My hairdresser is retiring tomorrow at 75. She has Parkinson's and with surgery she has been able to continue cutting hair until now. She a strong willed woman who still isn't sure whether it is the right time to retire or not. For the few of us that are still her clients it is time.
So I had my last hair cut this week. I was a little emotional to think she will never again cut my hair. She is an excellent hairdresser with 50 years experience and even with the aging years and the Parkinson's I have no complaints. Maybe just a few.
We are a tough breed those that have survived living with alcoholism and addition. We dig in and never surrender even when we have every right to do so. My friend is tough as nails and I have never heard her complain not even once. When she got the diagnosis ten years ago she said when they told her the news she said "I am happy it isn't cancer."
I won't say it has been all fun and games. Having brain surgery isn't anything to take too lightly. I have to say I wasn't a great friend at the time. I had lost everything including my mind and was barely making it myself. Before the surgery we did have weekly meditations on my porch after dinner.
Four or five of us would gather around the table and hold hands and sit in silence. This sometimes would last and hour. It would end spontaneously one person coming out of it and then the rest. We were linked so closely at that time everyone seemed to need the support. When we came out of it we would go around the table and talk about what we saw or felt and everyone would comment. The after talks were very healing. I couldn't have made it without those nights.
My friend is a silent sufferer not like me. I don't know if it is because she doesn't want the disease to get top billing or because she doesn't want to bother us with the details. Of course we don't ask it is our way. My friends and I are all the same expecting that if a person needs help they should say so.
Fat chance of that we have too much pride and stubbornness to admit when we need something. Forever autonomous declining all outside contributions. This is why we feel so lonely sometimes because we don't want to depend on other people. The people we have depended on have let us down so we are better off relying on ourselves that trusting another. We are more comfortable being trusted than trusting.
I have learned through the program that you can trust some people. The friends I talk about here I have know 20 plus years and they are all still around. What I do know now is that you have to know who to trust and know that when you get disappointed it isn't about you. Sometimes the other person is dealing with their own crisis and can't live up to your expectations.
Just like me I failed these same friends when I lost myself. They were use to me pulling things together like I did those meditation nights. I always kept things going no matter what happen. I had been the rock but even the rock can be submerged by a big storm.
I am happy to be back now even though I am changed forever. Everyone has accepted me the way I am even though I am different. When my friend got her diagnosis I went out and bought every book possible on Parkinson's. The other day one of my friends mentioned that to me and then he said " the person that bought those books doesn't exist anymore." I said "that is true,"
I don't believe in regrets. I believe you do your best even if it is not good enough for other people or even yourself. It is all you have on any given day. We get into trouble when we set standards for other people and for ourselves and we get hurt when they don't adhere to our standards.
Over the years I have been able to let go an forgive the past by imagining what the other person must have been going through to do the things they did to me. Sadly it was never about me it was about their own demons and I was just part of the fall out. I took those hurts and made them about me and believed I was a problem that needed to be fixed. When I couldn't find a way to fix myself I couldn't accept this and I crashed.
When I recovered it was because I realized this was what I believed. I believed I was a problem and there was no solution. With grace I found this lie I had been told and kept telling myself. I am not a problem to be fixed I am just me living in a world with people just like me just trying to find a way to be happy.
I am free today. I am free to do what is right for me and to mess things up if that is what happens. I can know that I can't control really anything so I can relax and enjoy the moment and deal with whatever comes my way today without bracing myself for it.