A post I have worried about. Reading it through, do I sound like a sociopath? And yet I wonder if this resonates with anyone, whether I am not alone? Even if it doesn’t, maybe it helps you understand someone close to you. And regardless, I write these posts to understand myself.
Relationships are a positive force behind longevity and mental wellness. In the midst of mental illness, I shut myself away, disconnected. Chicken or egg, cause or effect, I don’t know. I wonder how much could have been different if social connections were more natural to me.
I don’t make friends easily, I reveal myself slowly. On one hand I wear my heart on my sleeve; I’m not obscure, what you see is me. But I do not flaunt myself. Once I have made a connection with someone though, I trust them, I value them, I love them and I am grateful for them.
The only problem is that I haven’t always shown this very well to the people that matter. How on earth do they know?
Every message I send, email I write, card I post (I don’t really do phone calls!) is brought forth with thoughts of whether I am intruding. Am I important enough? Whether I say the right thing. It’s exhausting, and not logical.
Last year (or maybe the year before that), I made a new friend, someone who sends me little messages whenever, with a thought or an encouragement or an enquiry. My mind was blown (see that either way!) with the ongoing conversation rather than a finite interaction.
A new perspective.
It’s a life lesson that I should have learned long ago, but for whatever reason I didn’t. I have not been helping my relationships flourish. I was always looking from my own perspective, when relationships by their very nature are a two way street.
So making connections is now on my daily to do list. I try to contact in some way three people (yes only three but to me that is a lot) each day. To show them i value them in my life.
It’s not perfect, I’m not perfect, I still don’t manage to contact all the people I want to, I still dodge the discomfort. But practice is making skills and habits form.
However ridiculous my methods sound, it brings a consciousness to making connections with others. I am more connected to the important people in my life. I see positive effects in my relationships. But I still have so much work to do.
I am grateful for all the connections and relationships that I have in my life. They make it more whole, they make me more whole. Hiding from my emotions and the reality of life is no longer a path I am taking. We are all a work in progress; I continue.