A Disturbing Conversation About Life

There is so much more to do today and, quite honestly, all I have really wanted to do is just relax and not think too hard; not plan over much for tomorrow; just be.  Of course, this is not something I can do today, or tomorrow really.  No one can if they are living their life instead of just watching it pass them by.  However, some people, I have noticed, prefer to do lots of planning but never move forward with their plans.  Or, they don’t make plans at all and expect stories to be written, paintings to be done, money to be made without effort.

It would be wonderful to say I only know one or two people with this problem, but, the truth is, I know several; and it breaks my heart to listen to them explain to me why so much is not happening for them and wondering why things aren’t happening in their lives like it does for other people.

These people look at me as if I have all the time in the world to do everything I want like write and knit, and even read.  They take no consideration for the effort it takes to make plans and follow through on just one or two of them through the day.  They know I have chronic pain and, to them, this is not something I must take in consideration for planning out the day and its events.  If five words get down or five pages on my stories I am usually glad for five words!  Three is wonderful on a bad day.

Every day I work hard on finding something good and positive to be happy about, because, if I didn’t, the pain would swallow me whole and I would fall into the darkest abyss you can’t imagine.  Through my life I have visited that abyss and each time, with love from others, with help in controlling the pain, and with grit of my own, and God’s love and strength I have climbed out.  It is a struggle not to return there.  However, people who have very little wrong with them seem to almost willingly fall into that horrid place because they don’t want to put an effort into having a life, into living, not just existing.

Why am I writing about this today?  Today I heard from a friend back home where I grew up.  We were really close friends in high school.  She was married to a very brutal man had two children by him, divorced him after he put one of their children in the hospital, and re-married.  Her oldest daughter is married now with children of her own and the daughter is on drugs so badly my friend is raising her grandchildren.

According to my friend, her daughter had to take drugs to stop being apathetic about living and being alive.  “She just can’t feel without the drugs,” she said.  “L just can’t handle feeling anything without the drugs.  I understand it, though.  Feeling is over-rated.  It is best you don’t feel to live in the world.  It would be better for the entire family if we just stopped.”  I asked her about the grandchildren and she said, “It would be best if they went with me.

For the next twenty minutes I grilled her on if she had a plan to carry out this action.  She does.  I asked her if she was going to go through with it and she said she wouldn’t; she just liked knowing she had a plan if it got so bad she had to Just Stop.

I asked her how long she has fought this depression and she said she had been on medication for depression for years.  My friend just doesn’t want to leave the house and feels annoyed when she needs to go to school with the grandchildren for awards and parent-teacher conferences.  She doesn’t want to put effort into living anymore.

So, I asked her why she had went through all the trouble of looking up my telephone number and contacting me.  Her reply was, “Because I know you understand because of your condition.”  She seemed surprised when I said I didn’t understand.  She doesn’t have a physical disability or chronic pain; she has the newest generation to guide and love; she has love in her second husband.  My friend J is a fantastic artist and she refuses to paint because she doesn’t have time or the energy to put paint on canvas.  She waits until her paintings are perfect in her mind before she can even begin.  I told her this was a crutch and all she really needed to do was to begin.  She then began giving me excuses as to why she couldn’t even start.  Most of her day she spends alone, like me, but she simply doesn’t have the motivation to do anything.

Before hanging up I told J to look for a councilor in the area.  I told her she needed professional help.  I told her we were still friends and if she needed to talk to someone she could call me, and I made sure to get her number.  She reached out and I can’t abandon her, but, at the same time, I’m not sure she wants any help or any friendship.  J called me to hear someone else complain about how bad their life was, is.  My life isn’t bad.  It is different and difficult, but it isn’t bad.

I can’t help but wonder if I will hear from J again.  I hope I do.

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About Henrietta Handy

I am a Kentucky mountain girl far from home, perhaps far from the girl years. I am an aspiring writer with a wonderful husband who puts up with this writing and reading addiction I have. He also puts up with all of the yarn and knitting. I have four canine children and a ton of friends I love dearly. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 2 1/2 and have still managed to have a good life despite all the pain. So, I invite you to join me in this journey and just possibly have fun along the way.
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