To Whom Shall I Tell My Sorrows?

Image of Russian coachman in snow

To Whom Shall I Tell My Sorrows?

The title is a line from a Chekhov short story called Misery. It’s about an old coachman whose son has died. The coachman – Iona – is heartbroken. He needs to talk about his loss. Unfortunately, he is surrounded by strangers who are too busy, fellow workers who don’t care. Having nowhere else to turn, with a breaking heart, he finally tells his story to his horse.

I feel like Iona. Strangers are busy. They’ve got their own problems; they don’t have time to listen. Coworkers might care, but work isn’t the place to talk about personal things. My friends are too close. They see my pain and try to help, instead of listening without judgement or comment. They stifle me unwittingly.

I’m in therapy, where I work on the issues and their solutions. For these topics I need to work with a professional. What I need to talk about are things that result from the illness and the therapy – the confusion, the reawakening of old pain, the anger at what happened – so many things, too heavy for my friends to hear without trying to fix them.

I need to talk. I’ll do it here.