A Peer’s Perspective: Can We Talk…?
By Jill Davis
It doesn’t take too long to notice that there’s some rough things that go on in life. None of us are immune and all of us have a story to tell. The question that begs asking is this: do you have someone to tell it to? I can remember times where I felt that I had no one to talk to about what I was experiencing, feeling and thinking, which prompted me to carry the weight of my circumstances alone. After all, no one would understand because it was happening to me, not them. Nobody could possibly identify with the unique storm that hovered over my days. This was the story I told myself and I told it so well, in fact, that I believed it. The very things that I prided myself on being strong enough to handle became the very things that weakened my spirit and added to my burden.
There is concept that you may be familiar with called the Circles of Support. At the center, of course, is you. The next smallest circle may be family and friends; outside of that is community and neighbors, maybe next is spiritual leaders, service providers and so on. It’s understood that not everyone has similar circles and I remember as well having to redefine these circles for myself many times due to things like broken trust, misunderstandings, toxic relationships and so on. This led to me clearing many from my circles, which wasn’t a bad thing. However, it prevented me from adding to my circles, and that wasn’t a good thing. It eventually led to carrying the weight of my woes on my heart and shoulders like an awkward Atlas. I realized that I needed to talk but where to start? Who would listen?
What I found is that there were caring people who took the time to listen and talk with me. Have you had a time where someone has poured out their heart to you and although you didn’t really say much at all, yet they told you that they felt so much better just by talking? I had such an experience this morning with a woman who had the weight of the world on her shoulders and shared that she appreciated being able to talk about the pain and hurt. The beautiful part is that I also appreciated being able to relieve her heaviness if only for a few moments. Nothing was solved and yet so much was gained by both. This is part of the human experience and a vital part at that.
There is a German proverb that says “A problem shared is a problem halved.” Who are you able to share with today? If you are struggling and want to talk, there are those around you who want to listen. A friend, family member, support group, counselor or warmline. (fyi, caring people are waiting to listen to you at Colorado Crisis Services 1.844.493. TALK (8255)/Text ‘TALK’ to 38255. It’s 24/7/365, free and confidential.) Remember that what you have to say is valuable and that you are worth listening to!
Jill Davis is Peer Services Coordinator for Mind Springs Health. She or any one of our peers are happy to converse about self-care and how to be mentally healthy anytime. Drop her a line at Peers@MindSpringsHealth.org