Showing posts from 2019

A User's Guide to Not Fucking It Up

Human relationships are both what give life so much of its rich meaning and also hazardous minefields of difficulty. Most of us are walking around with wounding we can be unaware of, and when someone rubs up against it, it's easy to interpret something innocuous as a major offense. It's common, we've all reacted in this way before.

Life is full of let downs, and humans are some of the guiltiest culprits of each other's disappointments. We persist in living among one another because our kind wasn't built for solo cave dwelling. Even as we age, we continue to have healthy attachment needs to meet in order to remain optimally well; we need to feel safe, to be seen and known, to be comforted when we're in pain, to feel valued, and to receive support for our best selves. Ideally, all the relationships in our lives would provide that kind of presence, but I've learnt that it's a rare enough occurrence that when you find someone with whom you can share a heal…

Clawing Out of a Deep Well of Sad

The sad that lives in my body waxes and wanes, but it's never left me. Even when I'm at my most happy, calm and clear, sad is just beyond the edge of the horizon, out of view and still as much a part of me as anything else. When others learn this, it tends to come as a surprise. The way I present and the role I play is most often the cheerful, bright light. It's a large part of the story, but of course it's not the whole story. No one is just one way.

The picture on the left was taken at the end of the year, at the point of deepest pain I recall ever feeling. I had been crying everyday for awhile, and I would stand on the train platform fantasizing about leaping. I used to volunteer on a suicide crisis hotline and I still remember my training. I told people close to me how I was struggling, and made promises not to hurt myself. I knew the intent wasn't really there, but I was aching so badly that it was impossible not to desire its alleviation. I was at the bottom…