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?"