So yesterday I was talking to a friend I have been out of contact with for a long time. She asked the dreaded question. “You don’t sound like you’re doing that great right now, are you sure you’re okay?” I have been fooling everyone close to me, I think, but an old friend thousands of miles away can hear over the phone lines that I’m not fine.
I immediately produced the dreaded response, which was to start sobbing into the phone, so hard I couldn’t talk. She did what good friends do, she listened, and she built me up and reminded me that I am loved and of who I am. She told me for the first time what she thought when she first met me, and why it was that she introduced herself, why she liked me and wanted to be my friend. I needed to hear that so very badly. She made me laugh when I was finished crying and I needed that too.
She also confirmed something that I had started to think to myself last night. I am strong, Dammit. Look what I manage to do while I feel like shit. I’m still taking care of two small children, making meals for my family daily. I packed, moved, and unpacked an apartment full of stuff this month, I get the dishes done and the floors vacuumed, I keep going even when all I want to do is lay down and cry and fall apart, even when that’s what I do whenever I have time to sit still long enough to think, without something pressing demanding my attention. That is the opposite of wussy or weak. Despite what I am feeling, what I do is telling me that I am not weak at all. Only someone with some measure of strength could keep going when it gets as hard as it has been, and get through.
That doesn’t mean I’m better. Thanks to my friend I feel heard, and less alone. But the things that plague me have not gone away, they aren’t resolved, they remain as hard as ever. And I don’t know how long I can keep this up, but I do know that for today I have enough to keep going, and though I don’t exactly feel thankful, I am at least glad that I haven’t reached the end yet.