To have friends is beautiful, magical and life-enhancing.
MS can obliterate that.
I lost a lot of my friends during my MS diagnosis, four years ago.
Whether they couldn’t cope with my new ‘diagnosis-status’, my angst, my late-night texts/phone-calls, I’m not sure. Probably a combination.
My best friend once took a ladder and crawled up the outside of my house and into my bedroom to check I was still breathing, as I lay over-emotional with red wine in my bed. To be fair, I would have done the same for him. And I have done.
He was the one I called on the day of my diagnosis and we spent the evening lamenting and crying (mostly me) in a cosy gastro-pub. But also building plans for my future. Little did I know that in five months time, I would be unceremoniously sacked from my job. The reason?
I won the case, but lost immeasurable time with my son due to all the poisonous letters via the lawyer; time I will never get back, so I used the paltry payout to take us to New York for five days, as a thank-you to The Teenager for all he had to put up with.
And now, now I am ‘living/thriving/succeeding with MS’, where are those friends now?
Luckily, I still have a close circle. I think.
Some have sloughed off along the way, and that’s to be expected. Do I demand more than I can deliver? Perhaps. How many times can I ask for a friend to visit me whilst I am ‘en sofa’?
It’s that boring, I bore myself, honestly.
Twice I’ve asked a dear friend to let me know dates he’s free for a get-together at mine and twice he’s brushed me off. Is my house so dusty? Pesky 300-year old cottages. Or is it deeper than that? Am I … embarrassing?
Twice I’ve asked the friend I’ve known since our kids ran out the classrooms clutching pumpkin masks. Pop in for coffee?
I can only presume, on the balance of ‘worth a friend/not worth a friend’, I’ve lost.
I miss those friends.
I’ve had to take six days off work with a dreadful cold/almost-flu-but-not-quite, which weirdly coincided with The Teenager being away on a school trip. And really, it was all for the best. I schlepped around, lay on the sofa, felt sorry for myself and argued with the cat.
But I sure missed my friends …