Thursday, 30 October 2008

In The Middle Of Somewhere?

The ominous lingering of my reclusive state is starting to whisper my name. I try to ignore the voice that tells me: 'what is the point?'
Each time I have seen the flickering glimmers of hope, my enthusiasm has been stifled. Too many times my willingless to be involved was dismissed. My proposed input was greeted with apathy and indifference. For I am a man just trying to be a part of something, yet that 'something' mostly eludes me. It teases me from a distance. What does it take to be accepted?
Yes I am the reluctant recluse. With every thread of my courage, I proceed out the front door. I try to exude kindness, compassion and I know my ability to make people laugh is infectious. Inside this man, their is a much different story. A tale of terror, a tale of pain and loneliness. Yet there is a perception that I'm okay.
Well that perception is wrong. I am not okay. Yes I do the best I can but I do it on my own. In a way, the fact that I have had to get on with it, has made me proud of what can be accomplished without support. I am a very busy recluse. I have been busy being a Father, busy acting as a Mother, busy being mentally ill. Despite all these challenges, somehow, my positive attitude glows with the thought, that soon, on that very magical day, I will realise my own inner peace.
There is a perception that I am out their social networking. I do see the occasional person and I am most grateful for this. Yet mostly I sit here and try to interact with my online community of friends. They have been a vital lifeline, in a life that is full of bizarre extremes. This virtual world has given me the chance to finally be involved with people who are becoming a circle of empathy.
To reduce the pain and anxiety of my reclusive state, during the last two Christmas days, I have stayed online in a mental health forum 'chat room'. I announced that I was there for anyone who was in a situation similar to mine, or anyone who just wanted to chat. From early morning until late at night, I stayed online. Nothing happened. I sat there in the haunting quiet of my home, stared at our dog Penny and I cried. That is my reality, a reality that may strike a chord with those of you who have been overwhelmed by relentless isolation.
Despite what I have just written, deep within me beats the possiblity that I can truly be a part of something very special. So here I am, still surrounded by own nagging self doubts. Still trying to discover some self esteem and make a positive impact in this world.
I am pleased to announce that the power of an empathetic community that is happening online, is growing. I am heartened that people are taking the time to display positive interaction. I can think of no finer example than the collaboration blog: 'A Symphony of Empathy', that I had the great privilege of doing with 'dcrelief''.
Yes I am mostly a recluse, a recluse on a mission, a recluse on a journey. The power of this empathetic community gives us the strength to challenge those who would undermine and devalue the goodness that we want to share. In the middle of somewhere? Yes I am. That 'somewhere' is a very special place in my heart.


  1. Klahanie:
    For a moment as I read, my heart sank, listening to your frustration, pain, and questioning. Yet I have received a great deal of encouragement, enthusiasm, and inspiration from reading your blogs and exchanging positive communication. So if there is anything I can do to give back what you have given so freely to me... know that I am here.
    You have the right to be a recluse and enjoy it. You have the right to choose how you will share of your time and gifts. Remember you shared with me the need for choices that suit our very private needs. And when we are ready, we return to the empathy seeking individuals that want to be included... from their "somewhere."
    Peace friend. dcrelief

  2. Dear Klahanie,

    Felt compelled to comment on your most recent blog. Sorry to hear that you feel so down at the moment. It sounds like you need cheering up a little. OK, so I know it goes a bit deeper than all that and that problems of isolation don't just disappear overnight. Perhaps it would make you feel a little better to know that many of us share your situation and feelings. I know that I can become very despondent if I don't get out of the house and do something. Indeed, almost everyone who goes to the Pathways group at the Bennett Centre has talked about their feelings of isolation and loneliness, so it is a big issue for almost all of us who have experinced mental distress of some kind. So, you are certainly not alone.
    I know that it is hard,then, but remember, as dcrelief says, all of the enthusiasm, encouragement and inspiration you give others. I can only hope our comments give you the same feelings of hope.
    So, I wouldn't wish to belittle the way you feel or patronise you (and I hope I haven't done that here) but just remember that you are, have been and probably always will be an essential part of our little on-line empathetic community. And when you are ready, I'm sure that you will move on to bigger and brighter things.

    Yours with Warmest Wishes,

    P.S. I thought your blog was also very brave and frank. Not everyone feels like they can admit to such feelings. So again, in its own way, I feel you have helped others yet agan.

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  4. Klahanie:
    I have personally witnessed the special hope you give to others, through your writing and the Changes forum. For myself, I have not thanked you enough. You and the empathtic community are in my thoughts.

  5. Hi dcrelief and David,

    Thank you both so much for your kind words of encouragment and empathy.
    Yes the isolation issue can be most stifling. Although I have attempted to be involved, be a part of something, situations have left me, to understate, disappointed with what I have experienced.
    Part of my recent isolation has been because of my own moral values. If my integrity dictates that I seek solace in a reclusive state, then so be it.
    I send warm wishes to you both, in sincere empathy. You have both helped me. For that, I am most grateful.

    I don.t know you ,but i feel you are a very special person too!
    A lot of us could not have sad this about our self, you are BRAVE.

  7. Greetings L.R.
    Thank you very much for your kind comments. I am truly thankful for your positive interaction. I am a great admirer of your friend dcrelief. Warm wishes to you.

  8. Klahanie,
    Two weeks have passed, and I find I understand more of your blog. I attribute my 'growth' to your kind and positive interactions with me, and leading me to a site where others share their hopes, pains, and successes... "in the middle of somewhere."
    Something important is happening and indeed it takes love and devotion to do what you do.

    Warm gratitude, dcrelief

  9. Hi dcrelief,
    Please know that my own continued growth and positive outlook has a lot do with your kindness and encouragement.
    I am so pleased that you have become a part of the site you refer too.
    Something important is happening here, I thank you for being a part of this empathy. Warm wishes klahanie.


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.