I want to talk about more positive things now. Sam’s friends are really toxic and they tend to bring me down. Let’s lift me back up, shall we?
I was with my friend last night. I was talking about my upcoming trip to Georgia and how I should probably curb my language just for the weekend. I was laughing and cutting up, but my friend snagged me by the arm and stared straight into my face. He was nose to nose with me.
“Don’t you dare,” he says to me. I’m a little taken aback. He’s dead serious.
“Don’t what?” I’m unsure of where the conversation was at this point. Not really sure why he’s all the sudden so intense.
“Don’t you dare change how you are, JJ. Don’t you dare change your language.” He let go over my arm and became very animated. “If I don’t hear you say ‘shit’, ‘motherfucker’, ‘fucktard’ or any of that shit at least once in a sentence then me and you are going to have problems.” I understood. He got in my face again.k
“Don’t you dare change, Jen.”
I could’ve cried the way he said it. I know what he meant, but it’s hard for me to believe. I’m trying to convince me that all of these people who are reaching out to me are not lying. I’m trying hard to believe what they’re saying to me.
Later we were in the car and we were talking about pain. My back was hurting so bad last night, it was miserable. We were talking about that and why I had to stop taking pain pills1. He leaned over and stared at me.
“I’m sorry.” I was confused again.
“Sorry for what?”
“I wish I could do something to help you. I’m sorry.” It was touching really. And a little awkward. I don’t know where any of it was coming from. I can guess, but I’d rather not right now.
“I have two choices with this pain, because it’s never going away as long as I live. I can either let the pain take over my life and dictate how I live. Or I can adjust my expectations and live regardless of the pain. I choose to live.” He laughed and rubbed the back of my head.
“You’ll get through this, JJ. If there’s anyone who can do this it’s you. You’re one of the strongest women I know. You’re amazing. Don’t ever change. Not for anyone.” I didn’t cry. But I wanted to. I feel like he really didn’t say that, but he did. We’ve been friends for a long time and he’s never said anything like that. I was really touched.
He’s not the first friend to say stuff like that to me. I asked someone else why he liked me. He said because I’m made from titanium. I don’t feel like that. I feel like I’m falling apart at the seams. Like the gods are playing a cruel joke on me with this life. And just when I feel like I’m losing it, the friends I took for granted reach out and pull me back together.
Whether they offer to bring me away for a weekend or pray for me or make me laugh or remind me that I’ve survived worse, these people are all amazing. I am so grateful for them. I am so grateful that I’m not alone and I’m not surrounded by people who would push me under as I drown. They’ve formed a chain and are saving me. It’s so hard for me to accept that maybe I am worth it and maybe I am loved. I’ve spent my whole life fighting against people who would see me fail2. So, when I don’t have to fight?
That is so wonderful. They are so wonderful. I am thankful. I don’t give two shits if this makes me look weak or crazy. My people know who they are. I want them to know I love them. I’m proud of that. I’m happy to have people in my life that see something in me that is invisible to my eyes. This strength I didn’t recognize. Titanium? Shit, man. When I feel so weak? Yes, because I”m still going forward.
I lost someone I love because of fucktardery. That loss did not end my life. None of the many losses I have endured – the deaths of my grandmother, my mother and my son; the end of my marriage; the loss of my family home – none of them ended me. This is not even in the same ballpark as those. I’m still here and I’m still trucking forward. And I have the most amazing people in the world around me while I do it. I don’t have those people who tear me down anymore. I’m blessed even though my heart is broken. Broken hearts heal, darlings, and mine is healing much faster thanks to the love these people are showing me.
This is my ‘thank you’ note to everyone who saw me in pain and reached out to help me. Thank you for thinking I’m worth it. Thank you for accepting me for me. Thank you for reading my indecipherable dribble, seeing inside my head and not running off.