Girl School for Grownups

Like having a big sister, but better because I can't boss you around!

Speaking the unspoken

on November 4, 2014

It’s probably blogging suicide to start a post with a disclaimer, and yet that’s what I’m gonna do. DISCLAIMER: this essay is disjointed and I can’t figure out how to fix it. But the ideas feel important, so I’m going to share it anyway. And if you want the essence of the post, here it is: read “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and consider speaking the unspoken to someone in your life. Why? Because both things will make your life better.

By now most people have seen or read or heard of the book “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” If you haven’t read it, read it now. There are few novels that have changed my behavior. This is one that did. After finishing it I felt courageous and ready to connect with those I love in deeper ways. I also felt like my heart had been pulverized and enlarged, something akin to the Grinch and how his heart grew three sizes that day.

My counselor/lifesaver Melinda uses the verbal shorthand “speak the unspoken” in both my individual and our couples counseling sessions. What she means, as I understand it, is that even though I may think for example that Tim know I appreciate how hard he works, intentionally telling him from time to time is a good thing. And I’ve been thinking about speaking the unspoken as it relates to Thanksgiving and gratitude and depression recovery.

If each month has a theme, then certainly November’s theme is gratitude. And I’ve seen many challenges on Facebook that focus on naming what you’re grateful for. Anything that turns my vision towards what I have, and away from what I don’t have is a good thing. My plan is to take this a step further and that’s where the challenge comes in.

Looking back over the last year, can you think of someone who helped you in an unexpected way? Someone who in some way made your life better? If you can, I challenge you to find that person and let them know. When I was an avid runner, I always wanted to thank the workers who keep the bathrooms at Twin Oaks park clean and stocked with toilet paper. This would be speaking the unspoken, because I was always so appreciative of the effort, but never made it known.

My pick for the challenge is my dad’s doctor, Dr. Siegel. You may know that my dad died in January of a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He was not healthy in his last years. Among his diagnoses were Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, gout, and depression. His medications were tough to keep straight. His visits to the emergency room and the doctor were many. But a bright spot in my dad’s last years was his doctor, who was unfailingly kind and patient, both with my dad and with me. My plan is to make cookies and take them to Dr. Siegel’s office along with a note telling him what a difference he made.

I will also be re-reading Perks because anything that is heart enlarging is good.

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One response to “Speaking the unspoken

  1. Julia says:

    I love you my beautiful friend! You have made a difference in the last year and continue too. I look forward to reading your blogs during my break. MISS YOU!!! XOXOX

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