The Importance Of Kindness In An Unkind World

Okay, let me just start out by saying, I am completely blown away by the outpouring of kindness and support I’ve been receiving of late. Seriously, I find myself lacking the proper words to express how grateful I am, just to know that there are people who have any fucks left to give on my behalf. I know how things are. I live in this world, too. I get it. And that’s why I’m so appreciative.

Just for the record, however, I am neither brave, nor courageous. I’m actually terrified, way down deep inside, where it only matters when I’m drinking, or overthinking. The past week was hard, despite the efforts of friends and family to distract me. It took a few days for the full-blown reality of the situation to sink in, but when it did, it hit hard. An abrupt snafu involving my medications didn’t help. Thank all the feral gods for cannabis. I’m assuming this will be my new hic et nunc. Ups and downs. Light and dark. Euphoria and pain.

As such, I am becoming entirely committed to enjoying the fuck out of myself, and those around me, whenever possible, for as long as I can. If writing about my dark passenger in an offhand manner, while talking about other, more important things, diminishes its power over me, my dedication is ensured. Even so, if my words appear more upbeat than seems logical (particularly to those who know me well), it’s because I’m usually high while writing this blog, and my perspective is constantly being challenged by the kindness of strangers.

Which leads me to the flip side. The side that makes me wonder if maybe, just maybe, some people are only being nice to me because of the situation. Kind of like how people are so goddamned perky around Christmastime. Store clerks you’ve seen so many times you should probably know their names, but who don’t give you more than totals and half-hearted smiles, suddenly become the warmest, chirpiest, brightly-dressed bastion of goodwill on the fricken planet! And right when you think that some kind of wall has been breached, January 2nd rolls around and the bitch goes right back to avoiding eye contact and mumbling out totals.

Tell me you haven’t seen this look before.

Not that it’s any big loss. I mean, how meaningful can a weekly shopping trip become, anyway? Wait… where was I?

Oh! Right. I’m not really paranoid, I’m just over-cautious. And, as previously noted, I have trust issues. There really do seem to be an overabundance of helpful, smiling faces surrounding me, all of a sudden. Asking how I am, showing concern, offering assistance “any time of the day or night,” it honestly freaks me out a little. I’m not accustomed to so much attention. Consequently, I find myself wondering what’s in it for them? And how things are going to fall out if and when I beat this thing. “Oh, you’re healthy now, so we can go back to barely tolerating your presence…” How terrible is that? My inner bitch is showing. Moving on.

Lest you get the impression that I’m ungrateful, please re-read the first paragraph. It came from my heart. Which isn’t easy considering it’s on life support, laced with scars and calluses, and sits in a box in a back closet, where it won’t be troublesome anymore. I am very grateful. My son and I are growing closer again, in part because of this situation. That means I am in the unenviable position of having to thank the fucking cancer in my mojo factory for bringing my son back to me. That’s heavy shit. In fact, my relationships with family members – both blood and soul – are improving daily. Gosh! Thanks, gut goblin!

You thought I was kidding, didn’t you?

I appear to be digressing again, but I have one more thing to say on this topic. I’m gonna get a little corny for a second, so bear with me.

Every minute I spend in the company of loved ones – laughing, talking, sharing and caring – has become a celebration of life. I know, I told you it would sound corny, but I have never needed – not desired, needed – emotional support like I do right now. I’ve always been the caregiver, the nurturer, the shoulder to cry on, the safety net… and now I’m adrift in unfamiliar territory. I imagine this is what Sandra Bullock felt like in Gravity.

Fall, Sandra, fall!




Unspeakable helplessness.

I hate it.

But I refuse to let it devour me.

There is strength all around me, mainly because of you.

2 thoughts on “The Importance Of Kindness In An Unkind World

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