Saturday, June 5, 2010

Moving Forward

If you dwell on the past, you can never move forward. That is my philosphy. Everyone has gone or will go through something traumatic in their life. I went through the loss of a child. Others have been through abuse, a life-threatening illness (themselves or a loved one), or a serious accident. Whatever it may be, it is extremely difficult to get through. The thing that makes us better is how we deal with it. Do we sit back and say "Oh woe is me", or do we say "Okay, now that I went through this, it wasn't as bad as I thought and I'm still breathing"? I truly believe that if you take the second path, you will be much happier with your life. It doesn't matter if you struggle financially everyday. It is recognizing what you need for contentment that makes the difference. What is REALLY important to you?

I am often struck by the people who want to go over and over the events of the past. I am talking about those people who want to use that to make themselves feel better. Those are the ones who feel sorry for themselves 24/7 and don't really understand that they have an extremely negative effect on those around them. I knew someone who was like that. She had not had a very good childhood and then was diagnosed with MS in her 30's. She wasn't having serious symptoms yet. And before anyone says I'm being disrespectful to anyone with MS, remember I lost a child to cancer and have great empathy for people with chronic or terminal illnesses. The problem I had with her was that she had a very mild case of it for the first several years of diagnosis. In other words, she was not suffering anywhere close to some people I know with it. But you would think listening to her, she was in the mid to final stages of it. I found that quite offensive in that I know there are a lot more people out there in much worse pain and discomfort than she was at the time and she could never see past her own nose.

When we became friends, I had just lost my daughter and was in such a hole emotionally that I was almost numb. I didn't really feel much for a long time. That's when she pounced. I say that because she pursued the friendship. After about 2 years, I woke up from my depression and decided to return to the real world and be human again. She couldn't handle that. Every time we would have a talk about anything, she really didn't listen to me. I started realizing that she would start the conversation about me. It wouldn't be long before it turned to her. It was always that she had a bad day. This was every day. Without fail. The negativity permeated her whole being. This was her constant state of mind. After we had a major falling out, we didn't talk for a couple of months. When we did, she kept trying to go back and talk about what went wrong. For normal people, that's actually healthy because you can see what needed to be addressed. For her, it was a way of turning it into my fault. I mean, it was never a real discussion, it was a way for her to say, she was wronged and someone else was responsible. I found out later that she was telling other people that I was not a very good person. It doesn't bother me because I know I'm not and I'm not in that hole of an emotional drain I was in.

I have to say that it has been 5 years ago now. I still speak to the people we both knew and I found out she is still a control freak. She still talks about me and compares the “death of our friendship” to the death of my daughter. She doesn’t have a clue what that is like and how dare she even suggest that losing our friendship is anything like losing a child. For those of you who have lost one, you know what I mean. And I am the bad person here.

This is what I mean by moving forward. If I had stayed in that frame of mind, I would have been a miserable human being that no one wanted to be around. I don't know how anyone can live that way. In my opinion, had I not gotten past the depression, I would have been disrespecting the memory of an awesome little girl. Instead of remembering the good, fun, and special moments of her life, I would have just remembered the worst part of her life. That just isn't right. Everyone should remember the reasons why you loved that person, not what took them from you. If you don't move forward, you won't enjoy those little things that actually make life worth living for.

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