Some women have a few circles of emotional support: a small inner cluster of nearest and dearest, coupled with a network of close friends always there to love them the way they need to be loved. They’re dependable and familiar. I’m guessing that yet other women have an even wider outer circle of friends to fall back on when the need arises.
My circle of confidantes consists only of my husband and our daughter. It’s enough, but it’s not enough. I still struggle.
I’m on the other side of the country at the moment, giving an ailing friend some much needed TLC, but I don’t manage well all the time. When I fall in a heap away from the familiarity of my comfort zone, who do I turn to. Phone calls home to my loved-ones only go so far towards helping me on the road to recovery.
I’m sitting at a rustic wooden table in a quiet corner of a restaurant looking into a glass of wine, and nibbling on cheese and crackers. Alone. It’s less than ideal – drinking alone while gripped by stress. But ‘alone’ can be healing. Writing is also healing for me. Getting my thoughts out of my head starts the process of purging. Analysis. Recovery.
There’s a selection of taste sensations on my plate: quince jelly, delectable soft cheese, crunchy bread, and dried fruits that don’t have names. Delicious. Comfort food. The music’s soothing, yet uplifting. A few tears escape.
Self-compassion. I do what I must to avoid depression taking over. My best is all I can do, and some days my best is not as good as it might be on another day. I’m living authentically. This is my self-administered pep talk. Short and simple. This is ME, and I can not make apologies for the ME that I am.
Dessert. And a brisk walk home in the cool night air. No moonlight tonight. I manage a sort of a smile as a Magpie chortles, unseen.
…..And then…..at first light, Mary (a friend of a friend who I now regard as my friend) rang to check up on me – she predicted my dilemma. Hugs, coffee in the outdoors, much talking, and I’m now ready for the day. Bless Mary, she is a treasure, and I wish we didn’t live thousands of kilometres apart. The sun is pushing through the clouds, and the Magpies are still chortling.