Last night I had a fight with one of my oldest friends.
He was frustrated with me because he felt like I was pushing him away, and I was having some seriously complicated feelings about him.
Up until a year ago, whenever he and I met up, we would get into these intense conversations that almost became therapy sessions. We both got a lot out of them and left them feeling not only better about ourselves, but truly appreciating our friendship.
Then, last year, 11 months ago, the shit hit the fan and I lost my son.
Since then I haven’t only been pushing my friend away. With the exception of a handful of people, I’ve been pushing EVERYONE away.
My fight with my friend last night brought that all into sharp relief. I realized why I had been pushing him away. Because I didn’t want to talk about Nadav all the time. I didn’t need more intense therapy sessions. I didn’t want to spend every single conversation analyzing my feelings. I didn’t want that kind of help.
A strange thing happens when a true tragedy strikes you. Well, a couple of strange things actually.
The first is that you stop sweating the small stuff. Whereas once you would spend hours or days over analyzing little intrigues, or thinking the small problems to death, that all kind of stops. Because everything is tiny in comparison to the shitstorm you just went through.
The second thing that happens, is that rather than wanting to talk about it, you long to escape it. Hopefully you’re seeking professional help so you have some sort of outlet, but other than that you just want to get away from it. Because whenever you realize the gravity of what’s happened to you, you simply can’t believe that this is your life.
So you talk about it when you absolutely have no choice, yes. But if a few months have passed since the shit has hit the fan you don’t seek out the topic in conversation.
You don’t want your friends’ help. You don’t want them to help “fix” your problem. Because true tragedy is NEVER fixed. The volume may come down on it, yes. You may go from thinking about it 24/7 to once or twice a day. If you’re lucky, once or twice a week.
But none of it can be “fixed”.
And through the fight with my friend last night I finally realized this. It finally became clear. I keep away from people because I’m afraid they will try to “fix” me.
I keep away because I’m afraid they’ll want to talk about it when I don’t want to talk about it.
And then I realized that a much better solution would be to just tell them that I don’t want to talk about it. To just make it clear that they shouldn’t treat me like I’m made of spun sugar. They should treat me like they used to, with one exception:
To listen when I am ready to talk, and to respect me when I don’t want to talk.
And to never ever try to fix what will eternally be broken.