As I was drying my hair this morning, it occured to me that my recent honesty with myself and my friends & family has been a valuable means of human connection that I've been without for quite sometime. It's not that I was ever intentionally cutting myself of from sharing things about myself, but I didn't bother to share things that I either felt somewhat embarrassed about or self-conscious about.
Example. If you read this blog, you may know that I started taking Lexapro about 2 months ago to help control the massive anxiety I was feeling at pretty much every turn in life. Once I got over the initial first week hump, I started feeling better and have notice a difference in myself. Prior to being on Lexapro, were I to receive emails from my friends from Salem, I wouldn't respond. I felt like everyone else was saying how great and wonderful and happy they were and I had nothing positive to say about myself so I just opted out of the email reunion. Recently, a new email update chain went out and I fessed up. I admitted why I had been MIA for the most part and told about my new meds and recent troubles with anxiety and panic attacks. To my great surprise, but also excitement, my honesty allowed 3 of my friends from Salem to also fess up. It's amazing what a little honesty will do! I think the others might have gotten some relief from being able to spill the beans as well, and if I could help them feel less alone then all the better. I'm happy to do it. With this - I suddenly felt back in the club, part of the group, and eager to see them. I hope our talks of a girls only (no hubbies, no babies) weekend at the beach works out!
Example. I've also had 2 people who read this blog contact me to tell me they, too, are taking medication for similar problems and that I should not be embarrassed or feel like I've failed because I'm on medication. People I would not have guessed were on medication, but it was so nice of them to reach out to me and tell me they understood. I can't even begin to describe how I felt when I read their emails extending a hand of support. I appreciate it beyond measure. Had I not been documenting my struggles on this blog, those folks wouldn't have known and we wouldn't have been able to make a connection. I'm glad I've at least been gutsy enough to write this stuff for the internet to see. It's been hard, but rewarding all the same.
Example. Most recently, I've had a family-member go on the same meds that I'm on and while she's still in the initial stages of getting into her system, we had a brief IM chat about it and I could sense the same relief from her that I felt when first talking to someone else who had already been through it. A support system is some of the best medicine when you're going through a health issue other than the common cold. It's scary and unclear what's going on, when you'll feel better, or how you'll respond to a medication. I'm glad to have found people who have helped me through it, and I'm glad I'm not sort of that person to someone else. I'm so glad I put myself out there for the world to see. It's paid off not only for myself but for others as well.
There's beauty in the truth and if being truthful and honest and real allowed me to rekindle friendships with those I had distanced myself from, then I'm glad I took the plunge. I've felt lonely over the past few years since I have no close friends in the area. I've needed to make connections with people, but my anxiety and (probably some depression) was causing me to dislike many people and pick them apart rather than enjoying them and forgiving their faults. I hope things continue to improve and I hope that I can start becoming the person I always knew was inside of me, but that was blocked by my fears, worries, and anxiety. I see now that I was afraid of my fears and that's one of the worst places I've ever been.