I met an old friend today for lunch. She had called me and asked if I would meet her some place where we could eat a bite, then linger a while to talk. I told her I knew just the place, and after her two hour drive from Charlotte, we met at a tiny Mexican restaurant where people go more to talk than to eat. She had given me no heads up on what it was she wanted to talk about, and when we finished our lunch I finally just asked.
“Shelly, what is it, sweety? What’s up that's made you drive two hours to see me?”
As she began to pour out her feelings, I could see the pain in her eyes. It had been over three years since we last met face-to-face, and the things I was hearing did not fit my friend of three years prior. She spoke of her troubled marriage and how unfulfilling it had become, and how she had gained all this weight, and no longer knew who she was. She said she had lost herself somewhere between being a wife and a mom, and trying to work a steady job…it had all just gotten to be too much.
“I want to decide things again! I don’t decide anything anymore – my role as a mom, my role as a wife, how things are going to go in my life, my body – I can’t even control my own SELF! I hate who I have become, and I am so out of control and I don’t know what to do about it anymore…”
These words, they cut through me like a dagger, and I could sense the depth of her pain. I felt her sense of helplessness and my heart wept as I heard her words over and over again…”I don’t decide anything anymore…I hate who I’ve become…”
We talked for almost three hours…we cried some and we laughed some. Then we shared a long, loving embrace, and she was on her way back home. I thought about the things she had said for the rest of the day and into this evening, and it occurred to me how common this really is…how easy it is to look up and find yourself in “that place.”
Shelly was afraid of her own life…how it had spun out of control and left her feeling helpless. Of course, there are things we can do to improve our own situation, but sometimes even the simplest of things seem out of reach. Many a drowning victim has died with a lifesaving ring floating only a few feet away. Sometimes we just get paralyzed and we do nothing.
All of us know “this place” on some level…the place we somehow got to and can’t explain how nor what to do about it. Some people bounce out quickly while others get mired for years – even a lifetime. Either way, it is important to realize, WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IT OR NOT, that things can get better.
No one deserves to feel what it takes to utter the words, “I hate who I’ve become.”
Some of my recent blogs:
Some of my recent blogs: