I must confess to being somewhat self absorbed this week. I won't lie, an element of woe is me has settled in but enough is enough. Yes, I was admitted to hospital, no we don't have the full story yet, yes I have to wait quite a few weeks to see a specialist and yes I feel I've had enough ill health so why me?! I need to snap out of this state of mind and appreciate the good things within my life. Being miserable is not helping the situation and it is just making me feel even more miserable.
One thing that has become extremely obvious this past week is that I am loved by many friends and family members. I have felt overwhelmed with the out pouring of love that has come my way. I love my friends and family dearly. If I could pack family and some of my oldest friends up from Ireland and move the to Australia then my life would be pretty much perfect.
What is a friend?
Friend n, a person whom one knows, likes and trusts
I am blessed with many friends, I am a very social person. The joke in work is that you can place me in a part of the unit away from my friends to keep me quiet, however the plan will fail because I will just make new friends. Often people find it hard to believe that I was ever shy, but I was in fact a very shy person until I started nursing. Now I am able to have a conversation about pretty much anything. I love conversation and I love hearing about peoples lives, adventures, experiences and dreams. I guess it could be said I love people.
This past week I have found that I am loved in return, loved more than I even knew. We all lead busy lives, but this week I have been blessed by people taking time out of their busy schedules to sit with me, pray for me and laugh with me. Many who couldn't physically be with me have sent beautiful emails and text messages.
I have found it challenging to be the centre of attention due to illness. I always like to present a very controlled front, I still show emotion (mostly happy, excited, bubbly emotions) but I won't show fear. I am more likely to crack a joke to hide my fear, and that can give off a tougher image than perhaps I should present. I am talented in changing the topic when it gets too close to the truth of an emotion that may cause my bubbly happy mask to slip. I have realised this week that it is the fear that people won't know what to do with the raw real me in the face of bad news. Having had a lot of ill health in the last 6 years, I am subconsciously trying to protect them from a lot of the negative emotions it can bring out. I guess I want them to still see me as me and not look at me with sympathy.
Since my overnight hospital visit last Sunday many of my friends have challenged me in this very area. They have not let me hide behind jokes. They have not let me suddenly change the topic. They have held my hand when my lip has trembled and they have LOVED ME through every minute of it. There have been no looks of sympathy. They have helped me form plans of how to deal with this new health crisis. Some our christian and are praying daily for my health and that I be healed in Jesus name. Some are non believers and are making sure I can get to and from appointments easily and that I have enough to eat. Each one of my friends has touched my heart and I am so thankful for them. I still have a lot of work to do in the area of sharing the bad as well as the good. I know I am hiding the bad from them as an act of love as I want to spare them. However they are teaching me that it is ok to share it all and they will LOVE me no matter what.
So this Thankful Thursday post is for all my amazing friends. I am truly grateful to have each and every one of you in my life.