Sunday, March 5

Broken

When life and work are packed, I can almost pretend that my life is normal. I meet new people, help people smile at work, schedule my day to spend time with family and take time to relax.

But often that's not enough to overcome the feelings that undergird the rest.

I feel like I'm broken.

Specifically, I feel like a real friendship with me, a relationship with me, would never be enough for someone else, unless circumstances 'made' them choose me.

There are exceptions. My best friend is there for me whenever I need him... and while we are both broken, we've both put in effort to make the friendship work. My family is always there for me, and one blessing my siblings have is that we forgive quickly.

But I can't shake the feeling that I'm unique from the rest of my world in an awful, terrifying way. That "I am broken... so the only people who would ever be my close friends are people who are broken. And as soon as they're not broken anymore... they won't be close friends anymore."

Part of me knows that can't be completely true.

And part of me believes it to my core.

I mean, for the vast majority of my life people have come and gone. 

With rare exceptions, people don't usually seek me out to be my friend. The people who do are often searching for something specific that I can give instead of searching for *me* - they want someone who can listen, someone who cares, someone who isn't going to pass judgment or who can give advice. Which means that if I want a real friendship, I often end up being the driving force. For whatever reasons, it's incredibly difficult for others to take that role. And when I stop driving - whether from being busy in life or depression or whatever - it just disappears.

Sometimes it disappears anyway.

...

So maybe I'm broken. And this has nothing to do with being attracted to men. I have autism, bipolar, and a host of other things - and they impact my life whether anyone wants them to or not. Whether or not I am broken, however, life is definitely full of broken dreams and shattered relationships regardless of who I am and what I face.

I guess the question is this:

What am I going to do about it?

...

I could stop hoping. I've pulled myself out from the world emotionally because it hurt too much more times than I can count. The greatest pain comes when people close to me turn away or leave my life... so I could live assuming that no one will ever stay. Life can still be incredibly meaningful when I forget myself and work for others, focusing on making every moment worthwhile. That's usually my go-to.

I could numb. There are thousands of things that could distract me from reality and help me forget. Drugs and alcohol are obviously poor choices... but exercise, food, video games, hobbies, tv and movies, books, social media, and more could serve as distractions.

And then Mikey calls for help and interrupts my reverie. My family cares for an angel who has lived with us for a decade. We don't know what is happening, but the past few days she's been hallucinating worms crawling out of her skin, and bugs coating the floor. I go up to get her and she's having trouble understanding that it's Sunday, and everyone else is at Church. Yes, I may be broken, but there are people who need help far more than I do. And my ward doesn't start for a couple more hours.

I sit and read to her, and the feeling of worthlessness and aloneness fades away. My problems seem so small and insignificant in comparison. 

And then I remember the compact I made with God when I first felt wholly broken, years ago. I was as low as I could get - depressed, suicidal, alone, and disconnected... wanting only to die to make the pain go away. And somehow in that moment, I found God, and He made me a deal: I promised to spend my life reaching outward, serving others, choosing the right, focusing on making the world a better place... and He promised that in His own way, and His own time, He would meet my needs and make me whole.

I guess that's the answer.

Do my best, try to love people, try to make the world a better place, and trust that God will make it all work out.

Likely I'll forget again. Life will seem rough, people will come into my life and disappear out of it, I'll feel incredible pain and loneliness and frustration and feel broken beyond belief.

But, for right now, I see purpose in the life I live. God gave me life so that I can do His will. Perhaps, from my current perspective, I *am* broken. But that's ok.

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

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