In week since I competed I've really been working on recovery and rehab for my back - no my back was not directly affected from my benching, it was from squatting about a week or so beforehand. Benching actually doesn't impact my benching at all, so I've got that!
Anyway, I had been wanting to go to a place called McConnell's Mill, and a friend from the gym lives up that way. We both went on a 4 mile hike, stopping intermittently to talk and reflect on things, mostly getting to know each other a bit more. We have been training at the same gym for almost a year now, but have just developed a friendship recently. She actually shared with me that she couldn't understand why I was the way I was at first (closed off and disconnected), but now that we had gotten to know each other better and she understood all that I have been through over the past year to year and a half - it all makes sense. I try my best to be transparent, but some things I just can't make you see, ya know? As humans, we pick and choose who we want to get close to, who we want to be friends with, etc. She didn't have to choose to want to get to know me, but she did. I'm grateful for that and grateful for this new friendship.
My therapist asked me the other day what I wanted to work on now that I seemed to be in a good place, I responded: building relationships while learning and maintaining independence. Throughout my life some of the best friends I have ever made came from playing sports, and the same holds true for powerlifting. I have so many wonderful friends all across the country that I have connected with since lifting - some have stayed and some have gone, but to have a friend in the same town as me that I can also lift with and relate to personally?!?!? How freaking awesome.
What I'm getting at: I had felt really alone for a while, especially at the gym, but I have slowly developed friendships. It's just a reminder that you really aren't alone in this sport. At the top I had friends, at the bottom I had friends, and hey, now I'm somewhere in between and I've still got friends.