First off I want to say that I’m writing this from a much healthier place than I was last week when I was trying to draft this post. So no need to report me to my local mental health unit...yet.
I don’t want to tell you the specifics of what lead me to be in a less than healthy mental and emotional place. Mostly because they are not entirely my stories to tell. But also because if I told you the specifics then you would most likely have one of two reactions. Either you would think that you weren’t entitled to your bad day because mine seems so much worse or you would think that I wasn’t entitled to my bad day because yours was so much worse. When the truth is that we are all entitled to our own version of a bad day. Overwhelmed is overwhelmed is overwhelmed. And if you're feeling overwhelmed chances are you are not going to be helped by competing with me, or any one else, over whose right to feel overwhelmed is greater.
Life is messy and chaotic. Just when we think we might have it figured out. Wham! Stuff happens and we are knocked on our rear ends once again. With a bit of luck we get to catch our breaths between rounds.
Once upon a time, before I really knew what it was to be overwhelmed, I probably thought overwhelm could only be caused by BIG EVENTS. But as I get older, and sadly more familiar with overwhelm, I’m finding that it’s not just the big things that can send us into overwhelm but also a TSUNAMI OF SMALL EVENTS. A pancake stack of problems that topples over because of just one too many strawberries.
Last Monday was a toppled pancake stack kind of day. And I was oozing bits of my overwhelm all over the place. It’s a horrible feeling. I much prefer to be the strong one who holds it all together and is able to comfort others and help them to prop up their soggy, wobbly stacks.
I am being taught a lesson on the gift of receiving. If it makes me happy to be helpful to others it only stands to reason that others will be made happy when I am brave enough to let them help me. I say “brave” because it takes courage to let people into our mess and trust them in our vulnerability.
To all the people (you know who you are) who have helped me this week, this month, this lifetime, I say thank you. Thank you for being trustworthy and thank you for helping me to grow as a person. And to learn that it’s okay to not be okay. When I’m falling apart you guys have my back.
Last Monday I wanted to cry when the car in front of me was crawling along at a snail’s pace, blocking my way. The next day I laughed when I took a wrong turn. Such was the benefit of letting my friends help me.
Whether your problems are big or little, few or many there is always hope for tomorrow. Go to those trustworthy friends and bless them with the gift of helping you. Especially when all the help you really need is a sympathetic ear and maybe a coffee or a wine...with some cheese...and some chocolate...definitely chocolate.