First and foremost, to those of you that have emailed or commented your words of support, they are appreciated. Many of you have started off by saying that you know what I was saying wasn't meant to elicit guilt or sympathy but you felt compelled to offer it anyway. For that, I thank you.
The one question that I have heard a few times is why I haven't reached out sooner or more overtly or, as one person said, at all.
Good question. I don't really have a good answer to go with it.
Part of me wants to think that I am emotionally stronger than I really am. I try not to show how vulnerable I am or the low self esteem I have been hiding. When people hurl ugly, vicious, spiteful words at me, I do my best not to flinch, to not let on that their words stung or, in some cases, wounded me to the quick.
Part of me wants to think that I can do so many things on my own that I don't need the help or support of my friends and colleagues. I try to do too much and take on too much that I don't recognize when that burden is finally taking its toll on me until it's too late.
In a way, this is me reaching out. It's baby steps but it's what I have to work with.
Growing up, I remember a song that I heard sung in a concert at my church. I don't remember much of the song but I do remember one line rather vividly -- "I'm a masterpiece in progress."
That's what I'm going to start referring to myself as now. It's seems more apt and more positive.