Some people care too much, I think it’s called love.*

* Winnie the Pooh of course.

the other day a colleague and i got into a discussion about how in it seems to be these days to have a diagnosis. to see a psychologist. to be on medication. there have always been problems in people’s lives; sorrows and griefs, hardships and crises. why is it that people nowadays don’t seem to be able to cope on their own?

talking to her about it, i once again remembered the post i was thinking of writing a few weeks ago already (if you remember me promising a text in english as well.) i never got around to it because i couldn’t really find the words. still don’t know if i have them, but feeling a bit post-thoughtful (!) and giving it a shot nevertheless.

i have lost count on how many times people carefully have asked me these last two years if i perhaps should “get some help”… quite understandable with all things going on in my life, and nothing wrong with people who do see someone or eat something. but.. throughout history people have coped with illness, deaths and all sorts of depressing issues without shrinks or meds. and that’s the way i was raised to do it. to cope. on my own. so that’s what i tried to do. not the best of ideas, but hey, what can you do.

something was happening though. there were cracks in the wall. and in due course the wall fell. no, it crashed. and i learnt the perhaps biggest lesson in my life so far. to trust. to really lean on people. to let go and let others take care of things. take care of me. the true meaning of friendship.

to all you amazing people, you who have let me be on my own when i have asked for privacy, but who have also steadily been only two steps behind (don’t think i didn’t notice you watching over me, i was just too tired to react,) you who have taken me on trips, made me food, sent me books, chocolates, wine, long handwritten letters and virtual hugs, been there on the other end of the phone when i was crying on my kitchen floor, on the other side of the computer screen when i couldn’t sleep but was too tired to talk, here in finland or somewhere else in europe…

thank you. i would not be where i am today without you. whole again. strong again. choosing happiness again.

 

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3 comments

  1. I don’t think it’s ever possible to get into somebody else’s shoes and completely experience what he or she is feeling and of course it’s never possible to ‘measure’ unhappiness either or to compare one terrible experience with another one, as if there were some sort of scale of misery. It’s really very annoying when something bad happens and some stupid idiot comes up with ‘don’t worry, you’ll get over it, my case was far worse than yours and here I am!’. Slightly changing Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, ‘All happiness is alike but all unhappiness is unhappy in its own way’.
    Just as bad as the idiot ‘my case was worse’ is the ‘it’s the best thing that could have happened, he/she was suffering’. No, the best thing that could have happened was for him/her to recover or for situation x to improve and for life to carry on as before or better (since one of the things one ‘gains’ from a bad experience is how necessary it is to learn to be able to show more affection and to value the moment). And remarks like that are neither comforting nor encouraging, just plain annoying.
    I think the best you can aspire to is just to show that you feel pain because somebody you like or are fond of is feeling pain and that they can count on you.
    (Sorry, Chia, didn’t mean to get serious or interfere).

    1. exactly. that’s what it comes down to. that you (as the bystander, the friend, the whatever) understand how it can feel. you don’t have to tell examples proving you “know”, you just have to be there. feel the situation and make the best of it. sometimes by being a shoulder to cry on, other times by ignoring the pain and doing something completely else that is sure to get people’s minds off things.

      and sometimes by just sitting there. silently listening. feeling the pain. hoping it will go away soon. wishing you could help.

  2. Well, you can count on a friend in Spain….

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