As humans we are a strange mix of self reliant and pack dependent. Our pack changes depending on our stage of life, and what our current needs are. Family is our first pack, then we morph through school friends and onwards into life.
As we grow older so our pack, and our needs change. Some of us, myself included, become relatively self reliant, but with a strong group of core friends. Some of mine I have known for decades, others years or even just months.
Time isn’t a measure of depth of friendship. More the requirement that those people have helped us meet. Or in more basic terms the issues and tough times that they have stood by outside. The steps on our journeys we have shared. The times we have just sat in silence knowing we are there for each other.
I’ve been having a particularly rough time recently. In reality the last twelve years or so have been fairly horrific, although with some massive highs also.
The thing that has always got me through this has been my pack. Those friends that know that something is not right, and who have rallied to support me.
The last few months I have been pulling on this group more. Their support, in whatever form it has been given, has been monumental and also very much more meaningful than they know.
Over the last few weeks I have started to be more aware of some around me. Those who have shown some signs of moving from that self reliant state to the state of being supported.
Perversely for some that means removing themselves from a group, into solitude in a different environment. For others it has meant seeking comfort within a group.
For all they have known where to go to get that. I also do that. I know the places I can get the boost I need, the people who will offer what I need at a point in time.
This made me realise that we are lucky. We have these people, these places, the mechanisms to be able to reach out and find support.
One of the things that triggered this thinking was a campaign supported by a chocolate company. Blank packaging for their product. The words from it donated.
What did that mean?
The point of the campaign was to highlight the number of people who spend days without any form of interaction with others.
This triggered the thought in my mind of just how awful that would be. Even though I love solitude. Walking alone with headphones in, exploring, thinking, reflecting and planning. Solo runs are more my thing than Parkrun style groups.
But that is all through choice, not through circumstance. How horrid must it be to be alone, not knowing when you may next see or speak to another person.
I am rambling now, back to the point. How you read this post will depend on your perspective. I hope that it provokes some thought with readers.
Either to reach out if you need to, to continue to support if that’s what you do. To think of your pack and where you get support.
Maybe even to think about others who may have very limited social interaction. Even if it is just a hello, a thank you, a how do you do
I know my pack, I know where to get support and how I give support (even though there are many ways I impact people of which I am not aware – big thanks to those who help me see these).
Do you know yours?
Where you go for support?
Who you support?