Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Imagine all the people

It's people, not pills, that make the difference. For me, that is.

I have endured a lecture from my youngest sister urging me to go on anti-depressants. She means well. It works for her, but not for me. Yes, I know that if you have a broken leg, you use crutches. I don't think they work as well for hearts and emotions. I think she fails to understand the difference.

Nevertheless I will discuss it all with my doctor. She is a sensible and good woman, whose advice deserves respect. If anything I would need tranquillisers, to help deal with all the ongoing stress, and that which is to come with the legal proceedings.

My sister has had huge support, personal, emotional, social, legal, and financial, from family and friends. And from anti-depressants. She has a very outgoing personality, is brave and talented, and is very attractive.

I am different, as is my situation. I must use my own qualities and apply my intelligence to my situation, While it does not change the emotions, or the practical difficulties which confront me, I am able to analyse how and why I feel as I do. It must be endured. This metaphorical dark night can be extremely long, but I hope to experience the reality of the saying that "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning".

What makes the difference for me is people. They give me the sympathy, practical help, emotional support, kindness, laughter and understanding, all of which are essential. I need the people. Their support  helps keeps me going. This is why I needed my children to be with me over Christmas. Even if I was not much fun.

I love my distant family, but I have had to be the one to make more of the efforts to keep in touch. They visit me seldom. When I visit, they are good, kind and hospitable. They came here for Dr P's funeral, but none has visited me since. All their visits have been to others, such as our older sister, who has dementia, but none has hopped on a plane or a train to come and be with me during this first year.  So I have had to ask, to be demanding. I am subject to jealousy. I know they all are busy, have many other commitments, their own families. But I need them. And I don't want to feel that I am always the supplicant.

I don't like admitting to such ignoble feelings, and think it would be very inadvisable to express them. I'd rather be able to think well of myself. It is necessary to come to terms with them myself.

There are friends here who have given me enormous support and comfort. My friend MH and her husband, who constantly ask me over for dinner, ring me up, who gave me their opera tickets, with whom I can both laugh and cry.  MG, the bell-ringer, divorced many years ago, left with five children to bring up, who had a mastectomy at the age of 80. My juror friend N, and her husband, with whom I share so many interests and passions.  E, such a kind and gentle person, with understanding and compassion.  M, in Adelaide, widowed three years ago, so brave, so wonderful, so constant. My friend C, ever interesting and always compassionate, whose daughter died suddenly from cancer at the age of 18.  G, whose son died after heart surgery.  KP, partner of my closest friend. And there are others, from my classes and from my choir. These are the people who continue to make a difference and who give me comfort. They understand loss and bereavement and they know me. We are able to laugh together.

My blog, and all my blogging friends, who have commented with such kindness, generosity, humour and understanding, have helped me. To all of you out there, I thank you, and appreciate everything. You have been balm and comfort to my soul, offering practical wisdom, kindness, generosity of spirit,  insight and understanding. This has meant very much to me.  Truly it is people, with their milk of human kindness, who matter most. They make and keep the ties that bind.


molly said...

Persi, I came here on a quick break from the ongoing excavations. I didn't expect that you would make me cry, but you did. You said some things here that I feel too, but am afraid to say, wanting to seem self sufficient. Your feelings are not ignoble, just human. We all need to feel loved and needed. I am glad you have such kind friends to support you. Have to go now and wipe my eyes, refill my coffee cup and get back to digging! Keep your chin up!

Elephant's Child said...

I am a bit misty eyed here as well. We are so hard on ourselves. If someone else in your situation approached you, I would be surprised if you saw her as needy. And would not be surprised if she had no need to approach you because you were already there (if that makes sense).

I hope that your morning is nearly here, and add the other saying 'it always seems darkest before the dawn'.

And yes anxiety (which is what I assume you were alluding to when you said that tranquilisers may be necessary) is another of the things that knots our stomaches and makes the simplest task well nigh impossible. You know yourself best. Do what works for you.

Sending wishes for much, much better times. Soon.

Anna said...

I would agree with you over your sister here. You're not sad because you're depressed; you're sad because you're grieving. It's a process you have to go through and unnecessary medication might even interfere with the progression of your healing. Something for anxiety to help you through the next few weeks might well help though.

I usually have to ask family members to visit me. People just become set in their routines and it often doesn't occur to them that they could make the move rather than waiting for you to travel. (And in my case, there seems to be a subconscious expectation that since I moved away, it's my responsibility to go back and visit, and not theirs to visit me. I don't think that's fair, but it's there.) There's no shame in asking, even though it can be hard to admit a need.