With A Little Help From My Friends …

trashNot only has this latest relapse rocked my working world, it’s made me appreciate the smaller things in life.

I’ve snaffled some cut-down branches from one job to make Easter branches and have rescued some spare wood from another, with a view, at some point, to crafting  hollowed-out candle-sized logs …

I was out at 6am this morning, hanging up washing. Relapse Tick.

I replied to some emails. Another Relapse Tick.

I made three coffees for myself. Relapse Tick again.

And that’s it.

This whole time, through this hideous relapse, I have been alone. And then it hit me. I no longer have friends who will just pop over. I’ve isolated every single one of them.

I scanned my contacts list. Some were in a relationship and had found their happy MS medium, and I am thrilled for them. Some had large families and a whole lot of support. Some were suspicious of a single MSer. And some had no idea I needed them.

Had I run out of MS favours? Am I now so used to surviving on my own that I have become the person I always feared I would be – the Single Female with a Cat?

In that way, I certainly do tick all the boxes. I talk to her (The Cat). I judge her moods and respond accordingly, which is rather sad.

But back to the bigger issue – I have a wide circle of fantastic friends whom I love and adore yet I miss having friends who are there, no matter what. I think I’m one of those. Most of my friends have had various crises over the years and I’m there as soon as they put the phone down. I do my utmost to be present, in whatever capacity they need me.

Last week was a shock. Have I got so used to solitude that this is now my New Normal?  Am I now condemned to talking to the laurel bush in my backyard?

I miss my friends, but more the point, I realise I have not been the best of friends.

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12 thoughts on “With A Little Help From My Friends …

  1. Jennifer Hardy says:

    sorry your friends are not there for you. I too am bereft of friends. Not good at making new ones either. I have become very efficient at being alone – though I am not completely as I have a husband and a son.
    I hope your relapse ends soon. I too have MS but its not of the relapsing kind. My worst symptom is fatigue.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I think a big part of it is pride over the years. So now, when it would be great to have people pop over, they’re so used to me saying everything is ok 🙁
      I do love my own company, especially after working with blokes all day, so I guess that helps a little. Fingers crossed the relapse is on its way out at long last – I could do with being a little more part of the world again!

  2. Joan says:

    I’m sorry you’re still suffering with the relapse. I can’t recall specifically ever having a bad relapse. The ones I’ve had have only gone on for a day or two and all I’ve felt is extremely tired. Is that a relapse? After reading your post maybe I’m doubting it. I don’t know. I had a slight stroke a few weeks after we moved to Wales (I think it was the move and doing too much) and I’m never sure if my symptoms are MS or stroke, they tend to blur.
    As regards friends, I left them back in Devon, but I’m still in touch with a few by letter and ‘phone. When anyone asks how I am, I say “fine”. It’s hard to tell them how I’m really feeling, I feel that they don’t really want to know. I could be doing them a great dis-service here, but I don’t want my MS to dominate conversations or take up room in a letter. Maybe it’s the great British stiff upper-lip that comes through.
    I hope it’s not too much longer before your relapse comes to an end.
    Take care. Lots of love to you.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I know exactly what you mean!! I’ve done the same, which is why I think I’ve isolated a lot of my friends. Most of them are so used to me being ok, doing fine (it’s what I say to them), that I think they would be worried if I suddenly called them and bawled down the phone, asking them to pop over.
      Luckily, I bore my boss and best friend to tears every day, so that helps. He knows way more about MS than he ever wanted to 🙂 But during relapses, I really miss my other friends so much.
      I hope you’re feeling well at the moment 🙂

      • Joan says:

        Yes, thank you, not too bad, although like everyone else I get so fed up with struggling. The only things I can do without too much effort is reading and writing. I have a diary which I write in every day, just day to day things, nothing meaningful unless something really upsets me. I also write a bit of poetry, nothing outstanding, but it helps. Keeps me occupied.
        Hope tomorrow is easier for you.

        Joan (Wales)

        • stumbling in flats says:

          I’m so impressed you write poetry! Have you ever entered into competitions? I subscribe to Writing magazine and there’s always a lot of poetry comps in them.
          I enter a few writing competitions a year just to give me something to look forward to (the remote possibility of winning, lol). It sounds a bit daft but it’s nice to think I could win one day!!

  3. Flitterllectual says:

    Crikey. This really resonated with me. I think I have also isolated myself. By attempting to not be a nuisance I have refused attempts to help me and invitations by friends. I now need to use a wheelchair and have a walkin shower etc. So I have turned down a weekend away with my oldest friends as was thinking even a trip shopping requires step free access to shops and pubs etc. I can see how me trying not to impact others could feel like a rejection. Thank you for post it’s given me much to think about ?‍♀️

    • stumbling in flats says:

      It’s scary, isn’t it? It kind of creeps up and before you know it, you don’t want to bother anyone. So when you do need someone, you don’t know how to approach it. Sometimes I’m way too proud for my own good 🙁 Sounds like you’re very similar …

  4. Annie says:

    You might he surprised at who might pop over if you asked? You sound like someone who’d be there in a heartbeat if a friend needed you so I reckon there’d be one or two at least who’d do the same. I pretend to friends that I’m fine all the time which I know is crazy! But I know there’s a couple who’d have my back if I needed them. Almost afraid to say it but feeling pretty normal yesterday and today ? Hoping I’ve turned a corner for a while anyway …. hoping you are coming to end of relapse too .. take care ?

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I know what you mean!
      Luckily I started to feel slightly better this weekend. You know how you wake up and just feel … different, in a good way? Still not anywhere near my usual self but hopefully getting there! Glad to hear you’re on the same path 🙂

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