And they circled around me

I never thought people liked me.  I didn’t think I had any friends.

Did you notice that I’m writing this in the past tense?  That’s a good thing because I know these things are not true.  Not only did I lose myself in my marriage, but my depression coloured my world in a not so good way.

When I left my husband, I reached out to the people around me and they responded.  They told me how wonderful I was… I was wonderful???  How strong I was.  They talked about my other attributes – they loved my sense of humour, my organization skills, my drive for adventure and trying new things, how I encourage others…  Holy shit.  Really??  It was wonderful.

People were saying this all along, I simply couldn’t ‘hear’ it.  I truly thought that my husband was the only one who loved me and thought I was incredible.  I often confessed to him how it was a good thing he loved me as I had no friends.  He never tried to convince me otherwise.  I believe he enjoyed being the knight in shining armour, the one who could take care of me… until he didn’t.  My not having friends also meant that I focused 100% on him and his needs, and he was happy with that… until I realized I wasn’t happy with that.

I lost myself in my marriage. When I emerged, the women around me, my friends, became my incredible support system!  They listened without criticism.  They hugged hard and long.  They shared their stories and support.  They circled me with their love.

 

The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out.  They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it.  They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled. it.  

Those women are my superheroes.

-Elizabeth Gilbert

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