Friends are everything

Tonight I feel alone on an island with no connection to any human. I am in a tunnel that is growing narrower and narrower. The view is nil and the ride is solo. My body feels broken from the inevitable tension throughout. My breath feels caught in my throat, and my mouth goes dry. There seems to be no place for relief.

Then I remembered my friend, with whom I watched Parks and Recreation episodes when we both got freaked out and anxious, reached out to me this week. I have a tendency to forget I have friends. Sometimes, I have to make myself sit and write down names of my friends to remind myself I do indeed have friends. Even so, I still forget! I emailed my dear friend and fellow Parks and Recreation fan a bit ago to say I needed to reach out because I was feeling alone in the world. And, even in the midst of her own difficulties, she emailed back to say she was thinking of me. I cried just reading her succinct email back to me. So short, yet so everything to me in that moment. She wanted me to know she was thinking of me, of us, all of us. Sometimes that’s all you need to get through the night.

The fear in my head

The fear in my head can tell me all sorts of stories, many of these stories are not the present truth. Though once in a blue moon, the fear warns me a of  a true danger. Unfortunately, these rare moments of true danger live forever in my head, and they return with a vengeance with the slightest sliver of a reminder.

And when that fear starts raining down on me it’s hard to get out of that spiral. I start to make doomsday predictions: I will lose everything. I will be homeless. Everything good is going to disappear. I won’t be able to feed myself. And then it further disintegrates into thoughts of disappearing because my head can’t conceive of going through the danger and the pain again.

Deep down inside me there is a belief that good things are not for me. When I get those slivers of fear I let them into my head because goodness feels fleeting to me. Anything positive feels transient, and borrowed, but with a quick return date like a new release at the library. The bad news and awful things feel familiar and known.

When people tell me they miss me, I’m stunned. Authentic happiness from people upon seeing me still confuses me. It’s not the self-perception of myself that I want, but it’s the one I have at the moment. Believe it or not, this is an improvement from just two years ago. Back then, and for as long as I can remember in my life, I would live with suicidal ideation most days. I would wake up in the morning and my first thought was that I shouldn’t be on this earth, and I would work against that desire sometimes on an hourly basis, depending on the day. Thankfully, my dark self possesses a sliver of hope within that propelled me to fight this desire my entire life.

And it’s that sliver of hope that I hold on to in moments like this when the fear has overtaken me, and I feel like the universe is raining on me. I try to keep perspective. I check my perceptions with friends. Sometimes I have to repeatedly check because I have a hard time believing I’m really okay. It’s hard for me to hold the belief that if I do lose everything in my life, in a worst case scenario, I am still worthy as a human being, still someone that people will want to know.

Faith is a Formless Thing

My faith is like a small bouncing ball out of a vending machine. It bounces up and down and then I have to chase after it. And now that I just wrote those two sentences I have a further realization that perhaps that’s not faith after all because if I had it wouldn’t it be more static? And I certainly wouldn’t have to chase it down.

I see people all around me in support groups that have strong faith. They don’t lose sleep over whether they will have the wolf at their door kicking them to the street. Nor do they worry about losing a job, or becoming too ill to work. They have faith that their Higher Power has a plan for them.

For me, I’ve had too many bad things happen that I feel like I always have to ready for the next bit of bad. Faith feels scary to me, like I’m giving up the 24 hour watch, like I will miss something big.

I don’t know what else to say about this. The subject stumps me completely. Full stop. I know nothing. I only know that having it will likely bring me more inner peace because people that seem to have it appear that way.

About a year ago a good friend made a suggestion that worked for him. He suggested that I choose a person to trust. He said that as I start to trust this person more with sharing things about me it will be easier to contemplate having faith in a Higher Power. I’ve done that, found someone to trust. However, I’ve not experienced having that trust rollover into full-on faith in a Higher Power. My faith is intermittent, like bad wifi in a cafe. For now, that will have to be enough. I can’t eke out what isn’t there.