I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

I absolutely welcome comments. It's nice to know how people relate to what I'm saying.
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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Commiseration Feels so Good

So today I had my first skype-group-support session, and it was so cool.

I really like the other people in the group, which helps - we got off to a great start. But the really neat part was sharing my experience and hearing my words echoed back to me by someone who's been through the exact same thing.

I don't personally know anybody else with my particular illness, and I never realized how much I was lacking that real commiseration. It wasn't a pity party in any way. It was actually very positive. But it was amazing to hear the other experience and say - yeah, me too! - and to hear it live-ish. I didn't know how much I was missing that.

I've always had connections to people who could relate to every other major life change I've gone through - breakups, depression, anxiety, grandparents dying, changing my lifestyle, pregnancy, emergency C-Section, becoming a single mom, changing careers, parenting, job searches, dealing with difficulties at work... whatever, there was always somebody who had been through it to talk to, to learn from, to laugh with and sometimes cry with - someone who knew how it felt, who could sympathize. But not this time.

Being on the forums, and reading about it, and reading blogs, and books and so on has been great. It really has. It has kept me going, and given me hope. Talking to specialists was validating because they actually understand my condition. I know, in my mind, that there are millions of people out there who have this illness. But there is something different about connecting with someone, in time and space (even if the space is cyber-space, we are sharing our screens), that is having or has had the same experiences.

I can't really explain how it felt to have that kind of sympathy for the first time, after dealing with this on my own for so long. It was funny, and liberating, and painful all at once. But it felt so good. It still feels good. It's like a weight has been lifted. One thing Gestalt has taught me is that knowing something in my mind is very different from feeling it. Today I felt it. Today I know, with my whole being, not just my mind, that I am not alone. That my story is the same as many other stories. That there are people who really do get it, because they've lived it.

In Montessori schools, we place so much emphasis on the experience, on the moment to moment concrete interactions that our students have with their environments. I can't believe it never occurred to me that the same is true for me. Reading about experiences may bring me closer and participating in online conversations may indeed create relationships with other real people. But because of the reading aspect, there is always cognitive involvement, and there is always a distance. The extra layer of decoding is like a layer of distance.

Seeing and talking, using two of our senses, and removing the need for interpretation of letters, and then on top of that, the need to infer tone and intent, is one step closer to being in the same space, and sharing our energy more directly. It's like how we remove the obstacles for the children - we don't talk to them about math or grammar, we just let them do it. We let them interact directly with the things that will help them the most, without putting cognitive static in their way, and allowing their senses direct input. That's kind of how this felt.

The ideas in the last two paragraphs just came to me now, as I was writing the rest of this post. How cool is that? I love so much when Montessori philosophy applies to my life as an adult.

So off to a good start, feeling even more supported, and happy, and relaxed. I also found a few great guided meditations online which are lovely. So I am feeling refreshed today, even though I still have a cold...

Hope is a little bit higher and brighter today. It is, after all, as always the first day of the rest of my life!

1 comment:

  1. yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!