Love, Loss, Reevaluating Life (Part 2- Being the strong one)

I am a dependable person. I can look at life and be content. Things are not always perfect, but I am generally happy. I also see the best in people. I don’t look at character flaws as unfavorable. They are just hurting that need to be healed. A “bully” doesn’t need to be shunned; they need to be hugged. I attribute much of this to my Father.

When I was in my teens, my Dad often worried that I was to Naive. Someone was going to take advantage of my good nature. Little did I know he was the same way. He grew up in a situation that would make most people cynical, angry, and reactive. He was the opposite of this, and his life was a testament to that.

Fast forward 40 years, a husband, and two kids later and I tend to be the rock or water, as I like to think of it. Water doesn’t break; it flows. It can wear you down over time. Water parts and joins back together. It is flexible and robust.

In my family, we deal with Alcoholism and Addiction, Social Anxiety, General Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, and more. Mental illness can be ugly. It’s not always black and white. Sometimes it unintentionally hurts the people around you. No matter how much information you get, it will still creep up and surprise you. I have the ability to at least be consistent. A safe person that if nothing else, can say, “I am here, and I am not going anywhere.”

Then sometimes life throws you a curve-ball. For the first time, I can remember, I am too tired to be stable and consistent. It is me at the therapist’s appointment, and not in the waiting room. People lose family members all the time; why should this trigger some crazy mid-life crisis. I quit my job, decide I want to move us all across the country to be close to my side of our extended family (spoiler, this doesn’t end up happening). I justify doing this because being close to a stable family will make everyone happy.

Surprise, the world did not end when I was weak. The people I love most stood by me in my crazy (they even came along for my 6-week stint back East, too see if it was a fit). Now I am a little bit broken, a little bit lost, but things might be okay.

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