Have you heard of the saying “In your entire life you can probably count your true friends on one hand.”?
I’ve never given it much thought. During my childhood friendships didn’t last long. My family regularly moved from state to state. I stayed in once place for my entire high school education, and did maintain friendships until I moved states as an adult to seek treatment for an eating disorder.
I’ve now been in Melbourne for nearly nine years. That’s the longest I’ve ever lived in once place. I’ve met new people, made new friends, and maintained some wonderful friendships.
Recently life has become much more stressful. Different mental health issues have flared up, I’m moving house, and I’ll be going into hospital at some point. There is a lot to do. I’m overwhelmed by everything that needs to be organised, done, and ticked off.
There’s packing, and moving. Those are draining even for a healthy person. Add ME/CFS to the mix, and it’s horrible, painful, and exhausting. I have to work out what can be packed now, what I need to leave out for my hospital admission, and what has to be packed by my housemate when I’m gone.
However, I feel lucky. Very lucky. Multiple friends have offered to help move the boxes I’ve already packed. One is going to help move my 150L fish tank. A group of people from an online support group are crocheting fish for me, which I think is meant to be a bit of a surprise. Another friend travelled into the city and met me before my psychiatrist appointment last week. My housemate is going to move any of my things I don’t have time to move, as well as moving all my furniture. Another close friend is only ever an SMS away, and will most likely be able to drive me to the hospital whenever that may be.
My hand is full of close friends. Sometimes I feel lonely, and isolated, but I’m actually surrounded by many wonderful people. Friends that won’t walk away when things get tough. Friends that accept me, us, for who we are. Friends I love dearly.
Things are still hard. Really hard. I’m physically exhausted, in pain, and emotional. There’s a lot that still needs doing, but I don’t need to do it alone.
That’s what I’m trying to remember – I don’t have to live in isolation. I don’t have to be brave, or strong, or do everything on my own. I can ask for help, and there are people who will help without even being asked.