Last week was shitty. It also happened to be my birthday week and so I replaced any sort of celebratory party with one of the pity-variety and let’s just say that that particular party is still rocking.
I phoned Tracey up on the weekend and cried like a baby sister my wet tears all over my iPhone while she listened and validated me. “Yes,” she said. “That’s so much pain, too much…” she soothed me with her affirmations. “But you’re doing all the right things!” she assured me. She told me that in regards to processing the stress, I’m practicing what I’m preaching: I cry when it hurts. I vent when I need to. I run and I hoop it out. I phone up my people and wail into their listening and sympathetic ears. Tracey asked me what I was doing the following day, and I told her that I’d be soccer-game hopping from city to city, with child to child. When she offered to join me as a support, I quickly dismissed her offer.
“But Suzy! You always write that people are created for connection and that when we go through shitty stuff, we need to get through it together. Don’t isolate yourself! Let me be with you.” Tracey was right. I needed her, but I was too afraid to ask.
Yet another quote from the audiobook I’m listening to goes like this:
“Asking for help with shame says:
You have the power over me.
Asking with condescension says:
I have the power over you.
But asking for help with gratitude says:
We have the power to help each other.“
-Amanda Palmer, “The Art of Asking“-
Life gets shitty and saps every ounce of emotional energy that we had stored up at Christmas, or from that amazing movie we watched or the great sex we had. We go from skipping around and radiating rainbows to curled up on the kitchen floor in the fetal position like a discarded dried up raisin. Emotionally depleted and left for dead, I am loving and caring and helpful said nobody ever.
I emotionally rehydrate myself with running, writing, and even some hooping which are all fine and everything, but they’re all stuff I do by myself. And while isolation (I call it “cocooning”) has its place in our lives, we need to make sure we connect with our people. At some point we need to get plugged into love otherwise our wires drag behind us getting frayed and unusable.
So, Tracey took hold of my tattered wire and kept me company while we trudged around from city to city in the cold fog at each soccer game. The delicious Christmas dinner, the inspiring movie, the hot sex, those things will pass, but it’s the love that stays. I’ll always remember the way my dad held me in our kitchen while I cried hard into his sweatshirt. The night my sister Lori drove all the way out here at midnight to bring me something I needed, despite the fact that she has the most demanding life out of anyone I’ve ever known. The day my sister Tracey talked me into letting her drive me around from soccer game to soccer game just so that I would know I’m not alone.
Let love in. Be strong enough. You won’t regret it.