The right words

I feel like sometimes the universe hears you, and responds in kind. I had lamented in yesterday’s post my dislike of meaningless phrases and unhelpful comments. Today, a friend proved to me the power of the right words.

I’m having a bad day. I made the mistake of listening to an NPR segment about the devastating effects of the lockdown on the live music industry, and that just sent me into a tailspin. I had already had one breakdown before I set off on my standing Tuesday afternoon date.

My friend Lilly and I have been doing our socially distanced walks for weeks, and it’s been a good way to get some fresh air and vent our frustrations. And today I vented, because I’m sad, and worried, and angry, and scared. I was blotting tears with my sleeve as we walked.

Her response was simple: it sucks, I don’t know what to tell you because there’s nothing I can do that’s going to make it better, and I can’t even hug you right now, which sucks too, but I love you.

Sometimes the right words don’t try to solve problems, or offer some platitude, or make vague promises of a better future. Sometimes it helps to say, yes, this is not good. And there’s nothing you or I can do. And that all I can do is be your support, to be your friend.

Truth is a comfort. Simplicity is a comfort. Friendship is a comfort.

What things do you take comfort in?

My task today: try a new stretching class online. I’ve been good about running and doing some plyometrics and using exercise bands, but yoga and stretching have kind of gone out the door. (not done…yet! But the night is young…)

6 thoughts on “The right words

  1. We all need just a little something to just take the edge off, even a friend can’t make it all better but a tiny light at the end of the tunnel, a word of hope.can help us get through a bad day or in this case a few weeks. I think time cures all things, and hope. It’s like Scarlet in gone with the wind. Tomorow is another day.


  2. Wayne Zelenak says:

    Sarah, I have learned from past experiences with chronic anxiety that problems, issues, and bad news are exacerbated and should be avoided because they can lead to a panic attack which is far worse. physical pain from injuries are temporary and soon pass, but mental anguish affects behavior, mood, and cognitive awareness.

    Inspiring words seem meaningless for those suffering from anxiety and the one thing I found useful is to have a friend to listen to you regardless of time, place, or conditions. In the early hours of the morning during sleepless nights, negative thoughts haunt you like an invisible phantom lurking around every corner of every room. Physical activity, projects, and mundane chores are beneficial but fear, sadness, anger, loneliness, and nightmares prevail.

    The question remains, what things do I take comfort in is irrelevant because I am not suffering from anxiety at this time. I have no words to become a panacea or silver bullet to end the misery. My only comment is to have a trusted friend available to listen 24/7, especially at night.

    I hope my comments are helpful in a dialogue between viral friends and one who listens and understands.


  3. ‘What things do you take comfort in?’
    The wisdom seen in the eyes of some elders sitting silently on a rocking chair. Listen carefully to their silence speaks. We should be inspired by their sounds of silence.


    1. chefdorch says:

      American culture tends to be so youth-centric, it’s a good reminder to consider the wisdom of those who have seen much of life!


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