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Difficult times

From: Australia South Australia Adelaide @melcyan Time : 2020-05-20 17:02:33

 "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference."

 

It does not matter whether you direct these words to God, Nature or the inner workings of your own mind - these words are powerful to use in difficult times. They were written during the Great Depression of the 1930's - a time of immense suffering.

 

You could be forgiven for thinking that these words are thousands of years old. They sound so much like the words of Marcus Aurelius, the great Stoic philosopher.

 

As I get older and experience more and more suffering in life, the wisdom of these words grows larger. These words mean a lot to me. Almost as much as the words commonly attributed to Gandhi "Be the change that you want to see in this world".  Apparently, the closest Gandhi ever got to saying this was when he said "If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.  We need not wait to see what others do.” I like the simpler version better.

 

I would like to know what keeps other CLM members going in difficult times. As I write rain is teaming down. The noise from the iron roof of this room is almost deafening.    .……………………… I'm back. Just had to put plastic over some furniture. My roof is leaking. Why I am smiling broadly? I don't know. I should have fixed the leak years ago but it only leaks when the rain is at its worst and the wind is blowing fiercely from one particular direction. Hopefully, this house that I have owned for more than three decades will be sold before winter starts in June of next year.

 

There is an enormous power of perspective that is gained when you see your problems as "words on paper".  During the difficult times of Covid-19, there is some down to earth honesty about daily life seeping through the never-ending fabrications of social media. This honesty draws us together in our common humanity. There is also room here, anonymous or not, for you to share an honest glimpse, no matter how small or large, of your daily "struggle" in difficult times.

 

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From: Australia South Australia Adelaide @melcyan Time : 2020-05-23 14:19:03 #1

Thanks Covid-19! Today is the day I was supposed to walk my only daughter down the aisle on the other side of the planet. Instead I will go to my partner's place for an evening meal and raise a distant toast to my daughter and her husband ( They married earlier in a registry office instead). Is it a disaster? Not really. Was a lot of money lost? Yes, but new connections were made and real heart to heart conversations took place that may have not taken place otherwise. Newlyweds are often challenged in a wedding speech to reflect on what is truly important in life. Covid-19 beat me to it.

 

My daughter sent me flowers today to acknowledge the love and support that I have given to her and her husband. I was touched. It is the first time ever that I alone have been given flowers with a heartfelt note attached. My daughter has always been one to set her own course in life and she will probably live the rest of her life in England. Covid-19 has changed the nature of our conversations and brought us closer together. Covid-19 has also made deep meaningful conversations between me and her husband possible.

 

Our response to adversity is far more important than the adversity itself.

 

From: Australia South Australia Adelaide @melcyan Time : 2020-07-19 22:31:14 #2

What happens when both you and your partner hit a rock bottom moment at the same time?

 

I find it hard to believe that I never thought of planning for this eventuality in my previous relationships. However, there is a real need to talk about each other's previous experiences of rock bottom moments in life and how you recovered from those lows.

 

My partner and I have had these conversations previously and even more following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. My partner only stays at my place two days a fortnight now instead of the two days a week pattern that existed before Covid-19 started. My partner is paranoid about Covid-19 because of her 93-year-old mother who she cares for almost 24/7.

 

Right now she is very down due to fatigue. Right now I am down due to a once a year chemical treatment of my face to remove embryonic skin cancers. It leaves my face red and scabs form where embryonic skin cancers are present.

 

In our healthier moments we have described to the other in great detail how we feel at these times. We flagged to each other in recent days that we were both experiencing a rock bottom moment. My partner is coming over to my place for 2 days starting tomorrow morning. Normally she brings plenty of food and feels guilty if she does not. The only food to be brought over tomorrow will be just for herself and one meal only.  She often teases me about not doing enough cooking for her. Tonight she did not tease me at all because she knew I was down.

 

Are you willing to prepare for the inevitable experience of dual rock bottom moments with a present/future partner?

 

From: China 浙江(zhe jiang) 杭州(hang zhou ) @JohnAbbot Time : 2020-07-20 12:45:00 #3

I find that depression is catching and it almost always creates situations in which it will inevitably be torturing both my partner and myself at the same time. And no, we are not co-dependent. 

I often feel that depression is a living evil spirit that skulks around our house, watching and waiting for that moment when one of us is feeling a little weak mentally or emotionally. Upon detecting the moment has arrived he/she/it then leaps into action and converts one of us having a singular feeling of a little angst into both of us suffering a slide into the dual rock bottom moments you have described. 

This doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it sneaks up fairly quickly and neither of us is prepared for it. However, these events are not long lasting either. Usually within a day or two, if not hours, we have jointly made the climb out of the pit and we usually reach the top at the same time.

And then normal life goes on...

From: Australia South Australia Adelaide @melcyan Time : 2020-07-20 19:07:12 #4

@JohnAbbot

Sorry John, maybe I could have been clearer with my words. My partner and I often take turns to lean on each other. It is a rare event for us to hit rock bottom at the same time. The point that I was trying to make is that we were fully prepared for this rare event. We understood what the other was going through because of previous open honest conversations about how we handled our deepest lows. We were not able to do anything for the other beyond silent understanding and compassion. That was enough. Today we are both in a much better place.

 

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