" to me. I grew up with hot dogs as a staple of my diet. Not sure what's up with the ice cream, but I do remember trying to comfort a friend on the phone once, as we were both making a sundae as we talked, so I guess there is something in that, too.

The part of me that up knows that neither food is a particularly good choice is speaking up, but I will probably still find my way to some version of one or both of them. I hate the idea of seeking comfort in food, especially food that I perhaps should not eat, but if I cannot find comfort any other way, then maybe it is just what I need to do - at least for now.

I am so sad right now. If I didn't feel as weak as I do, I'd be headed out to get those things. How I have felt is actually one of the main reasons I haven't given over to the cravings already. You'd think they'd go away, wouldn't you? Rather persistent suckers. Interestingly, I just realized they're more present than some people in my life. 


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