Tuesday, October 6, 2015


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 friends list.

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 guilty.

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 shake.

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!

But the 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!!!!!!!!! 

When Hans 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.

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