Insignificants...

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    Jun 23, 2010 1:17 PM GMT
    So, for the last few days, i have been struggling to cope, to cope with the changes in my life, the massive influx of pain, of disappointment, of loss of many things... It's been an incredibly hard few days, I've been struggling to stop my self falling into a depression, no matter how hard I seemed to fight, i seemed to keep slipping, nothing I seemed to think or do would stop it... That's hard for me, I am not someone to give up, i don't fail, i might not get there immediately, I stumble, I get beaten around, but i don't fail, I don't give up, but, I was starting to give up, I was starting to let go, I couldn't hold on any more and I wasn't wanting too, it would have been easier had i just given in, even though I know giving in is never the right way to go, I just didn't have the emotional strength to do it.

    And then... I called a friend... He was in pain, immense pain, a pain that i understood so fully and so totally, that I have felt since a very young boy, even now as a man, i still feel, how this pain is so toxic to our own being, the poison it releases on us because it has no where else to go.. I know his pain.. I had felt it, but, I'd gotten through it, while i still had it, I'd dealt with it, it taken it and put it away where it remains, not ignored or push aside, but acknowledged, understood, settled and placed away as no longer being important for the future, i have learnt from it all that i can..

    But I'd started to forget what i had learnt, I'd forgotten to appreciate what it was like having worked through it, I'd forgotten to strength i have found from it... I'd come to neglect my own understanding and appreciation of what I could do.

    My friend, a wonderful man, a strong, caring, happy, loving and gentle man, so eager to love, to be loved, so filled with joy and happiness, even when he is hurting, still so eager to give smiles.. Today, he couldn't do that, today, I tried to help a friend who has helped me in many ways I'm unable to even express, tonight, he shared with me, his pain, a pain I understood, tonight i shared my pain, my understanding, tonight, I tried to help a man by letting him know i would be there for him, day or night, to talk, to listen, to love, to be there for... I would help him in any way i can, i will help him in any way i can... No matter what it is..

    I think i helped him tonight, not solve or remove his pain, but i think I helped him feel a little settled with his pain for at least a few hours to allow him to rest... This is not pain that is quickly removed, this is not pain that can be solved or tossed aside, this is life changing, deep and terrifying pain.. I can not fix it.. But I will help him..

    But ya know what.. He reminded me of something, while I was talking, while i was sharing, i remembered again, why I am here today as i am, he reminded me what I had gone through, i remembered what i could handle... My currant problems... They are so infentisamally small, they are so stupid and so not worth the time and effort i was putting into them thinking about them, how stupid was I? To be so wrapped up in such pathetic problems as to wallow in what i didn't have or what I had lost, how stupid of me to think these where so important, when the world outside, when things around me, life, when I had been through something sooooo very very worse then anything I suffer through now.. How could i be that stupid as to forget my own strength, to lay back and even contemplate giving in.. Who the hell am I, to think that I was not able to handle this...

    The last few days or more honestly the last few weeks, i was ignorant and stupid to allow those things to become as big and as important as i had let them..

    I have a friend, he is in need, i can help him, I am strong and capable, I know, because i have done it, he will do it differently, but, i can be there in a way not many others can be...

    My current problems are just so insignificant.. How could i have been so stupid...
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    Jun 23, 2010 1:32 PM GMT
    Your post reminds me of two quotes, which I love. The first is from Abe Lincoln, " To ease another's heartache is to forget your own."
    and the other is from G Eliot, " What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other? "

    -Doug

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    Jun 23, 2010 1:57 PM GMT
    Your problems aren't insignificant, your focus on it was intense so you didn't see that others could be experiencing issues too. Everyone does it but some get dragged down further but you turned it around and helped your friend in pain which in turn helped you deal with yours. Good on ya.

    Shit thing is that pain reoccurs, we just gotta remember that it passes and what we learned to cope from last time.
  • Import

    Posts: 7193

    Jun 23, 2010 2:01 PM GMT
    as long as it's making you skinnier then that's all that matters....
  • Geoedward

    Posts: 657

    Jun 23, 2010 2:28 PM GMT
    Hey lilTanker, this is a great story. Thanks for sharing. I have been really down for awhile. You have just reminded me to get my act together. My problems are far less than a lot of peoples. I fall into these depressions every once and a while. Most of the time I can get over it, but sometimes I get caught up in my problems. Thanks for reminding me that I am stronger than this. You are a good person and obviously a good friend. You friend is very lucky to have you in his life.
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    Jun 23, 2010 2:29 PM GMT
    Great post. I think most of us have had points in our lives when we lost perspective and focused solely on the negative challenges we experience.

    However, I would say that it is important to understand that your issues are important, and that it can also be unhealthy to minimize and ignore your own issues to help others. Not that this is what you have done, simply that it can happen.

    I believe the more important part of the lesson you learned is that you need to balance the negative with the positive in order to establish a place of contentment. One of the many positives things in your life is that you were able to use insights from your own painful experiences to help another person. You used adversity to create an opportunity for consolation when it was needed.

    Beyond that, if we simply look at our blessings and remember that even in our pain there is the potential for new and exciting growth we can get through anything life can throw at us. It is very easy to wallow in pain, but not so easy to understand how to use it to achieve new heights in our own lives.

    I think it's great that you have chosen to look beyond the adversity to see that life can still be pretty amazing. Your friend is lucky to have you to turn to in times of need.

  • shirty

    Posts: 290

    Jun 23, 2010 2:45 PM GMT
    If you had a blog, I would read it. Thanks for sharing, Tanker.
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    Jun 23, 2010 2:47 PM GMT
    lilTanker said
    My current problems are just so insignificant.. How could i have been so stupid...

    No they aren't, they are benchmarks in your life from which you grow or you wilt. You learned a lot and you have come out happier and stronger. That means a lot in the individual growth of a human and it is a quality people should admire.

    We get stuck sometimes but as you have shown, smart thinking pulls you out.
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    Jun 23, 2010 3:01 PM GMT
    lilTanker said...It's been an incredibly hard few days, I've been struggling to stop my self falling into a depression, no matter how hard I seemed to fight, i seemed to keep slipping, nothing I seemed to think or do would stop it...

    Not acceptable. We here on RJ know you as strong, intelligent, witty, insightful, and also with a wonderfully wicked tongue when you want. I think a lot of guys here look forward to your posts, I might even say rely on your presence here (I know I always enjoy your contributions), so that you CANNOT go all depressed on us. ::: stomping foot on floor :::

    I discovered a remarkable thing after I joined the US Army: that I had hidden strengths when I was responsible for others. I would become an absolute tiger in looking after the interests of others, doing things I would never do for myself. In the Army they call that "leadership" and I was given rapid promotion and a chestful of medals for it.

    Yet I remain to this day not very capable of looking after my own interests, half the time mostly adrift and aimless. Odd how I can do for others, but not for myself. I wonder if you & I are in the same boat?

    Your solution, therefore, might be the same as mine: exploit your ability as a natural leader and decision maker. Keep yourself engaged in this way, find your place in the world in the manner you do best. You'll still be deficient in looking after your own interests, as I do, but at least you'll be avoiding much of the depression you describe.

    Why the hell do you think I do all the charity work I chronicle here? I do it for ME, because that's how I'm built, what I do best, solving problems for other people. Some here mistakenly think I mention these things I do to brag, whereas my motive is to encourage others to do likewise, because charitable causes need all the help they can get, especially in the gay community. And I see a similar role for you.

    You have all the signs & traits of it. And if you are indeed like me, then personal pain, disappointment & loss are numbed when you are concerned first about others, not yourself. Your charity is your therapy. Embrace it, don't fight it. OK?
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    Jun 23, 2010 3:04 PM GMT
    As you have found, the best therapy is helping others. Also reminds me of an old proverb, "I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes -- until I met a man who had no feet."
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jun 23, 2010 3:17 PM GMT
    Ben,
    Thanks for sharing this... very wise to remember that others' pain might be far worse than anything we might be experiencing. Awesome you are helping your friend cope and are focusing on his needs, rather than your own. Perhaps this is what you needed to help put things in a proper context as you move forward.

    You certainly have had a weight on you the last few months as you have coped (and are coping) with a number of changes in your life. I hope opportunities come along to change this for you... and in the meantime helping friends and family.... as you have.. is certainly a great step forward.
    Congrats for being an uncle again... thats awesome in itself.

    Chris
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    Jun 23, 2010 3:17 PM GMT
    Such a great post - this reminds us all how strong we can be and when it comes to helping others how it can make our own problems seem trivial. In a society where it is already difficult for us to have to fight all the time for equality we need to remember that our friends are there for us, and can make a huge difference in our lives. Thanks for posting this thread - it made my day! icon_smile.gif
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    Jun 23, 2010 3:22 PM GMT
    Been there.... still go there sometimes. And while you're friends pain may be harsher, yours is still very real. It's just been put in perspective a bit. In either case, the way out is through... and pain is the touchstone of all progress. Thanks for sharing so honestly. You're good people.
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    Jun 23, 2010 5:03 PM GMT
    Good for you to be there for your friend. Sometimes the best thing we can do for others is just to be there for them. And in the process it seems to have benefited you too.

    I had a friend who tried to take her life last year. She is better now but I'll never consciously ever again not let a friend know they can count on me being there for them - if only to lend a sympathetic ear.
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    Jun 23, 2010 7:24 PM GMT
    Big Hugs Benicon_cool.gif
    You're only human but it's good that you were reminded that you are not only strong enough help yourself, but also able to help a wounded friend stand again.

    socalfitness saidAs you have found, the best therapy is helping others. Also reminds me of an old proverb, "I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes -- until I met a man who had no feet."

    That's a great quote... haven't heard/read this in a long time. Thanks for posting it socalfitness.
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    Jun 23, 2010 7:45 PM GMT
    Import saidas long as it's making you skinnier then that's all that matters....


    My mom always tells me this story about a deep depression she fell into when she was in her teens. It ends up going like "...so I was so depressed I just stopped eating altogether and I got really thin and all the boys noticed me and I was happy again".

    The moral of the story is, boys make everything better. And worse.
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    Jun 23, 2010 7:53 PM GMT
    You need to write a book Liltanker. You can share your writing abilities with others, and keep yourself busy.

    Now go DO it Aussie Boy! icon_wink.gif

    (that's my tough love part)
  • Import

    Posts: 7193

    Jun 23, 2010 8:09 PM GMT
    Ciarsolo said
    Import saidas long as it's making you skinnier then that's all that matters....


    My mom always tells me this story about a deep depression she fell into when she was in her teens. It ends up going like "...so I was so depressed I just stopped eating altogether and I got really thin and all the boys noticed me and I was happy again".

    The moral of the story is, boys make everything better. And worse.



    LOL!!!
    Love it!
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    Jun 23, 2010 8:41 PM GMT
    Ciarsolo said
    Import saidas long as it's making you skinnier then that's all that matters....


    My mom always tells me this story about a deep depression she fell into when she was in her teens. It ends up going like "...so I was so depressed I just stopped eating altogether and I got really thin and all the boys noticed me and I was happy again".

    The moral of the story is, boys make everything better. And worse.


    LOL. ridic. your mom sounds amazing.



    Inspiring post liltanker. icon_smile.gif.
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    Jun 23, 2010 10:03 PM GMT
    Thanks for that post Tanky icon_smile.gif
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 23, 2010 11:20 PM GMT
    hugs for wombo
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jun 23, 2010 11:33 PM GMT
    A) I noticed that you were missing from RJ, and wondered where you were

    B) Next time, please post the abridged version.

    C) Awhile back, I had given up, and I made an appointment with a psychiatrist. All he could talk about was how I should be exactly like him (a "Type A" personality), which I am not, never was, and never will be. After 4 sessions, I quit going, and I'm much better now. I don't know why. Maybe I was just warn out from the struggle of life.

    D) I'm glad you're back here, and I hope you're okay. See ? Total strangers care about you. Hugs.
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    Jun 23, 2010 11:58 PM GMT
    Bipolar disorder and depression are very real, and very treatable conditions.

    I recommend a psychopharmacologist, not a psychologist. Lithium ... Wellbutrin ... whatever is prescribed will be a much better solution than wallowing in despair.

    Life's too short, and emotional pain can and often does lead to physical pain. You need to get help. It won't come knocking at your door, and you certainly won't get what you need by posting on Internet forums.
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    Jun 24, 2010 12:04 AM GMT
    Hi honey.
  • DanielQQ

    Posts: 365

    Jun 24, 2010 12:06 AM GMT
    reppaT saidBipolar disorder and depression are very real, and very treatable conditions.

    I recommend a psychopharmacologist, not a psychologist. Lithium ... Wellbutrin ... whatever is prescribed will be a much better solution than wallowing in despair.

    Life's too short, and emotional pain can and often does lead to physical pain. You need to get help. It won't come knocking at your door, and you certainly won't get what you need by posting on Internet forums.


    Actually, the research shows that psychopharmacology IN CONJUNCTION with psychotherapy is far more effective than either alone. You treat the symptoms with drugs, but you can't treat the root of the problem with a pill. Therapy isn't for everybody, but it is REALLY helpful for some.