Friday, 25 March 2011

"Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have retained of them-Marcel Proust"

Trying to explain the fact that life is different now to one of your oldest friends is tough.  Today I was trying somehow put into words how I feel, and feel like I failed.  Especially as that friend missed the life changing event as they were hundreds of miles away when I needed them the most.  I know it wasnt their fault they weren't there; being posted in Afghanistan is as good an excuse as I would accept for not being at my side but still feels as though they missed me change and we cant get that back.
When I got my diagnosis I didnt have a lot of time before my surgery; Thursday lunchtime was the time of truth and I was first on the list on the Tuesday after, in surgery literally at the crack of dawn.  In that time I had to get a load of scans and tests, have a pre op appointment and try to speak to the people that matter in my life.  Quite a weekend.
When someone is posted to Afghanistan, calling them for a chat isn't on the cards, even if was as urgent as it felt to me.  So Facebook was the only way.  That was the start of change; I was seriously unsure of how to say "this is what I want to tell you in case we never get to speak again".  It seems to have changed from there.
Here we are at the present day and they are due to go back to Afghanistan for 9 months or more and we are trying to meet up before they go.  For some reason I am at a stumbling block.  Yesterday they said "so you free to come for a drink tomorrow night"?  Simples?  No.  You see being free with my time and free with my mind are two different things.  I have nothing planned tonight, but I don't feel free to go, far from it.
Sometimes just going for a drink is unsurmountable; not through fear or anxiety but through a need for safety, security and a familliar that just a way trying to make fear sound glamerous?
When I was at my lowest I was in a place surrounded by my colleagues, my friends, my support.  I had my wonderful boyfriend at my side for the most part, and my mum there when I let her.  The hospital room became my world, my friends and colleagues saw me at a low where I didnt recognise myself.  They were all there every step of the way, whenever I needed them.  I then went home, petrified.  I gradually adjusted to my new safety net with the same support network behind it.
Then things changed, I moved house, county and eventually started a new job.  This blew my notion of safety apart.  Different environment, people who I relied on over a hundred miles away, just my one constant by my side, my rock but the surrounding ground felt so unsteady, and to a large extent still does.
On his return my friend had missed it all, diagnosis to operation to recovery to problems to admission after admission, the waiting for results, the unknown, the fear, the knowing the support.  And now he sees me, as I was with some scars which are visible to the eye but a whole world of scars he will never see.