Connections and Commitments

December 18, 2019-

A long absent friend re-connected with me, recently.  He told me of his  present life, as his wife’s full-time caretaker.  This, of course, brought back memories of my own situation, 9-10 years ago.  Had I to do it over again, I would, in a heartbeat.

More cogent, though, is  the question of what connections in one’s life bring about commitments.  Spouses, children and parents are obvious urgent commitments. Siblings and close friends are up there, also.  There is, though, the caveat that  people to whom your ties include respect for their individuality and privacy may not WANT anyone’s involvement in their lives.  I face this, presently, with one whom I love dearly-knowing that love is something that requires me to leave her alone, at least as long as there is not threat to her life and limb.  Even then, any involvement on my part would be in concert with her closest family members.

There is also, in a world that is, simultaneously, digitally connected and riven with anonymity and division, a tendency for the disconnected to demand attention, at least in social media and chat, for their most quotidian concerns.  I can hear people saying, “Well, aren’t 90 % or more of our day-to-day lives made up of quotidian events?”  Yes, they are, at least that much.  I belong to a social media group that is called “I Did A Thing.”  It is intended for people who have suffered from social anxiety and low self-concept, to gives themselves a boost, by sharing their everyday achievements with like-minded people.  I don’t go on there as much, as I did in the beginning of the group, nor do I see that many people using the site, anymore.  I do support those who post, some of whom I’ve met face-to-face.

The other group who post, largely in online chat forums, such as Facebook Messenger, are mentally ill adults, many of whom seem to have no other avenue to express their concerns.  Most of these posts are about issues that those of us lucky enough to have had patient, loving parents and friends are able to resolve on our own.  I have learned to schedule time, in early morning and late evening, to hear out such people and offer simple solutions, as best I can.  The issues are often repeated, day to day, but that is what any one of us may called upon to address.

Our connections do not always require commitment, especially if, as sometimes happens to me, there are more pressing matters, closer to home.  We do our best , though, as we just may be all one another have.

4 thoughts on “Connections and Commitments

  1. Hi traveler,

    In an ideal world, everybody would be “in the game” so to speak. But it is not an ideal world for me. The nuclear family, that gave birth to me, have no desire to allow me to grow up and be a man or acknowledge my existence. When I walked away from them, due to their own issues, in regards to my welfare, when I was deathly ill, forced me to make a decision, that, in the end, saved my corporeal body, from an uncertain disposition had I died.

    It has been eighteen years. still, no one wants to bury the hatchet, so I have my husband now, and my family of choice. I got off FB a very long time ago, because it was not useful any longer, but I do still use messenger for only a handful of communications, with people I have commitment with. Most of my committed work, runs face to face at meetings. For some of my men whom I work one on one with, we see each other often, to have those “I did a thing” conversations.

    However there are also those I have chosen to no longer engage. However hard this has been, I can no longer engage friends who don’t want commitment and change. I have certain friends who go dark for months at a time, then rise from darkness into a text message like, yeah, I’m still here, and in the past, i walk back into the fray. In certain cases, my presence does no good, in the long run, and hasn’t in a long time. This contact happened again recently, and I chose to remain silent. I can only help those who want help. And continually repeating the same suggestions fall on deaf ears, so I have pulled my commitment because it does not good, however heartache that brings.

    I know what suffering looks like, my marriage began with that, many years ago, and if I had to do it over again today, at least I would have past experience to draw upon, because years ago, I was flying by the seat of my pants, alone. But I stuck it out, because of love.

    I must be cautious about what I choose to do for others, and always check my motives, to make sure I am doing the right thing for the right reason. I can’t save everyone. I’ve got enough time under my belt to be able to know what I can handle and what I can offer on a one to one basis.

    Another Christmas will come next week, and the ideal nuclear wish, won’t come true, because some people just won’t accept their roles in the entire life production, rather they lay blame for all of their problems, in my lap, alone. And everyone played their role, but I am the one who got sober, but still pay for my sins, to this very day, and that haunts me gravely. I am powerless over people, and I know today that even though they call me the mistake, that I am NOT a mistake. There is the distinction.

    We help where we can, based on our abilities. You are a good human being with good morals and values, and I know that guides your decisions. Merry Ho Ho.


    Liked by 1 person

    • No, you are not a mistake. As the old saying goes, “God didn’t make no junk”. Each of us can only help those who are open to help, and there is no shame in recognizing that, and living accordingly. A safe and productive 2020 to you, Jeremy!


  2. There are so many broken individuals – some want to heal and change and others refuse to let go of the habits and mindsets that hold them hostage. You are wise to make a distinction and only offer support when it is asked for and when it will actually make a difference. Sometime people just want a sympathetic ear…

    Liked by 1 person

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