Like most of you, I am a huge fan of the television show, This is Us.
And last night’s episode was no exception, so if you have not yet seen it, consider this your spoiler alert.
As per usual, I DVR’d the episode so that I could watch it today by myself with no risk of distraction or disruption. And as per usual, I had tissues ready because I have yet to make it through an episode without demonstrable tears.
As I watched the episode unfold, especially the character of Randall, by the final scene with him in the fetal position on the floor of his office and his brother’s arms around him – all I could think is
that is me.
Please hear me when I say that this is not an instance of cultural appropriation, nor do I claim that the life portrayed of Randall is my own, however I share some of the coping mechanisms of dear Randall.
I, too, am what is called a “high functioning” person with anxiety. I am adept at caring for those in my charge, as well as those who are not. I am a master at appearing to have everything under control and I am capable of holding it all together until I suffer such a physical and emotional toll that I end up physically sick and most likely bedridden for a good 24+ hours.
The Giver of All Things has been gracious to me in all of this, as one also saw with the character of Randall. I, too, have found in the most unusual of places, people who have been willing to show up and sit with me in the grief and the grime and have also often done so in such a way that it has cost them something.
I am also learning so much about self-care and how different it is than I thought it would be. I used to often turn to social media as a place to receive encouragement and to connect with my Village – it is the only place where all of my worlds collide as one who has lived in many different places and has found friendships in a variety of life experiences. Since November, that world has altered for me and for the first time ever – I have found myself in the company of hostility and disillusionment. That does not mean I still do not love my “Village” there, but I do log on less often, with more caution, and the boundaries have been instilled.
That is just one example of how self-care plays out for me. There are so many other ways I lean into it, and I find that the more I do – the more aware and open I am to embrace that which enhances my daily life and my friendships, and therefore diffuses that anxiety and frantic need to hold it all together.
This is nothing new, is it?
So many of us have all read similar articles and sought wisdom in this area.
Perhaps I am just adding to the noise or speaking to what you already know to be true in your own life about grief and “high-functioning” anxiety and the need for self -care and thanking the Giver of All Things for those dear treasured souls who are willing to show up despite the cost and sit in the dark office corner with you as you release it all.
As art so often imitates life –
This is Me.
This is Us.