We All Need Somebody to Lean On

 

In the past I have often said that I’m an introvert; at the same time, I’ve thought of myself as the kind of person that people could reach out to. I’ve wanted to be a caring and reliable friend. Many of you who read my posts know a great deal about my life, and I like it that way. At times my approach to writing makes me more vulnerable than I like, but I feel compelled to share.

So over the last couple of months I’ve shared my health issues—endlessly, it seems. (The final result showed no cancer.) Some of you may have felt at times that I provided far too much information, but hopefully realized you could skip over those posts from Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. I don’t think I would write a health-related post in that much detail again, since some people may have been offended by them, and I could understand that reaction to its intimate details.

But I hope in all my sharing that an important point was not lost.

We live a world where chaos and evil exist. And I am committed to fighting both as fervently as I can. But these global events also hit us at a personal, intimate level. Many of us realize that the most resilient person is more exposed than he or she would like to be. We are vulnerable physically, emotionally and spiritually. And I, for one, have learned that I can’t—won’t even try—to make this journey alone.

In speaking out to the Ricochet community, particularly on this latest health issue, I felt surrounded by concern, support and even love. You stuck by me, even when you might have been repulsed by the details or annoyed with my expressions of vulnerability. And you might have even wanted to lecture me on my being indiscreet in the amount of information I shared. Through all of that, you stayed with me. And I am ever so grateful. Bill Withers expresses this sentiment so very well:

We all need somebody to lean on.

* * * * *

I know this isn’t my music post, but if you have other songs you’d like to share that encourage us to help out each other, feel free to post it here.

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    … and I’m very introverted.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Percival (View Comment):

    … and I’m very introverted.

    And I know a lot of people on this site know that you are a friend to them. 

    We could start an Introvert’s group but I don’t think anyone would come! Thanks, Percival.

    • #2
  3. PHenry Member
    PHenry
    @PHenry

    Susan, I for one never felt you were offering too much information, and as on some level I feel we are acquaintances or even friends, I was grateful for the updates on your health.  I hope in some small way we could offer you some comfort as you went through what appeared to be quite an ordeal.  

    I suppose some may have found it discomforting to hear your story, but then, they don’t have to read your Dr.  Quinn posts, do they?  

    While it may be that it was done for your own reasons, your story was helpful to me as I am trying to navigate my mothers medical journey and found much of what you expressed in common with her experience, and very helpful in understanding what kind of stresses are involved and maybe how to best assist her in her own.  

    Thank you for your brave honesty through it all, and thank G-d you are cancer free.  

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    PHenry (View Comment):

    Susan, I for one never felt you were offering too much information, and as on some level I feel we are acquaintances or even friends, I was grateful for the updates on your health. I hope in some small way we could offer you some comfort as you went through what appeared to be quite an ordeal.

    I suppose some may have found it discomforting to hear your story, but then, they don’t have to read your Dr. Quinn posts, do they?

    While it may be that it was done for your own reasons, your story was helpful to me as I am trying to navigate my mothers medical journey and found much of what you expressed in common with her experience, and very helpful in understanding what kind of stresses are involved and maybe how to best assist her in her own.

    Thank you for your brave honesty through it all, and thank G-d you are cancer free.

    I’m deeply touched by your comment, @phenry, and love the fact that I might have been helpful in your assisting your mother. I know you’ve had your personal challenges and appreciate the connection I share with you and so many others. Thanks.

    • #4
  5. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    As important as independence is, interdependence is inescapable.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):
    As important as independence is, interdependence is inescapable.

    I think that relationships are vital to a healthy human existence. The need for interdependence helps even the most independent of us to seek out others–even in small doses!

    • #6
  7. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I am not sure, that we all get someone to lean on. Especially men I. Our society. I can say categorically that as a man, I am not allowed to be the one who leans on others. That is the lot of a man, especially a white one.

    • #7
  8. Southern Pessimist Member
    Southern Pessimist
    @SouthernPessimist

    If you haven’t watched the documentary, Still Bill, you need to. It is available on multiple streaming services.

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I am not sure, that we all get someone to lean on. Especially men I. Our society. I can say categorically that as a man, I am not allowed to be the one who leans on others. That is the lot of a man, especially a white one.

    I’m sorry that you feel that way Bryan. I read your comment to my husband, and without any coaxing from me, he took exception. A lot of men may feel that way, but not all of them. We lean on each other, and I may lean on him a lot more than he leans on me, but it’s a partnership.

    • #9
  10. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I am not sure, that we all get someone to lean on. Especially men I. Our society. I can say categorically that as a man, I am not allowed to be the one who leans on others. That is the lot of a man, especially a white one.

    I’m sorry that you feel that way Bryan. I read your comment to my husband, and without any coaxing from me, he took exception. A lot of men may feel that way, but not all of them. We lean on each other, and I may lean on him a lot more than he leans on me, but it’s a partnership.

     

    In our society, the Man is supposed to be the tent pole. I think this cartoon captures that, both in having to be the grown up, and the dad then still awake while the family has fallen asleep. There is a profound truth in that. It is not all there is, but we should acknowledge that out society does not support men as it should, and does not encourage men to seek support. I have yet to work with a man in therapy who claims not to have heard this directive from society. 

    My wife supports me, as do my friends. I do have people to lean on. It is also not socially acceptable. 

    And. 

    At the end of the day, my family is my responsibility. 

     

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    In our society, the Man is supposed to be the tent pole. I think this cartoon captures that, both in having to be the grown up, and the dad then still awake while the family has fallen asleep. There is a profound truth in that. It is not all there is, but we should acknowledge that out society does not support men as it should, and does not encourage men to seek support. I have yet to work with a man in therapy who claims not to have heard this directive from society. 

    My wife supports me, as do my friends. I do have people to lean on. It is also not socially acceptable. 

    And. 

    At the end of the day, my family is my responsibility. 

    I can’t fault a word of that.

    • #11
  12. Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Member
    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing)
    @Sisyphus

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    … and I’m very introverted.

    And I know a lot of people on this site know that you are a friend to them.

    We could start an Introvert’s group but I don’t think anyone would come! Thanks, Percival.

    I thought there was one, but I’m not finding it. I suspect the site has a very high percentage of introverts in the membership, so we could just designate the whole thing an introvert support group.

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    … and I’m very introverted.

    And I know a lot of people on this site know that you are a friend to them.

    We could start an Introvert’s group but I don’t think anyone would come! Thanks, Percival.

    I thought there was one, but I’m not finding it. I suspect the site has a very high percentage of introverts in the membership, so we could just designate the whole thing an introvert support group.

    Good point! Works for me! 😊

    • #13
  14. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    … and I’m very introverted.

    And I know a lot of people on this site know that you are a friend to them.

    We could start an Introvert’s group but I don’t think anyone would come! Thanks, Percival.

    I thought there was one, but I’m not finding it. I suspect the site has a very high percentage of introverts in the membership, so we could just designate the whole thing an introvert support group.

    I had the idea of starting a Procrastinator’s group, but I kept putting it off.

    • #14
  15. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    Susan Quinn: I know this isn’t my music post, but if you have other songs you’d like to share that encourage us to help out each other, feel free to post it here.

    I’ll second @percival for James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend” and add “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story, and “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King

    Honorary mention goes to…

    “Thank You for Being a Friend” is a great song, apart from being the theme of Golden Girls

    Girl friends or guy friends, Garth Brooks has it covered for a night out with “Friends in Low Places”.

    War’s classic tune “Why Can’t We Be Friends” has crossed my mind more than once lately with the racial hullabaloo.  Bonus chuckle at these lines:  “I know you’re working for the C.I.A.  They wouldn’t have you in the Mafia.”

    I’ve always thought someone who can call their life partner “My Best Friend” like in Queen’s song is very fortunate

    • #15
  16. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    … and I’m very introverted.

    And I know a lot of people on this site know that you are a friend to them.

    We could start an Introvert’s group but I don’t think anyone would come! Thanks, Percival.

    I thought there was one, but I’m not finding it. I suspect the site has a very high percentage of introverts in the membership, so we could just designate the whole thing an introvert support group.

    There was a poll on this subject a long time ago and as I recall introverts on the site far outnumbered that other (superficial) type. 

    • #16
  17. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Sandy (View Comment):
    There was a poll on this subject a long time ago and as I recall introverts on the site far outnumbered that other (superficial) type.

    It’s Father’s Day weekend, and I’m missing my dad today. So I have to say this. My dad was a computer “geek” before that word was invented. :-) He certainly loved the hours he spent as a tinkerer.

    But he was also an old-fashioned salesman, and he was not superficial at all. My dad was a very religious guy who knew that people need each other. He was actually pretty deep. :-)

    He started out working for DEC, one of the giant computer companies who invested a lot in their sales force the way IBM did and still does. Then he went out on his own and built a nice little business. His clients adored him. He was so outgoing, always had a funny story (of course, computers were very funny when they first made their appearance), and he made hundreds of lifelong friends. He was always active in his church.

    I love extroverts. They take big risks in social situations, and I’m so glad they do. Blessed be the people who make us laugh. :-)

    • #17
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