Saturday, April 04, 2015

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST

Pain is something we all experience and deal with in various ways and those ways are as individual as each of us is.  Over the past year, I've found myself in a few situations of having to deal with some major pain and disappointment due to the collapse of three close relationships...all were filled with negative aspects and no longer brought me the joy they once did.  Letting go and stepping away from any close relationship is not only difficult, it's scary as well.  I must have asked myself a hundred times if I made the right decisions, but in my heart I know that removing myself from the negativity and thinking about what's best for me was the right thing to do.  Some people have speculated that the pain from ending those relationships helped start the emotional avalanche I've been experiencing as of late.  What I think is many things great and small have brought me to my knees lately, but not to pray.

Now, I'm faced with yet another relationship to assess.  When I was at the height of my crisis, I received a card in the mail from a friend who I haven't heard from in ages.  She stated she had read what I had posted on Facebook about my current situation.  Instead of responding to what I had written either in a comment there or a private message or by picking up the phone and calling me, she chose to do so with a handwritten card.  As I read her words that directed me to throw away my meds and to pray instead, I remember asking my son over and over again who would write something like that to someone so fragile.  I cried and paced and just couldn't wrap my mind around the carelessness of such a statement.  The more I thought about it the crazier I got. 

I really had no idea that she read anything I posted on Facebook because she never comments on anything I write.  The times I've written comments on her Facebook page regarding things she posts, my comments would go unanswered while she responded to everyone else who made comments.  In the past I would call her and leave messages on her voicemail, but she would never call me back. I may be hardheaded, but I'm not blind and I certainly can see when someone isn't interested in staying in touch with me so I simply stopped putting myself in the position of being ignored.  I felt like I deserved to be treated better than that especially by someone who claims to be my friend. 

Yes, you read the part right that she suggested that I throw away my meds and pray instead.  Let me say that I respect anyone's religion and I appreciate any prayers my family and friends want to send my way, BUT  and it's a huge BUT, I personally don't pray.  I really hate to label people because that seems so backwards, so I'll just say where religions are concerned I have my doubts and skepticism.  My close friends may not like or understand what I believe to be true, but they all respect it just like I respect their opinions and beliefs.  I guess I should say they all respect it EXCEPT her.  She has always preached to me and claims to be a Christian yet she can't find it in her heart to try to mend the torn relationship she has with her sister.  Her jealousy and mean spirit reminds me of her elderly mother who is filled with nothing but bitterness towards everyone.  The older she gets the more like her mother she becomes.  What I see I can liken to someone thinking they're a mechanic just because they stand in a garage.  People who claim to be Christians should be more Christ-like, be less judgmental, more forgiving, more compassionate, more love-inspiring and most of all they should lead by example. 

Seriously, where does anyone get off telling someone to throw away their meds and pray?  I can appreciate the fact that many people have panic attacks and that maybe the prescribed meds give them an adverse reaction, but that doesn't mean the meds are bad.  I keep thinking how she would have felt if I had taken her wonderful advice and stopped taking the anti-anxiety meds that had been prescribed to me and then tragically, I took my own life because I could no longer cope.  Would she have felt any responsibility or would it have been just a big oops on her part?  People need to stop and think about what they say to others especially in times of crisis.  Their words can really impact a person.  It's okay to share your experiences with someone who is going through something similar.  It's usually comforting to know you're not alone, but remember that each person is different and what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for all people. I'm glad my "friend" was healed through prayer, but I think I'll use a psychiatrist, a good therapist and take some meds to help me through my rough spot. 

Now, I need to decide whether or not to post this link on Facebook so she can read all about how I feel and what I think.  What would you do?

Thursday, April 02, 2015

LET GO AND LET IT HAPPEN

Sometimes we have to let go and just let it happen in order to get past the difficult times and ultimately move to the other side where inner peace can be reached.  I know letting go is a frightening thing.  I also know how putting your life in other people's hands or trusting someone else's judgment is equally frightening.  I just spent a few days at a psychiatric facility.  I want to write about that experience and will do so as the words come to me.  I also want to write about the people who were instrumental in helping me through my crisis. 

I'd like to start with thanking an old boyfriend for reaching out to me shortly before I was admitted to Baptist Hospital's Behavioral Medicine Center.  I think it was his words that initially let me know that letting go was the right thing to do.  I had done it many years before at a time when I had retreated into a very dark place.  It was a time he had viewed firsthand. Due to the pain I had suppressed for many years as a child I finally lost my ability to function normally as a teenager.  I eventually found drugs numbed my pain and allowed me to live in a void absent of all feeling-both good and bad. Outwardly, it was a "safe" place to reside, but inwardly I was slowly headed towards total annihilation.  When I finally let go, I came close to dying, but I can honestly say that without letting go back then I would have definitely died at a very young age.  As defiant and hardheaded as I was way back then, on some level I allowed myself to trust people enough to pull me through so I could go on living and eventually learn to thrive.

Most people know my life is pretty much an open book no matter where I am.  I share things that most people try to keep tucked safely away in some dark, cozy closet.  I share things that cause others much angst and shame.  I use Facebook in much the same way as I use my blog only to a lesser degree because most people there don't like to read lengthy updates from people.  Somehow social media seems to have created a population of ADHD-minded people who like to "skim" through their friend's and their family's lives.  They get all the highlights without any real substance most of the time.

Sometimes I post links from my blog on Facebook so that my friends and family (those people who aren't in my everyday life) can remain "with" me.  I learned long ago that shutting people out is a very damaging thing to do and that relationships don't thrive on neglect.  Yes, I have slipped into becoming a hermit in the last 10 years or so, but my hermitude isn't completely void of people.  My problem seems to be that the people I'm closest to live the farthest from me with the exception of my children who live close by.  Through my written words I manage to stay connected to the people in my life who are most important to me and they never lack knowing what's up in Mildred's life.  

About two weeks ago I posted a very lengthy update on Facebook (or at least lengthy for Facebook standards) that clearly let people know I was in emotional crisis and headed towards a place I should avoid.  I ended that Facebook update with what I thought was a little humor, a very "Mildred" thing to do... 
"One last thing...do I get a gold star for the longest Facebook status update?" 
 
I didn't expect anyone to address my question due to the nature of the rest of my update, but I received confirmation from a blast from my past that indeed the update was a little on the lengthy side.  That confirmation also came with many thought-provoking items.  Although relationships can change and people come and go from our lives, some bonds/connections/friendships are meant to last in strange, unexplainable ways. The private messages he sent me brought me to tears for several reasons.  The most important one was that he cared enough about me to reach out to me in my time of need.  For that, I am truly thankful.  Without knowing it his words were the catalyst that opened the floodgates that needed to be opened so I could finally let go and just let it happen in order to get past this difficult time and ultimately move to the other side where inner peace could be reached once again.