“A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.”
~ Isadora James
These past few days have been hard. It’s been one thing after another. Then there’s the pain. It’s unrelenting. Drugs have helped take the edge off but it’s ground me down. The pain, and the worry.
Sleep is eluding me. I’m so tired but I’m wired too. I can’t get comfortable. My body throbs and hums and stabs and aches. Late at night my head gets crowded with the wrong kinds of thoughts.
I’m trying to keep a positive outlook. After thirty years of poor health I’ve become an expert at downplaying everything. At diverting attention away from myself. At convincing others that it’s all good. Especially when it’s not.
If Ben asks me, I tell him I’m fine. Just a bit sore and tired. We smile at each other and hug a lot. Sometimes we catch each other’s eye and shake our heads because… fuck… we can’t seem to take a trick. So much stuff seems to have been going wrong all at once, after it had all been going so right. But that’s life sometimes, hey?
I’m okay, I tell my mum. I tell Dad the same.
I tell my sister I am a little worried, but okay.
Okay. Okay. Okay.
And I am. Honestly.
Yesterday I met a group of dear friends for a birthday lunch. We celebrated, and ate gorgeous food, and laughed and talked about all manner of interesting things.
I’d thought I’d gotten away with it. Not talking about myself.
But after our meal had been cleared away and all the presents opened, the birthday girl leaned across the table and fixed her steady eyes on me.
“So, Nic,” she said. “What’s going on with you? With your health? We’re your friends. We need to know.”
I couldn’t keep the stupid tears from overflowing my eyes. And I told them. I told them everything. Not just the facts, but the fears too.
My dear friends listened as I gave up all my pain and terror. They hugged me and patted my arms and held my hands and passed me tissues.
Then we traded stories. We held space for each other and the messiness and uncertainties of life. We worried for each other, and we cared.
Afterwards I felt so much better. So much lighter.
I hadn’t realised what a burden it was to be lugging all of that around on my own.
It’s true, you know. I’m okay and I’ll be okay. I really mean it.
Besides, something beautiful happened yesterday.
I was lifted up by angels.
Feeling blessed to have such wonderful friends in my life. <3 xoxo