Thursday, October 12, 2017

Tell Me A Story

There was a moment in time.  I was more broken than usual.  I had completely lost site of how to climb out of the hole. I had completely lost site of how to ask for help.  He was there, because that is who he is.  The little things are forgotten or neglected in the fray of too much activity, but when the big things happen he is there.  Coming up trumps just in the moment when you need him the most. 

I didn't have the words to express the pain, give vent to the grief.  The pain kept getting larger until I had no more capacity to contain it and it had to bubble over into the lives of those who loved me enough to see me through. Mostly just in the form of tears, but there was something different, something more that I needed from him. 

I watched him sitting there cross legged next to me.  Busy doing something that I, selfishly, had absolutely no interest in hearing about.  I could see him every time I opened my eyes.  I knew that it was love and not obligation that kept him there.  There were probably half a dozen other places he should have been, but for me, and for the grief we shared, he made the time.

Not for the first time I didn't know how to say what was inside me. I felt the overwhelming gratitude that he deserved, but there were no words that were big enough.  No matter how much he had always given to me I needed something more.  As I lay there the words came unbidden to the surface.  "Please tell me a story".  That was it, just that one simple plea. He looked up with those beautiful eyes, surprised, like someone had dumped cold water on his head.  Then the best man that I have ever known started talking.  He told me stories till I slept.  Never questioning the insanity of my request.  Just loving me the way he always had, and always would.

No matter how much has passed since or what griefs I may have had, I will never forget the man I love, that moment in time, and his story.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mental Illness Lies

There is a voice.  It isn't telling me to kill people and I am aware that it isn't real.  Still, there is a voice.  It tells me all kinds of things about myself.  It has convinced me that I deserve to be alone, that everyone I love wants nothing to do with me, that I am the most pathetic person on earth, that all the nice things people do and say are just for pity and no one really loves me, that I deserve to die.  The voice has a name, it is called mental illness. 

It has fancier titles like Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder, but at the end of the day it is mental illness.  I am just one of the myriad of people who hear the voice.  It sounds a little different for everyone.  It ruins relationships and isolates to the point of utter despair.  There are many things that can help quiet the voice but it will never totally go away. 

I have the voice but I also have some incredible gifts.  I have a large capacity for love, kindness, gentleness, giving, and loyalty.  I also have the ability to turn a phrase and entertain with words.  Even if no one reads this or is the least bit entertained by it, I can use my gifts to take some of the power from the voice.

If you have loved me there is a good chance that there was a time that you were confused by me and questioned my belief, dedication, love, and possibly even my sanity.  Please know that I have loved even when I could not stop doubting.  Even when the voice is the only thing that I can hear, my heart still loved.  I have also learned.  Most importantly I have learned that the voice lies.  Now when I hear it I usually have the strength to tell it to shut up, but there is a side effect. 

I need to hear your reassurance, loudly and often.  I am terribly insecure because sometimes it is hard to know the difference between the voice and reality.  It doesn't mean I don't believe in you.  Actually if I am spending the time to find out about what you really mean I believe and love you a great deal.  Whether you have loved me, or someone else that has the voice there are a few things you should try to remember. 

If they have told you that they love you it is because they do. They are doing the best they know how to do.  They need to hear from you, love, commitment, kindness, as well as concerns about things they do or say.  Communication can make the voice a lot quieter.  Most important, at least for me, keep telling them and yourself that the voice lies.