“No man is a failure who has friends.” -inscription from Clarence the angel from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life‘
My best friend will be giving birth to her third child very soon. While she has been dealing with being a wife and mom and mom-to-be for the third time now, I have felt that I cannot bug her as much with my never ending problems. Although in essence, I know this is not the case, but I want to be the best friend that I can and give her the space to deal with her life right now. (By the way, if she ever reads this, she will most likely be mad at me for withholding from her).
I usually withdraw from people when I have problems…or when problems overwhelm me. I usually withdraw from people when I am an emotional mess because of those problems. I figure it’s fair punishment for me to be alone during these times, specifically if I feel that my mistakes are a result of my problems. I also often feel I have to be strong and in control and have things figured out. Or at least be on the way to figuring things out. If people see me “lost” and “confused” they will know that I am really “lost” and “confused” instead of all together like I want to present myself.
I still struggle with presenting myself as perfect and having it all together. The other day I was talking to someone waving my hands in the air saying,
Why oh why couldn’t God have made me perfect, where I didn’t make any mistakes, wrong choices, and where everything worked out the right way all the time??!!
I laughed as I was at the end of this statement as I slowly lowered my arms from the sky and realized that if God would have made me that way, my name wouldn’t be Michele, it would be Jesus. And since I’m not Jesus, then I think the “why” in that statement is pretty self explanatory.
The reason I mentioned my best friend is that she is usually one of the main people I go to when I am being down on myself and extremely self judgmental about my problems. She usually “normalizes” things for me, comforts me, and reminds me of how awesome I really am. So because I perceive that she has been preoccupied, again, my usual coping mechanism would be to withdraw and isolate.
The funny thing is that my Higher Power always gives me what I need right when I need it. Even though my best friend may not be as available as I would like right now, God has placed some amazing friends in my life that have not let me isolate and withdraw. Last Saturday, a friend cooked me brunch and we had a meaningful, healing conversation. The Sunday before that, a friend went with me for coffee after church and I cried as she listened and comforted me with gentle words. Another friend offered to buy me lunch this week. Another friend told me to call her if I needed her and she would bring me coffee or just come by to talk (and these weren’t just words, she actually told me the process she would take to come to my house after work).
Wow. What an amazing network of people I have surrounded myself with. People that actually put actions behind their words. People that don’t just say “let’s get together” or “call me if you need me” they actually make a point to follow through with those words.
And then of course, there is my therapist who has somehow become a healing attachment figure for me who just allows me to cry and cry in her office and allows the entire hour to be about ME and my feelings and my problems.
Perhaps this is one of the lessons in the challenges I’m going through right now. That I’m really not alone. That there are people that truly care about me and that are not just saying it because it sounds good. That I’m needed, believed in, and loved.