A few months ago I called the mental health hotline for my insurance. I had had a really low point where it seemed everything hurt, almost literally. It was like I had all the unexpressed desires, hurts, angers, fears bottled up inside and it made my body hurt.
I was tired, angry and I spent much of a night crying to God about my anguish.
After talking with my sister who gratefully is open about her own struggles told me, "Take it from me, you don't want to get where I have been. Get help now".
So I called my insurer to talk about who was covered so that I could get chemical help (I wish this just meant a facial of somekind on a paradise beach).
While on the phone the kind women (who is a trained therapist) asked me the routine questions one of which was
"How have you self medicated?" I laughed. "Crying and food" I answer
"How much alcohol have you used to self medicate"
not surprised I say, "None, I don't drink, but sometimes I wish I did".
"No you don't, then you would have a whole other load of problems".
I don't drink alcohol and I never have. I know I don't just speak from my experience, but I have talked with more than 3 people (all of which don't drink) about how sometimes it seems like it would be nice to, or as I have said
"It is a good thing that I don't drink or I think at this point I would be an alcoholic"
Self medication. Self soothing. Something we try to teach our babies so that they sleep and don't need pacifiers or a bottle to be able to sleep (items that have been deemed either unhealthy or corroding to development).
As adults we need that too. As moms we need that even more. What is it that you self soothe with?
As divine and specifically different people we need different things. We receive things differently, we cope differently, we respond differently.
But what I believe (and am learning over and over again) Is that we need close relationships. We need bonding. We need to feel loved and heard. Some people may get that from blogging (wonder why so many people do it?) It may relieve you of your thoughts without the pressure of being judged in as my computer husband would say 'real time'.
We need, especially mommies close connections with friends. You can vent on a blog, rant on a blog, but the only way to find satisfaction with any of it is sharing it with somebody who you know loves you despite anything you feel you may be hiding under the table.
Its the difference between having fast food and a homemade meal from scratch. Sure In n out is quick easy and relieves your hunger faster, but the result does not last as long and just plain isn't satisfying especially if you are used to 'real food'.
Those deep, intimate connections relate us to others and help make what we say feel important.
I am a fairly open person but I have to push myself often to do it.
I have felt alone in the world, I have felt at times friendless and marooned.
But I have learned that there is nothing like talking with a friend whom has served and you have served and who you have exchanged trials with that is more sobering.