Divorce algebra: Being left + going through a painful divorce + surviving afterwards + being a single parent + trying to co-parent = so much stress and drama in my life. As I sit here, tormented by the latest drama with my middle child, not knowing how to handle the latest stunts, I am searching for someone to share their life with me. No, not how you are thinking.
Just a friend, to tell me what is going on in their life. To chat, to listen, to hear, so that just for that brief moment, my mind can wander into their world.
Tell me the fun things you did today so I can smile. Tell me the silly thing you did or said so I can laugh. Tell me your trials and tribulations so that I may focus on yours instead of mine. It is not that I have the answers for you; I just want to occupy my mind with thoughts other than the ones that are all-consuming at the moment in my own life.
You know how sometimes you are struggling with a problem and someone asks you what’s wrong? As soon as you say it out loud, the answer comes to you. Have you had that happen? Or saying it out loud, you realize how silly you are being. Have you had that happen? Well, it is kind of the same thing when we are depressed or consumed within our own problems. As soon as we “step” into someone else’s problem, it lifts some of the weight off our own shoulders.
When first going through my divorce, so many friends would hold back and not share problems they were dealing with. They stated they didn’t want to burden me when I was already going through so much. Well, I am here to tell you: burden me! It is almost like giving my mind a vacation. I would love to worry about you instead of me for a while. I would love to help you resolve a problem you are having instead of running into the same brick wall over and over and over again with my problem.
When I am really struggling and can feel myself slipping towards or into that pit, I reach out to grasp onto something to keep from falling. Sometimes that something can be your world. Sometimes it just takes a distraction to keep me from falling. Take my focus off of the pit, and I will not fall.
As time has moved on, I have learned several ways to keep me out of the “pit” that I once thought I was going to live in forever. But one of my most favorites is time with a friend. Just like you love me and care about what I am going through, I love you and care about what you are going through. Nothing that I have been through or will go through will change me from wanting to be a part of your life, both good and bad. I still have friends that keep their distance when things get tough in my life, and that is okay. But it is those friends that are willing to step between me and my pit and speak truth and love and share of themselves that I am grateful for tonight.
As I struggle with my latest drama with my middle child, searching for answers, a window pops up on my computer with a Facebook message from a friend: “how are you?” she types. When my response is “Okay, how are you?” she knows. She knows and continues with what is going on in her life. She gives my mind a brief vacation and I feel so much better that not too far into the conversation we are talking about my problem. She is a great sounding board and mirror of reflection for me. Did we solve my problem? No, but I feel better and the pit is nowhere in sight.