What amazes me less is not the support I’ve received over the past few weeks from people “in the program” or people who’ve been part of my Inner Circle for years, but more the support I’ve gotten from people outside of the program who I’ve “met,” but don’t necessarily “know” (or perfect strangers for that matter).
As an example, a couple weeks ago I was sitting in one of our local hospitals where a meeting I’m particularly fond of is held. I had arrived early because, well, air conditioning and wifi. I was sitting in chairs lining one of the halls thinking, reading and writing, and a woman I’d been introduced to maybe twice; a woman who kind of tickled the edges of my memory, but I couldn’t quite place, rolled up next to me to ask if I was okay. Her, “I don’t know if you remember me, but I’m Jane’s mom. I just wanted to check that you’re okay.”
Today it happened again as I sat, in the air conditioning and wifi area of a local hospital and a gentleman asked if I needed anything while I waited for my meeting to start. He then proceeded to give me four dollars. Just because. And yes, it was awkward as hell taking money from a stranger. I don’t, for all intents and purposes, need it, but it was important for him to give it.
I understand the desire to feel as though you’re “doing” something for someone else. When I can’t seem to help those I love the most – shit, when I can’t seem to help myself – I get the feeling of wanting to feel like I’m able to help *someone*. One of the things I’m trying to learn is that by allowing others to help me, to comfort me, I’m allowing them to feel helped, to feel comforted. And that means I’m helping them, right? It still doesn’t feel right. It still doesn’t feel natural. Being me it likely never will feel right or comfortable, but feeling like I’m helping someone is far superior than feeling like I’m receiving charity or pity.
Today I’m going to accept the support that’s given, particularly the support that’s given no strings attached. It may be one of the hardest things I do all day, but at least it’s doing something.