There's this unspoken pressure to put a happy face on everything, to turn the negative into a positive, or to find the lesson. The reality is that there are times when life really sucks, and the only appropriate response is to acknowledge the validity of your own feelings.
A friend's sister died from cancer this month. I knew her too; mainly online and through other people. This was news that I was expecting, but I was surprised by how much it gutted me, and I've been thinking a lot about it quite a bit lately. Maybe it's because she was so beloved by those who were lucky enough to know her, particularly by her sister. Maybe it's because we were the same age, down to the date, month and year. Maybe it's just the creeping realization that I hit that point in my life where friends' deaths are more likely to come from their own bodies crapping out on them than by accident.
I see that "stupid cancer" meme way too much. I think the intentions of those who post it are sincere, but it's one of those guilt-trip "share to show you don't actually like cancer" things instead of something more practical or real. It doesn't help that every time I read it, I imagine it's being said with a cloying and cutesy voice. (Don't get me started on the similarly well-intentioned but even more patronizing disability memes). It's not pretending cancer is a good thing, but the brutal reality of the disease, physically and emotionally, is far worse than what the meme implies.
The only lesson in situations like this is that sometimes you have to deal with these horrible cruelties of fate, and it's better to acknowledge how sad, scared and angry you are about it than to pretend otherwise.
I've been on escalitopram for the last six months. As much as the medication helps, I still can't help but feel like I've lost a part of myself that I had when I moved to Halifax six years ago, and I wonder if I'm ever going to get back.
I will sometimes feel connected to my real self when I'm talking with other people; generally when I feel more comfortable and myself with someone, I'm a bit more talkative, and more likely to move my hands. There are times, though, when I just can't bring myself to even make a noise, much less hold a conversation. This is usually when I'm feeling particularly tired or don't feel like I know a person well enough, and don't want to run the risk of my true self slipping out lest I scare them away.
For all I want connection, I am deathly afraid that if I get too close to people, whatever positive first impression they had of me will evaporate.
Does anyone else get this physical sensation when they just feel some sort of physical block between their brains and their mouths? Or a dull ache when you think of reaching out to a friend but just can't think of any words that really feel comfortable?
I'm sometimes afraid that I'm trespassing on your lives every time I'm the one who reaches out first. I also feel like I'm loitering when I'm out in public and either not at work, not doing an errand, or not meeting up with a friend. It's like "how dare you be out in the world without a good reason."
There have been times where I've been out in public and saw someone I otherwise knew and liked, and just either hid away down some side street or walked right past them making pains not to make eye contact, because I either didn't feel like I had the energy and brainpower to make conversation, or didn't really feel like I could really hide the truth of what I felt from them, but didn't want to expose them to it either.
I'm not going to pretend I don't feel this way, but I'm not going to say I like it either.