Over the last few weeks, after sharing how I’ve been feeling, I’ve had so many people get in touch. It’s been wonderful, but a little overwhelming. Most messages had something in common: “if you want to talk, you know where I am”, or “here if you need to talk”.
Ironically that’s something I don’t really want to do. I’m kind of talked out. I have a great counsellor who I see on a weekly basis where I talk. A LOT. About the deep stuff and all the stuff I need to. To someone unbiased, who doesn’t know me, the situations or anyone I talk about. Someone who can offer insights and help, and it’s SO helpful.
I also talk a lot at work; I have so many meetings. It’s tiring. Sometimes I just run out of words after a busy day. I’m finding I’m needing more time alone to recharge than ever before.
I’ve found to be asked “how can I support or help you?” is so much more helpful for me. I’m getting better at figuring out what I need, and how to ask for it, so this question forces me to vocalise it.
Sometimes, my answer is “just you checking in every now and then to see how I am really helps, as I know you’re thinking of me” or “send me a funny meme or a joke”. Other times it might be “can we go for a walk or a run?” or “can we just hang out and watch a movie?”.
So I can be with people, but not necessarily having to talk. Or doing a shared activity. Or talk about normal stuff and not the hard stuff. To feel connected.
Because I live by myself, when I do hang out with folks it’s often ‘catching up’ or doing something – I don’t get to just be with people all that often, you know like, just sitting in the same room but doing our own thing. I actually really miss that. Want to come round my flat to sit on my sofa and read your book while I write or piss around on the internet? PLEASE DO.
Sometimes I want my answer to be “can you do my washing up because I’m too exhausted, or get me food because it’s too hard to think about what to cook” but I’d not actually ask anyone that, because it seems cheeky as fuck. Yet if someone asked me, I’d do it without question. Go figure.
It’s hard with people overseas too. It’s so limited. They can’t pop round for a cup of tea, or come for a run. Everyone’s got zoom fatigue and video calls can become progress updates. I need to be creative and think outside the box I guess.
It’s still a work in progress knowing when, how and who to ask for support and help, and say what I need (because, I CAN DO IT ALL MYSELF THANKS), but I want to try and normalise it. Perhaps people need something different than just ‘let’s talk’, and being specific means the person offering support knows whether they can provide it or not.
If in doubt, send me pictures and videos of cats ❤