Once a week I sit in a room for a couple of hours with some of the bravest people I know. They wouldn't characterise themselves thus but I don't know how else to describe them. It took me a long time to work up the courage to start going to these group meetings. Each week as Tuesday evening rolls around I go through a mental tussle with my cowardly side which would prefer that I stay at home rather than venture forth to sit face to face with other people who know exactly how it feels to both want and not want to be there.
Kindness abounds, but not necessarily softness because one thing these guys do in full measure is honesty. Sometimes I get frightened by the things that are said. People revealing some of their deepest vulnerabilities to one another is quite awe inspiring to witness. Listening is a healing experience in itself and yet not one person speaks in order to burden another with the task of fixing them. Their only request is to be heard.
Every once in a while I speak too. I don't say much because I find it hard to hold myself together in places where it isn't necessary to pretend that all is well with me. Even so I say what I can when I can. I like the fact that these people are in no rush. They don't want to mend me although they're happy to keep me company whilst I try to put the pieces back together myself ... just as I keep them company whilst they do their own mending. I like that they are working through their own issues and feel vulnerable in much the same way that I do.
In life we can sometimes feel very alone in our individual battles and yet all around us are these quietly desperate wars raging on behind the seemingly serene visages we like to present to one another. When I walk into the rooms I know that there will be people there who are willing and able to talk about the difficult stuff that hardly anyone wants to discuss. Such brave folk.