Crisis Fatigue

I have been realizing that there is a problem with my support system, in that unless I am melting down, I can’t seem to get anyone to understand where I am emotionally.  If I say “I’m depressed and numb” it doesn’t seem to get anywhere.  I wonder if I’ve inadvertently connected with people who only respond to perceived crisis, because that is how they generate their own momentum.

It’s taken me a while to realize that I have a little bit of crisis fatigue.  I feel like people where I live have a tendency to react to normal everyday issues and problems on a level that I try and reserve for actual super crazy out of the blue stuff.  It seems so ubiquitous around me, that I adopted it.  I’ve worked really hard this year so far to step outside of not only my reaction to it, but also my instigation of it. I’ve listened to my friends say similar about other people when literally in the middle of doing it themselves, so I know that I have done the same.

I’ve also seen my friends in actual crisis not getting the response that they actually need because of this crisis fatigue (either from me or from other people).  I never, ever want to get to that place. I want to know that I can rely on my community if I need to, and I never want people to feel put out or burdened by me.

Not that I don’t have loving, caring people around me, but I think since everyone has this weird crisis mentality, there’s a tendency to ignore what is happening around you while shouting the loudest.  Or to conflagrate something into a bigger issue than it is.  I start out telling my friends a crazy situation, and they jump right on board with how bad and unfair it is and I end up feeling so much worse.  And since I know we attract what we are sometimes, I have to do that too.  Have I bought into a weird hipster empathy that is hollow?  Probably.  But I have great power to change and influence my life and community.

There is a chasm in my friend circle here, and it is that I will always be walled up about things.  And that is no one’s fault but my own.  I should not be the person who tests the waters, but I am, and when it turns out they are too cold, I don’t jump in.  And when it comes to what is important to me, the local waters are frigid.

I don’t want to go back to having no friends here.  The idea is exhausting.  I don’t want to cut myself off from friendship.  I know I probably need to widen my circle and find people with similar values, interests and ambition as myself.  I just don’t think about it too much until I’m too tired and I need that person already.  I miss living in a place where I can just call someone to come pray with me, or to sing over me, or to study with me. I miss living in a place where people call me to do those things for them.  It’s the only thing that matters to me… why haven’t I put more effort into finding those people?

Part of it is probably fear.  I really really miss my friends.  Larky, Stephy, Liesl… I left pieces of my heart behind and I feel them, cheesy as it sounds, just like Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre said, affixed to my rib cage and the heartstrings pulled so tight.  There’s a thousand times a day that something wonderful occurs to me and maybe I should pick up the phone and write letters and send emails more often, but it hurts to be so far away, it’s hard to make myself feel that hurt every time.  I’ve never been good at it.

I know that makes me keep people at arms length, and I know that those friends I’ve had for over a decade will always be unmatched.  But does that mean I have to go on through life without someone to collaborate with and adventure with here?  I don’t even know how to meet someone like that.  I’ve been crazy lucky in the past, and just made some divine appointments with kindred spirits.  How much can one person expect that in a lifetime?