There are times in all our lives when the weight of the world crashes upon us, everyone seems to want a piece of us and there is not enough to go around, the pressure seems never-ending, life seems hopeless, desolate and barren and in those moments all problems and negative elements of life gravitate towards us as if drawn to the desperation radiating from our pores, nothing is going well, nothing will end well, devastation in all its forms surrounds us… things are so bad that we can’t even make toast without burning it, the end is most assuredly nigh and what we need more than anything else in those dark and miserable times is for someone to set their own life and problems aside, to listen, embrace and comfort us and ultimately confirm that though the world (and the toast) burns around us, we are still loved, unconditionally.
It is easy to forget the support we have, easy to miss the people consistently holding us up – until that something happens that brings us to our knees, who are those around us? who reaches out a hand to help us stand tall once again? Those are the people to be thankful for, those are the ones we need with every fibre of our being. This week brought me to my knees; there was too much stress, pressure, too many significant events, I couldn’t breathe, life was crushing me, anxiety had me in its grip… by Thursday I was totally demoralised, mentally spent, I was a broken weeping mess. Friday was my birthday and I couldn’t have asked for a better day. I was woken early in the morning by my two magnificent children singing Happy birthday to me and I was then showered in kisses and cuddles – what a glorious way to start the day. The sun shone brightly and the sky was blue. From start to finish everything went exactly as it should do. I spent the morning with two of my most significant family members and the afternoon in a situation that just a few months ago would have filled me with anxiety and dread but now held nothing but comfort because that someone has unexpectedly become a friendship first for me and a treasured one at that. People bought the most thoughtful gifts I have ever been given; they were exactly me through and through and I felt genuinely touched that they know me so well. There was amazingly beautiful food that was so delicious I cannot even begin to describe it, rum punch, lots of banter and laughter galore, it felt good and right to be within this group of people and there was not a sliver of anxiety or paranoia in sight. When it was time to leave, my very best friend walked me to my taxi held me tight and told me she loved me and I’m certain even she doesn’t realise how much I needed to hear that and how much it meant to me.
The whole day, from the very start right until the end, served to remind me that life can be good, that I am loved and most of all it made me realise exactly what the people around me think I’m worth and it would seem, that to them, I am worth a whole hell of a lot!
I don’t have many friends. My Bipolar disorder, anxiety and complete lack of social skills often puts people off or alienates them. It can make me seem rude and aloof or just uninterested. If others don’t have the inclination to persistently attempt to befriend me then a friendship is never likely to happen. Sometimes, when overcome with self absorption and self pity, it upsets me that I do not have scores of friends hiding in every facet of my existence but times like these make me realise that what is significant is quality and not quantity. I can undoubtedly say with 100% assurance that the friends I have now genuinely care for me, accept me for everything that I am, know the very best and worst of me and want to see me happy and thriving and that I feel the same way about them.
Things may seem bleak, the darkness drags us down. We plead for the end, search for the eternal way out… Weep, scream, shout, writhe, hurt and bleed but life can be good – it will be good again and I am loved.