Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The awesomeness of sharing hard times

[Double post warning for people who follow me both here and on FB]

I know that the decision to be open over the last 18 months has been somewhat offputting and perhaps even intimidating for some people. Anyone who knows me knows that, historically, I have held my cards very close to my chest, but I made a conscious choice to make a 180 degree turn. Not because I need sympathy [though I have appreciated the support], but because I had come to the point where I felt as though too often we aren't honest with other about the tough stuff. The crap days. The punch to the stomach. The faceplants. The OMGWTF RRREALLY?!?! moments. Too often, maybe in idle conversation an intersecting point could come up where you're filled with astonishment at a shared feeling and, looking backward, how much better it would have been to not feel so isolated at the past moment.

Ash's talk is great this way. Because as she states, "here's the thing: hard is not relative; hard is hard."

I ended up spending several days in the hospital a couple weeks ago, most of it in the ICU [details are boring, more seizure activity, blahblahblah.] Ben was awesome, as usual, checking in as often as possible, though he really isn't meant to use his cellphone for anything but emergencies. A few days after being discharged, he sent me several really sad texts: a few counselors went a bit AWOL on him, his Director was holding him responsible for duties that they had not completed, and there was a huge round of new campers coming in the next day. I gather that he was up most of the night making sure everything was in place. I was sad to hear of his struggle, but I can tell you this: I felt like the shiniest shiny on the planet that he shared his struggle and frustration with ME. As the person struggling, you get the shoulder, the hug, and the kleenex. As the person listening, you get to feel like the baddest of badasses.

It's win / win if you ask me.

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