On depression, and personal fulfillment . . .

Good evening, friends!  For a few weeks, now – my lack of connecting with all of you has been on my mind.  So draw close and visit with me, for a little while.

About a month ago, the “Admin” team that I work as part of – was treated to lunch out of the office – as our district manager’s treat for “Admin Recognition” day.  During that meeting, five of us were given the news that – within the next four weeks, all of our jobs were going to be (more or less) “out” sourced – to a different part of the company – and as a result, we were all going to begin being “re” trained to do different tasks – on an ongoing basis.  That was just the beginning of what has – since then – become one of the most stressful periods of my life.  Since then, I’ve celebrated a – milestone birthday – which in itself, has been causing me to reflect on where – exactly – I am, in my life as I begin my middle years!  At the same time, my husband and I are currently in the process of preparing to list our home to sell.  I believe that things like this – compounded, all within a defined period of time – are things that psychologists would award “points” to, as part of a scale that is used to “rate” the amount of stress in a person’s life – at any one time.

Since I’ve never found more than a couple of viable, productive ways to deal with stress in my life – I’ve found myself turning to a few close, treasured (and candidly honest) friends of mine – and inward, to my blogging – for fulfillment.  Coincidentally, and surprisingly – some of the responses that I’ve gotten recently have made me realize that I’m not the only one currently experiencing some stress in my life.  That’s not to say that I have friends who are experiencing the same stressful events in their lives, that I am.  Most of them are in different “phases” of their lives, and have different events causing them stress.  In visiting with them, however – I’ve come to the conclusion that on a general level, the specific events aren’t that relevant.  When a valued friend “reaches out” to you – looking for an ear to bend, or a shoulder to lean on – they don’t expect you (me – in these cases) to have the solutions, to all of their dilemnas!  Frequently, they’re just looking for  expressions of sympathy – and perhaps prayer.  Strangely (for me), in the process of coming to this realization – the other realization that I’ve come to  ( a bit late in my life, perhaps) – is that it is psychologically beneficial to be involved in the lives of my close friends!  Having specific things/ developments to pray, for my friends – for – causes me not to delve into “self-pity” parties.  I believe that this is a tenant that many of us don’t practice, frequently enough!  The Bible admonishes us to pray for our friends, throughout the day and in various situations. Additionally, with the advent of Facebook – providing me ways, and opportunities to confirm – for myself – that although my husband and I have lived thousands of miles away from many of the mutual friends that we made when we were first married – several of them do actually still care about me, and make themselves “available” to me – when I occasionally begin slipping into depression, and really NEED to connect with someone who cares!

The other thing that I’ve found to be immensely fulfilling is writing.  It is an outward way for me to express some of my innermost thoughts.  As I make myself vulnerable to others, I’m able to look more objectively at my own situations.  Additionally, blogging provides an opportunity for my friends – and some of the mentors, in my life – to comment on my posts.  Many times, taking the time to read through any feedback that people give – or just getting some minutes, here and there – to discuss a particular “blog” with them – is fulfilling for me, as well.

I don’t know if I’ve really made a well-developed point this evening, or not – friends.  But this theme of close, and abiding friendship is one that I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about.  It’s been tremendously rewarding, and fulfilling – to be confronted with the fact that I do have several people in my life who – genuinely – care, about me.  Further, it’s been a humbling realization to know that for some of them – I’ve been able to be of some comfort to them, as well!  Just by being available, and “checking in” with them regularly enough to be able to pray for them, also.

Thank you for taking the time to visit with me.  As always, if something that I’ve said strikes a chord with you – I would be more than happy to know about it!   God’s blessings on your weekend, this weekend.

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