You know when you pour your guts out and you feel so much better after? What happens when you don’t? You start to rethink about why you’re not feeling too good despite finally getting something off your chest. You start to wonder why the act of being able to open up did the opposite of what you were hoping it would do for you. This is what I am thinking and I was really hoping for the “I feel so much better” emotion.
I had one of the greatest opportunities to be a part of a group on campus called Peers: Students Helping Students. This group of people had gotten me through of the toughest and most transitional times I had in university. I know in my heart that without them all, I would have lost my mind. It was amazing how a group of strangers had decided to come together to help students who are seeking someone to listen to them had instead become the group to help each other.
We would meet every Monday, for three hours, for nine months. That’s it. I mean we would have activities and events that we would plan and attend but what is once a week, really. You’d think that wasn’t a lot of time. And it wasn’t. But it was three hours that I treasured. I miss looking forward to starting off the week by listening to everyone’s stories from the week before. At first, I was apprehensive to the idea of sharing my life with people I hardly knew but I took the chance. And I came out of it with friends I will have for my entire life. We were trained to listen. It’s a common misconception to think that “you’re a great listener.” We all, in one form or another, that thought this of ourselves but we soon found out we had a lot to work on. But that’s what made that group the family that I got to see once a week for three hours. I was able to count on them to understand and let me feel that they not only understood what I was trying to say but the knowledge that it was not easy to be the person to allow other people in. To let people hear what I have to say, especially when I was always the one that everyone else went to when they wanted a listening ear. Also one of the same characteristics that we discovered we all shared. I wasn’t afraid to cry in front of them. I wasn’t afraid to tell them that I was scared of an exam, a talk I needed to have with my SO, or when I was having one of the greatest days of my life. Good news can be scary to share too. To these people I could never imagine not looking forward to seeing all their wonderful selves and thinking I could be using my time differently.
Yesterday, I broke down. I had a moment where I couldn’t take it anymore. Again. What happened? I.. wanted to go to McDonald’s to get a meal after and I let my tears put me to sleep. That doesn’t say too much but it definitely doesn’t say that breaking down and saying something made any difference. I know that I keep doing this to myself. That all of this is my choice. So I’m choosing to allow all the hurt. Why? I wish I had those remarkable people in my life again to talk to.