Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Say something

For years, I've tried to be mindful, to live in the moment. I read, meditate, do yoga, in the effort to be more aware. I am aware. Sometimes, I actually live in the moment. Unfortunately, some of those moments are sad. Some of them are depressing. Sometimes, I feel as if I might not make it to the next moment. But I do.

Most people have these moments. Some deal with them by reading books, meditating, doing yoga, drinking, talking to friends, seeing a therapist, taking medication, whatever it is that helps them get through the moment. I do and have done all of those things. And I write. I write myself through the bad moments to make it to the next good one.

Perhaps writing about feeling sad and lost and fumbling is off-putting. Some people have told me I shouldn't dwell on my sadness. I'm not dwelling; I'm just trying to get all the sadness out of my head so there's room for happiness. Writing about my feelings--good or bad--is therapeutic, and this is my tiny little safe place, so I can write about depressing stuff here.

None of that is really my point for writing this. My point is that after I wrote about how sad I was, I was amazed how people reached out to offer kindness, advice, love, and support. People I love, good friends, acquaintances. Unexpected notes of encouragement that lifted my spirits in ways I can't express. In ways that made the darkness that clouded my thoughts lift. In ways that felt like God Himself saying, "I am here. And I am speaking to you through these angels today. Listen."

Sometimes, I think we avoid saying something for fear of saying the wrong thing or causing someone to be upset. When my brother committed suicide, most people didn't know what to say to my family. I think people were afraid that if they said something to me, I'd cry. And I often did. Lots of people avoided me. Brad asked me every day, "What's wrong?" And more than once I bit his head off, screaming, "MY BROTHER KILLED HIMSELF; THAT'S WHAT'S WRONG!" God bless him, he stopped asking what was wrong and just started saying, "How are you?"

One day shortly after I went back to work, one of my co-workers ambled awkwardly up to me, carefully avoiding eye contact and said, "So...how are you doing?" It felt incredibly kind because I knew how uncomfortable it can be.

When my dad died, I was amazed over and over again by people who reached out to say, "I'm sorry," "I'm thinking about you," or anything. People who stepped out of their comfort zone, who risked watching me break down, just to say something. I would sit every night and read sweet messages people wrote on my Facebook wall and feel blessed. As someone who's experienced grief, I suggest that when you're in doubt: Say something. It matters. You matter. And to all of you, who took the time to think about me in my dark time, I appreciate and am so grateful for your thoughts, support, advice. I am blessed that you chose to say something.

At 7:29 a.m., I am listening to my tiny girlfriend chirping about her favorite shows and what she's gonna wear to school today and wearing her Halloween costume to dance class, and I am happy. At 7:30, something might make me sad. But I will be okay.

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