I consider myself a fairly upbeat person. I believe that most people are innately good and are not always looking out for number one. I tend to trust - maybe overly so - people at their word. Negativity in others irritates me; in myself causes self-deprecation. I try really hard to not let the little things get to me and I consider most things little. Life is too short to be miserable.
I know that everybody has bad moments, trials, tribulations, and poor luck. How we deal with these moments often determines how well those moments turn out in the end and how long the moment affects us. When we attempt to shoulder the burdens alone, we are dragged longer and deeper into despair. When we share our frustrations with others, we find unexpected ideas and methods for coping and possibly solving the problem. "Others" may be a licensed therapist, a certified counselor, a degreed professional. Some problems need that kind of company. Most of the time we just need a friend with a listening ear, a gentle heart, a shoulder to cry on, an empathetic response.
I have been blessed in my life to have a lot of company. Some are fellow mothers and wives who understand the feeling of keeping everything together and not being shown any appreciation. Some are family members who love me and understand part of why I am the way I am because it's part of their why as well. Some are long-standing friends to whom I don't talk on a regular basis but when the phone rings we just pick up where we left off. Some are members of my church who inspire me to do better with this life I've been given. Some are members of my church who don't really think I'm going to hell but are willing to accompany me at least part of the way if I am.
I do worry about my children. Our children. Teenagers today seem to be dealing with a lot more angst than I remember having. I don't know if it's just my kids or if it is more prevalent, but my freshman seems to have a lot of conversations regarding death and suicide. Most of his friends have mental disorders and are seeing professionals for their issues. He has admitted to having suicidal thoughts. He has made comments about shooting up his high school. He has dated girls who cut themselves, are bipolar, and have been institutionalized. He has a friend who is a girl but wants to be a boy. As his mother, I am faced with the question of whether or not he can spend the night with her/him. I can only imagine what his friend's parents are faced with. Who do they talk to? Which friend can say they've dealt with that issue? And who are our children talking to? Do they have friends who can lift them up? Empathize? Help them cope?
I feel that I have pretty good conversations with my children. While I do not always like what I hear, I am grateful that they are talking to me. While they do not always follow my advice, I am grateful they are asking. But there is a fear in me, especially concerning my freshman, that I am not doing the right thing. That as much as I tell him that there is nothing more selfish a person could do than to commit suicide just because he didn't get to go to that concert or because her boyfriend broke up with her, as much as I have threatened him with his life if he were to attempt suicide; I am fearful that I don't understand him well enough. I am fearful that he doesn't have anybody positive to talk to in his life. I am fearful that I may lose my son because I don't take his feelings seriously enough. Because I can't comprehend that this angst he deals with is really that big of a deal. Because I hope he is enough like me to realize that you just can't get bogged down by the little things and that he wants to keep living because of the hope that there's something better waiting.
Misery does indeed love company. We don't want to be miserable, but even more, we don't want to be miserable alone.