(December 19, 2006)

Several days ago I noticed myself dumping all my feelings on my friends. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t lie easily. When someone asks me how I am, I let them know – sometimes in great detail. Not a good idea. But a day later I realized what I was doing. I also realized that analyzing my feelings only made me feel worse. I was dwelling within once more.

The neat thing about blogging is that it’s OK to do some of that. Blogger friends can “change channels” if they get tired of us. But most of the time they understand and know what to say to help. They go through the same stuff.

Yet I know that in the life I live away from the computer I need to try to be more other-centered if I want to recover. It’s good to hear about my friends and what they’re up to. I also know that it’s in giving to others and doing for others that I find my strength and happiness. I’d much rather do for someone than to have someone do for me. I want to be a contributor, not a consumer. A conqueror, not a victim. There’s much I can do by listening to and having an interest in what concerns my friends.

When I caught myself “dwelling within” a few days ago, I emailed my good friend, my major supporter from church. Explained how I wanted to be more other-centered. Would she call me when she had time to chat?

This friend knew just what to do. She has called me a couple of times now and found all sorts of fun things to talk to me about: all the interesting people she has invited for a huge Christmas drop-in at her house, how she volunteered at a school to read to the children, how she dealt with the difficult children. She made me laugh.

We talked about how my days were going and whether I was pacing myself enough. She encouraged me. We had fun in our phone visit, only talking a bit about how I was. When we hung up I felt good about myself. I felt good to have a friend who made a point of touching base and taking the trouble to guide the phone visit in a direction that was healthy for me. I felt good about not dwelling so much on myself.

I’m starting to feel strong enough to invite a couple of friends over if they have time. This is so good!! I’m feeling very thankful.

I know many of you have been dealing with the same things I have and I hope that you, too, will find a way to overcome. I hope that you, too, will come to enjoy this Christmas season.