#1, to my sister. Talked through some inner reflection she’s been having on making new friends. She’d really like a solid girlfriend or two, and it’s been an ongoing challenge for her. These are dangerous waters; she knows I did the program, of course, and that I can’t stop spewing the lessons from it left and right. She has a short fuse for “self-help” talk. So I made sure I was monitoring myself; supporting her without taking it too far, or acting like I “know better” (and when it comes to making friends, I definitely don’t).
What I got back is feeling like I’m getting closer to being who I want to be for her, which is a confidant and a source of support. For too long, I’ve been nothing but a source of stress and anxiety. This won’t change over night; it’s been a process now of two years. It may be two more. It may be five more. I’m okay with that.
#2, to Jimmy. This was a toughie yesterday. I felt all day feeling disconnected from him, and I expected he would stay on Long Island last night. He didn’t, he came home, even though he had to get to the hospital by 8 this morning.
When he came home, he wasn’t in great shape. He felt very heavy, and of course he did — it’s his mom, and they’re incredibly close. I felt really inadequate, I didn’t know what to do. All day I had been focusing on my discomfort with our disconnection, but when I saw him, it was so clear that was just not on his mind. The only thing on his mind were his fears about his mom.
I had told him I would make him dinner that night, and I timed it to be ready for right when he got home. Salmon, broccoli, and baked sweet potato. I asked him about how he was feeling, and he talked about it a little, but seemed to afraid to open up too much because of how much emotion there was for him around it. We talked a bit about my day instead, and then we cuddled up on the couch and watched his favorite TV show. Then football. I offered to go to the hospital today with him, but he said he was okay with his two sisters.
When we went to bed, I couldn’t shake the feeling of being “not enough” in this circumstance. I kept wishing I were “better” at it. What would someone who was “better” at it do?
Then he said to me, before we turned out the light, “thanks for taking care of me tonight.” And what I got in that moment was, I am enough. It was enough for him to have a normal evening, with the dinner I made for him and the TV shows. In the end, that was what he needed — not with someone else, not with someone who was “better” at it, but with me.
#3, to me. Damn. I forgot about me again. Anxiety is a bad, bad thing! Avoid it at all costs.