Monday, August 13, 2012
Opening Up and Reaching Out
I recently sent a few feelers out, including a generic “hey, CSTH is back,” email to anyone who has registered for the site in the past. I’ve been starting to feel the effects of collapsing in on myself.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I need to fold in and just reflect for awhile. Sometimes I need to isolate myself and hear my own thoughts over the loud din of everyone else. That said, sometimes I really, really need the advice, support, love and conversation of other people. A good friend once told me, “You can be self sufficient but still need other people. You can’t provide everything for yourself, and if you could, would you really want to?” At the time, I thought I did, but now I realize that no, I really do like leaning on others now and then.
In my life I’ve belonged to a lot of support type groups. I think my first one online was a support group for depression. It was extremely hard opening up to that group of people. In the back of my head, I kept thinking, “But these people are crazy. I’m not crazy. I don’t belong here!” I slowly came to realize that most of them weren’t “crazy” - they were just stuck in an awful auto-loop, just like me. They were listening to the Beast and believing its lies. Just. Like. Me. And yeah, some of them were, in truth, batshit crazy, but that’s just life.
For what it’s worth, I’m still friends with a couple of people I met on that journey. Much gratitude to them for hanging in there these past 15 years.
I hadn’t thought much about that support group, or any others to which I’ve belonged, in recent years. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did remember the support and “thank goodness I’m not alone” feeling I got from them when I was feeling horrifically alone and lost a year ago. I went searching for the same sort of support, and to some extent found it. More than that, I found my writing voice again, which helped me sift through a lot of feelings and thoughts that were clogging up my internal pipes and leaving me stuck in that old familiar auto-loop. I met some incredible women, and while we didn’t become especially close, we all were able to nod our heads sympathetically and “me too” our way through the worst of our situations. I’ve missed them, but I had to mostly move on from that particular support group because it stirs up too much hurt from the past, causing it’s own particular looping. I just can’t do that to myself.
So… instead of relying on a neighborhood of stranger friends, I reached out to people I know or have known. The responses I got left me teary. “I miss you,” was precisely the response I was aching to hear, and exactly the one I got over and over. No, not everyone wrote. Not everyone cares. Not everyone has time. Not everyone has missed me. And that’s OK.
I’ve been able to catch up with the great and the sad and the worrisome and the fantastic and the mundane and it’s been so wonderful reconnecting. It’s nice to know that reaching out still garners some response. It makes me sad that I haven’t done more of it in recent years. It’s just hard to open up and allow anyone in when one is filled with such a torrid flood of emotions. It’s almost like there’s no room for good when the bad has filled up so much space.
So… here’s to hoping I remember to let the good in to push out some of that bad.
Krush at 08/13/12 08:02 AM
Didn’t respond to the email because I never stopped checking in on CSTH…Still here and now just a phone call away!
Blake at 08/17/12 09:32 AM
Hey Liberty, I know it’s been a while. 3 years? Maybe more, I don’t remember. Hope everything is going ok. Good to see you’re still pushing through
Liberty at 08/20/12 03:25 AM
<3 Thanks, K. And HI BLAKE! Nice to “see” you both.