I used to watch “The Wonder Years” with rapt attention, adoring the small-town atmosphere and the growing pains that the characters went through related to school, parents, love, life, and friendship. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered that the theme song for that show was a “real song” and not just a catchy TV tune. Today, whenever I hear Joe Cocker (not The Beatles) wail out the first few lines, I get goosebumps and am immediately transported to a safe place (the adolescent memories in my mind): “What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me? Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song and I’ll try not to sing out of key. Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends.”
This song popped into my mind this morning when I was thinking about how few people I allow to know my inner struggles. I’m getting better. One day at a time, I’m learning that most people are genuine, trustworthy, and some are even caring and helpful. I’m learning that I don’t have to “put on a happy face” with such people. I don’t have to pretend that all is well when it’s not. I can be honest. I can stop hiding my flaws, perceived failings and disordered eating and body image residues. I can reveal the real me “with a little help from my friends”. Right now, those who I consider my closest friends are those who have struggled or are struggling with eating concerns and body image issues. I’m realizing that these are the people I can open up to safely and these are the folks to whom I can “sing out of tune” without fear that they will “walk out on me”.
Take a good look at your acquaintances and friends today. Who in your life struggles with issues that you struggle with? Who in your life “gets it”? From whom in your life can you get a little help? You don’t have to go through this alone. We will all “get by with a little help from [our] friends”.
Peace, joy, and health!