An exploration of the poetry of

Do I even want friends?

A recent blog described a sound healing experience that I had; and in the weeks that have followed that sound healing, I have noticed a lot of shadow aspects of myself coming back around.

When I wrote this blog about friends back in January, I felt that I had come to some sort of conclusion about my need to re-connect with myself. My hope was that if I could re-connect with what I enjoy doing, then maybe I would make friends as a side benefit.

But in the six months that have passed, when I re-read that blog and finally posted it, I kind of feel like I have moved further away from what I enjoy, and have added in more ‘stuff’ that passes as socialising, but really isn’t – not to me at least.

Starting an Instagram profile to share my poetry has provided me with some opportunities to connect or re-connect with people. But it has taken me away from the enjoyment and connection to self and source that I get when I write. This is because instead of using my ‘creative time’ to write, I have been using it mainly to create content for Instagram using things that I’ve already written.

When I stopped blogging I lost a big outlet for healing 

I have had a lot of challenges this year, so I could easily use any of those challenges as the ‘reason’ for feeling disconnected and depressed. And they do contribute. But when I stopped blogging, I lost a big outlet for healing. By focusing on getting eyes on my writing, I lost sight of how much writing helps me navigate this world. How much it helps me process and understand my emotions; how it helps me break out of the cycle of overthinking and ruminating.

So here I am. Writing. Because it’s part of my healing the shadow aspects that are coming into the light. And they all lead back to ‘the one great snake’ of self-acceptance. The shadow aspects splinter off, and show themselves to me in different ways, through different themes.

woman writing in journal

Facing the shadows

And the theme of friendship is one I have wrestled with. In fact, I have written more than one blog about friendship that I have neglected to post. I think that in and of itself speaks to the vulnerability that I feel around my experiences with friendships.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been presented with opportunities to see into the shadows; and wow – it’s been intense. 

I have had some very painful thoughts come up; as if serpents are hissing, but the words come from whatever it is that I call me:  

“I’ve been replaced.”

“Everyone else has a best friend and I’m always the periphery friend”

“Why is it never me that someone feels like that about?” 

“Nobody can cope with my intensity – once they get to really know me, they don’t stick around.”

“If they really knew how I felt about (insert issue) they would hate me.”

“Why would anyone want to be my friend? I have nothing to offer.”

“I’m actually a terrible friend.”

“I just don’t fit into (insert group) and I will never fit anywhere”

“Everyone abandons me eventually”

woman with hands over ears and fingers pointing at her

Do I want friends?

And then there has been a lot of questioning whether I do want friends. And if so, why?

“Do I actually want friends, or do I just want someone to listen to my shit?”

“If I just want someone to listen to my shit, I already have people I pay to listen to my shit (therapist, coaches, counsellors).”

“Do I only want friends because society makes it seem abnormal if you don’t have friends?”

“Can I accept that I am not like everyone else? That my connection needs are different?”

“Do I miss the social connection I used to have with my family? Am I trying to fill that with friends?”

“Would I have maintained a friendship with (friend) if (friend) didn’t make all the effort?”

“Am I a self-centred person who only wants a friendship on my terms?”

“Am I trying to fit myself into society’s ideas about friendship rather than accepting that my ASD / ADHD neurology means that I have different needs / ideas / expectations for friendship?”

red pencil standing out from group of black pencils

Can I make space for compassion?

And as these many thoughts coil around my mind, I find myself following some little threads that help me out of the pain and suffering. Thoughts that are softer. Quieter. Simpler. In fact, I have to really focus in order to hear what they are saying.

And these are the thoughts of compassion. And actually, they present as more than just thoughts. They are knowings. They are happenings. Compassion is an action, or so it seems.

And when I connect with the aspect of myself that is hurting, no words are necessary. I turn my attention inward; to that wounded child inside. Without words, I as the adult-me, drops all pretence of finding answers to all of the questions that the slithering snakes have been hissing at me. And I sense that the child-me just needs to be held in the right now moment, cradled against my heart, until she feels safe enough to look into my eyes. And when she looks up she finds, reflected back at her, the pure knowing that love is accessible to all those who seek.

woman holding child

Can I stop spinning long enough to find stillness? 

And the answers are never found within the thinking mind; they are not found in the judgements and the questioning. They are found in stillness. But in order to be still I have to stop spinning.

And sometimes I am wound up so tight that I can’t find the end of the string; but eventually it pulls so tight that it breaks me. And I have no choice but to stop spinning.

And when I stop spinning, it’s doesn’t always mean that I find answers immediately. Often I spend some time shut down and cocooning before I find myself noticing what the stillness is inviting me to see.     

And I accept that the snakes will always be slithering; that the peace I feel is momentary. But at least I know that the light exists and that darkness will never completely consume me.