Last night I got together with my SOS group (Sisters of the Sofa). We used to meet twice a month, and over the years it has dropped off to once or twice a year. The premise of the group was support for anxiety and depression, with a spiritual twist. Our gathering felt like a sacred reunion as we sat around the table on my back deck talking and laughing. Within a few minutes of us all being together, I felt a part of my true self emerging – the part that often remains carefully shielded in my every day life.
Over the years we have supported each other through some pretty significant times – the death of family members, illnesses in our children, divorce, job changes, relationship issues, setbacks mentally and spiritually, and it was so nice to see how we have all grown.
The most amazing part of this story is how far I have come in my relationships with women. During the first half of my life I had a really hard time relating to women because of my rocky relationship with my mom. I felt intimidated around females and was much more comfortable with men. My role models growing up were my dad and my brother, all the guys in my neighborhood and school, the guys in band, and my male co-workers. Up until my late twenties, I had only a few close female friends, and the rest of my friends were male. As I became healthier, I realized what I was missing and began investing in my female friendships.
Now I work mostly with women, and I have developed many close female friends socially as well. These relationships, along with the relationships I have with my sisters and daughters, are like manna from heaven to me, and I don’t ever take them for granted.