I went out for a meal with a couple of friends from my school days last night. To keep it brief, I arrived back home feeling rather sad. It’s always nice to see them but this meet up in particular highlighted the great sorrows in my life. Both friends had a blissfully happy childhood and happy, healthy families. My female friend now has a young child of her own and has been happily married for some years. My other friend had recently begun a new job. The conversation rarely went to myself and when it did it involved my poor health and my son’s disability and behavioural challenges. This particular meet up probably felt worse because the partners of both friends weren’t able to make it and thus it felt very much like we were back at school in some ways, with me shy, withdrawn, lacking in self-worth and terrified of rejection. I suppose those feelings were there in the background when I felt my life being compared to theirs. I know it’s not about comparisons but it’s funny how strong childhood feelings can be when faced with the friends or family where they originated.
As I lay in bed last night, sadness overwhelmed me. I was too tired to cry but once again I found myself wishing things had been different. When I fell asleep I dreamed that I was with a group of people making a speech about our difficult lives. I found myself describing the loneliness of my experiences from birth and as I did so my voice become a croak. Someone said to me ‘Find the joy in the storm’.
This was on my mind as I woke up. Find the joy in the storm. How profound. I try to live it everyday as a rule. But sometimes I just can’t. During those times I appreciate a firm reminder to see how far I have come, even if I still wish I had done things differently or simply been brought up in a loving, healthy and supportive family.
I could spend my life wishing. I’m aware that sadness will probably always be there. But I need to also appreciate that my great storms have led me to my very own Munchkin Land where bright colours and true strength exist and the road leads back home.