Wow I've had a rough few weeks. I realize that I'm beginning to sound like a bit of a Debbie Downer, but I've really been struggling. Some of it is easily explained by life. Anna was sick, allergies are full-force, we've gotten record rain falls over the past week, and the weather has turned colder, all of which result in a tired and somewhat mopey Val. And then there's just the simple fact that I can't get over losing Mom. I know it's still really early, and a good part of me knows this is normal, but it's just weird. Life for everyone else is continuing as usual, but I'm stuck struggling with whether I even want to celebrate my 30th birthday next week. I just don't feel much like celebrating.
All of this has been starting to manifest
itself in other ways. One of the worst things about how I've felt was
just how isolated I seemed. No one else I know is going through this
exact situation. I either feel like my event was so small compared to
what others have gone through, or I feel like no one could possibly
understand this hurt. An old elementary school friend lost her father
recently, and my first thought was actually, "You can understand what
I'm feeling!" It was a slight moment of joy and relief at some
camaraderie before I realized how awful that was and immediately felt
like a terrible person. Anyway, when I feel this isolated I often look
to friends to raise me up. Unfortunately, I don't always tell my
friends how much I need their help so the process in my brain goes
something like this:
-I'm really sad. I want someone to hang out with me. Maybe I'll call insert name to see if she wants to grab a coffee.
She's busy today. She clearly hates me and can't stand to spend a second with me. I won't try anyone else.
-My friend insert name
really should have been there for me during that really hard time. She
totally dropped the ball on this one. And this other friend did too. I
thought my friends truly cared about me. I would have been there for
them. Clearly I'm a better friend, and clearly I like them more than
they like me.
I could handle this like a real adult and actually
tell them how I feel, but that will either leave me way too vulnerable,
or I'll just hear some BS excuse, or I'll come across as a whiny baby.
I'll just ignore it, but they have officially been removed from my top
This ultimately leads to me crying
to Hans about how sad and lonely I am, and while he's trying to comfort
me I tend to think that he's probably thinking how he didn't sign up
for this level of crazy / drama and he's probably just telling me what
he thinks I want to hear just so I'll shut up. And, in the end, I wind
up under the covers on the couch binge-watching Friends on Netflix. Of
course, that only makes things worse because then I'm left with all the
things I could have / should have done to make the day better and I feel
The rational part of me knows that this is all
silly. I can actually sit down and think, "Val, you're depressed.
Plain and simple. You need to do XYZ to make this better." And then I
just don't. I'm either too tired or too sad or, sometimes, I'm just in
too vulnerable of a state. It may be silly, but it's really hard to
Anyway, I had kind of reached that point. I
truly believe a few other factors were at play, but the reality is that
I have been a bit depressed. And, then something happened to make me
feel a little better.
First, I got a text from my best
friend. We've been trying to see each other more than we have in the
past, so we've started setting up breakfast dates since they tend to
work best with both of our schedules. We hadn't planned one for this
week, and she sent me a message asking when I was free. It might not
seem like much to everyone, but for me it was a moment of, "Somebody
likes me!" It was really nice.
Second, I got a message from
another friend of mine just checking in. Life circumstances mean we
haven't gotten together in a bit, and she was wondering how I was
feeling. Guess what? Someone else likes me!
kicker, the one that made me really evaluate my thoughts of the past few
weeks was what Hans told me last night. I've been upset because there
were some people I really thought would be there for me after Mom
passed, and I had barely even heard from them. I thought they'd fly out
just to hold me up a bit (and Hans told me he'd asked them to), but
they'd made excuses. What Hans told me last night was that he'd been
lying. He did ask them to fly out, but not for Mom's memorial. He asked
them to fly out for the marathon. Somehow he figured I might need them
more at this point than I did a few months ago. He wanted it to be a
surprise, but when he realized that I was actually getting upset with
them and I was feeling so alone he called them and they decided to tell
me. How did he get so smart?! Anyway, two of my best friends are
flying out in less than 6 weeks!!!!!!!!!
told me, I didn't get super excited. I didn't jump up and down. I
didn't even call my friends. I simply breathed a sigh of relief. My
friends do care. Hans has been doing more than just humoring me. I
then texted one of my friends to say I was glad she was coming out and
to actually set some dates. Frankly, I didn't have the energy to get
excited, but I'm starting to now. Just thinking about it is giving me a
nice, soft, warm glow, and that's pleasant.
I know that this is
just one battle won in a great war. I know that after the marathon is
done I'll go through an all new low (post race, post friends, post
excitement- it happens almost every year), but having this helps to
remind me that I do have a great support network. I'm not just the
person that others tolerate. I'm the person that others love. I do
have friends who love me as much as I love them. Yes, I know I'm a bit
quirky sometimes, and I can definitely be a bit needy (I am an only
child), but that's OK to them. And that's a pretty good feeling.