Not a week after my breakup and I’m already back to “cheerleader” mode. Not an actual cheerleader, mind you, since I can’t dance to save my life. I’m talking about the peppy, trying-to-cheer-everyone-up kind. I’m almost back to my normal, pre-breakup optimism, to be honest.
And why is that? You’d never guess.
It’s all because of my friends, and their problems.
Of course, I’m still a bit sad despite the amicable breakup. I miss my ex a lot. It’s a testament to how sudden, although not unexpected, our breakup is when we both admit it feels weird to refer to each other as an “ex”. We’re emailing, which I feel brings closure and I’m healing from the separation, but it’s a relationship which I predict I will still feel nostalgic, sometimes really sad, over even after a month.
Yet I’m peppy. My best friend just asked me why I was the one doing the inspiration talk for her instead of her giving me the pep talk. I think she found it amusing, but in all honesty, I’m grateful. Her hurt (also romantic & man-related) gave me some perspective.
And it’s the same with other friends. People are suddenly depressed for various reasons - romantic, vice-related, familial, career-wise. Not to sound like some wannabe saint, but my instinct tells me to comfort. It may be the people pleaser in me (which I find annoying at times), but I just want to cheer them up. I hate seeing or hearing about friends or family getting down, b/c for me, they are my rocks, the shoulders I cry on and basically I care about these people who are a part of my life. So I try to cheer them up, and in a why, I am comforted, too, because I know they would do (or have done) the same for me. I reason with them and we talk over what blessings they do have in their lives, and somewhere down the line I am reminded of my blessings, too.
Their problems also gave me my very own reality check. Other people have bigger and much worse issues to deal with. I’m not dismissing my own pain, b/c that would be counter-productive and impossible, but the reality of life and the big picture gives me perspective.
- My problem is not as bad as a nasty breakup, because I had a choice in the decision and my ex was not an asshole about it. He was great ‘til the last goodbye, and he still is.
- My breakup isn’t a loss because my ex and I are still good friends. I haven’t lost the friendship or the connection I’ve invested in our relationship.
- My drama hurts but it’s not as grave as coping with addiction. I am not hurting myself or others with this problem.
- My issue may be painful, but it’s not as worse an upheaval as that of disease, death or marital troubles.
- I have survived the bouts of misery and nostalgia of this past week, and my friends have given me golden advice about acceptance and the good benefits of crying it out.
- I have an AC if it’s hot, an internet connection to communicate with my friends, hundreds of books within reach and a computer I can study on.
- I have many opportunities for work or further studies.
- I have freedom of speech and the right to my opinion, as crazy or liberal as it may be.
- I’ve got God, my faith and the chance and ability to love again.
- And most importantly, I have food on the table, fresh running water, access to healthcare and a roof over my head.
Getting some perspective is actually kind of cool. Instead of moping, you just want to fight for your happiness b/c you can. And when you can, you have no excuses not to strive to be better.
So my preoccupation with being optimistic for my friends, plus the fact that others’ problems and issues around the world give me a constant reality check, can all be summed up as Tada! Successful distraction measures!
All of it led to one good thing - I am not as sad anymore, but thankful for friends, family and God’s grace. Sometimes inner strength is fed by external forces and learning experiences.