One thing that I’m learning how to deal with is disappointment after reaching out. When I try my hardest to connect with someone and fall flat, when I reach out to socialize and my friend has other plans. When I do my very best, but due to circumstances beyond my control, something just doesn’t work out.
This subject comes to mind today for two reasons.
The first reason is that for the last few weeks
I’ve been reaching out to my friends on the weekends to hang out, only to find out they’re busy, or too tired. Now, those are reasonable things, especially since I tend to try and reach people last minute nowadays (when I used to try and plan ahead, people didn’t know their schedules yet. It’s a no-win situation). But that doesn’t mean I am not disappointed.
The difference, however; is that I am just disappointed. I am not thrown into a pit of despair. When I wrote “Disconnect” a few weeks ago, that marked a turning point for me. Before writing out that post, I would have felt as if I had no friends. I would have felt as if everybody was deliberately keeping me out, and hanging out with each other. I felt that they never reached out to me, and that I was always shot down when I reached out to them. None of that is true. I realize that now, and that’s a huge moment of personal growth. But it’s hard not to get discouraged when you reach out week after week and get nothing back. It’s no longer heartbreaking, but it is disappointing.
The other is a little silly. I made my first post in the Community Pool today. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a weekly post where bloggers go to get feedback on their posts and give feedback to others. It’s a great way to get your blog out there, while providing others with the same feedback that you crave. (Natalie of the blog, “But Why?” wrote a great post about it here). The reason this is relevant? I’m afraid nobody will click on my post. It took me several weeks to gather up the courage to actually post in the Community Pool, and I’m afraid my post will get lost among the hundreds of other comments. I’m afraid that people won’t like what I have to say. I’m afraid that it was just a waste of my time. Of course, there’s no way to know any of this, and I’m not suddenly expecting to have hundreds of hits on my blog or anything like that. But I’m putting myself out there and that always comes with some risk. I’ll be disappointed if I don’t get any comments about improving my blog, but it won’t be heartbreaking.
It will, on the other hand, be a little embarrassing. You know when you’re in a conversation with a group of people, and you make a comment that just falls a little flat? It doesn’t offend anyone, but it doesn’t contribute much to the conversation either and everybody just ignores it? Your ears burn a little and maybe you kind of want the earth to open up and swallow you for a minute, but you get over it eventually and continue the conversation. That’s how this will feel.
This is a huge step for me in my recovery, and a huge step for me as a person. I’m allowed to be sad, I’m allowed to be disappointed, I’m allowed to be embarrassed. But I don’t need to be unbalanced by it. I don’t need to question if my friends love me. I just need to accept it and move on. I’ll hang out with them next week, or I’ll try to post again in another week or two. Everything will be just fine.