Topic Tuesday: Support
I don’t know how I managed to get out of the car other than to say I put one foot in front of the other. No lie, I literally tiptoed across the street, up the dingy yellowy-brown carpeted stairs half searching for room 204, secretly hoping no one would notice me and if I were really lucky, no such meeting would exist. Well, apparently finding it was meant to be because I left that evening feeling a bundle of feelings – shocked, dumbfounded, relieved, anxious, even happy to have found this group. Sure, we all looked different, came from different walks of life; some spoke more and some not at all, but so many shared my exact fears: the hatred of this disease, the constant worry of being disliked, never feeling ‘good’ enough, and feeling terribly uncomfortable in my own skin.
During that first meeting, I also noticed a young woman across from me that reminded me of me. It was also her first meeting, she had a set of twins and a third child, and, like me, was very uncertain if a support group was where she wanted to be. When the next Thursday meeting rolled around I was unsure about going back but I told myself that if that girl from the last meeting could force herself out of her comfort zone to go, I could do it too. In a way, I convinced myself that I had to go because I couldn’t let her down; perhaps she needed me as much as I needed her? Sure enough, she was there the next week and the next, and the next. In fact, a bunch of us all started meeting at Starbucks to grab coffees before meetings and even created a closed Facebook page to keep tabs on each other. Meetings and Facebook posts and coffee gatherings weren’t just for sharing the lousy times but were also a safe place to share the things we were proud of with each other. If ever I was looking for a group of cheerleaders to tell me how proud of me they were for ignoring a disordered thought or giving me advice to help shake off some of my worst days, these were my people. Upon leaving that first night, and the many nights that followed, I was finally feeling a little less alone and a little more understood.