There has been a lot of talk about the idea and concept of being “present.” The idea of just being there for someone going through a struggle. The idea that even just sitting in silence with someone lets them know you are present for them and that you are there whenever they need someone to talk to. It’s a simple idea yet so many people fail to do it for those closest to them going through a struggle. It could be the shift in society that views more of a reliance on your own problems than those of others. Being present it someone that can have an amazing impact on someone else’s life. Yet why do so many people fail to do it for those they care about.
Two weeks ago, I started a new group therapy for grief. Going into the first session, I was nervous because I was not going into grieving death, I was going in grieving the lose of friendships, employment, the pre-grieving of losing nursing school and my lifestyle. Two weeks later, I realized I am in fact grieving death, the death of my dog that I got during my first mental health struggles, so I had something to live for. If it wasn’t for that dog, I would be dead and I would have achieved so much the last nine years despite everyone telling me I wouldn’t be able to do anything with my life. Boy, do I miss that dog and wish I could go pick him out again and start out mental health journey together again. Also going to my first meeting of the new group I was in a depressed mood, as I had just read a hurtful comment on my blog, I was ready to give up all blogging which I did with only two posts. But, that first session, as each person shared their grief, death of loved ones, I realized what it meant to be present, I was there for these people sharing their stories of lose. I was able to give encouraging words and insight. It was truly amazing. The day after our second meeting, I had court and that morning the one group member messaged me and told me she was thinking of me. Once again someone just being present. IT was touching and extremely nice and caring. This however my bipolar brain into motion with thoughts of being "present."
My bipolar brain made realize that while I was present for these people, I was not truly present for them. How could I truly be fully present for someone else when I was and am still not currently fully present in my own life. Everyday to me feels like the expression of just being a warm body. A warm body in my day in all aspects. Most days I could not tell you what went on a day or two later, this is not because of a lack of short term or long-term memory. This is instead the result of me being complete numb and just not present. I don’t know if it is just the shock of the horrible situation, I have gotten myself into with my mental health and legal struggle or if it is just simple something else. My bipolar brain does make me think, if I made such a huge impact on the group members without fully being present like I could if I was present in my own life, what could I do for them and others suffering from mental health or grief if I was truly present in my own life too. I don’t know what it will look like or take for me to no longer being a warm body in my life and to be present, but I hope to figure it out soon. I look forward to it though because it will present the next chapter in my life in helping others and getting to the life I am meant to live.
So, my thought is while it is a great gesture to be present in someone else’s life to help them in their struggles, we must not forget to be present in our own lives.