Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Where is Life's "Unfollow" Button?
I'm not a fan of support groups. There are four types of people you'll find at any support group.
1) the constant complainer
2) the uninterested, only there because they have to
3) the expert in everything who always one-ups everyone
4) the one seeking to have and give support but won't be there long
I fall under number four. I want to get support and I want to give it but I won't be there for very long because of the other three. Most of all the people in number 3 really tend to push me over the edge. In fact, I have been known to drop out of college courses and even Bible study groups because that ooonnnneeeee person who has to tell their own personal story as an example to everything that is brought up. They are so not-together and I get to the point that I'm tired of it and usually it's during the meeting that I make the decision to not return. And then I tend to let them have it. Yep. I'm the one who calls them out on their bullshit right in front of everyone and then I don't return. I don't return because I'm not being fed and I'm not having the opportunity to feed. I probably should keep quite about it but I've had professors thank me so I think it's a trend I'll continue if I'm in that situation again.
I joined an online group. I find the same people in that one and sometimes their rants can go on forever BUT I can ignore them with a click of a button.
Recently someone got on and vented about their pain and an embarrassing moment they had in front of their children. My heart sank a bit when she kept apologizing for sharing with us. Why do we need to apologize when we share our pain with others? Oh we all know why - judgment. And judgment can lead to isolation and isolation just makes us even more depressed than we already are. It's a mean, vicious, unforgiving circle. But we need to understand that if someone judges us based on our sharing - we just need to hit the "unfollow" or the "I don't want to see this" or the "hide this person" button. Kick them off your bus because their destination is different than yours.
Here's how I responded to this lady and I share it today because it is advice I needed to hear for myself.
"This is your opportunity to teach your kids how to live life to the fullest through the darkest of storms. This is the character you were chosen to play - this is your role. How we approach it every single day is up to us and yes, it is hard. In fact, most of use would agree, this disease is the hardest thing we have had to deal with in life so far but think of the things you can teach and pass on to your children: your strength of character, your raw will to survive, your ability to overcome the greatest of adversity, your ability to wake up every single day - no, not just the ability, your GIFT..." to choose each day the attitude with which you face the pain. And think of the humanity you can instill in them: our ability to adapt to adverse
conditions, our wonderful dependency on one another which only serves to make the tribe stronger, and perhaps the greatest gift given to humanity - the gift to choose how we will react in the midst of turmoil. Place your anchor in a higher power and know that even though the sails are ripped to shreds and you're taking on water - the anchor holds. Blessings to you and please don't ever apologize for venting...that's why we are all connected, one to another, through this disease."