Thursday, May 10, 2018

102 Days - The freak out?

I got the message on Friday during a team lunch. It seems I get these sort of messages during meals, normally just before you start - this time it was just as we were finishing. I got the news that my niece had leukaemia just before a book group dinner. I found out she had died just before I was due to go out to dinner. There are a few barely mended wounds in there.

Thankfully as news goes, it wasn't awful, it just wasn't good. It seems and old friend had gone and had a heart turn. They were going to give him a small operation to clear the arteries around his heart and he would be fine. He's be stuck in hospital for a few days, but all would be well.

Unusually, Friday was spent dodging tears and reflecting and having a minor freak out.

My friend is a year older than me. I am now officially of an age when my friends are starting to have heart troubles and cancer and all the other joyful things that come from getting older.

I messaged another friend and told her what was going on. She listened without prejudice (Great album by the way). She agreed with my tactic to go get some chocolate and just sit with it. No point not honouring the feelings that were swelling around me. See what came up, unpack the emotions and ride them for a bit. Sage advice.

Armed with some Pana chocolate - all $7 for six squares of palatable, gluten free, preservative free, vegan chocolate, I savoured two squares and started to look at the freak out, while doing some mundane paperwork. There are times you need chocolate. At $7 a pop, this stuff is meant to be taken in small doses. It is also very good. And it beats inhaling a family sized block of Caramilk or Cadbury's Rum and Raisin.

Thankfully, I knew my friend was going to be fine. He was in the best of care. His wife is a cardiac nurse - thankfully she spotted the signs and he got help quickly. So that was clear, he wasn't dying.

The fact that his wife contacted me to tell me he was in hospital perplexed me a little. Years ago, he and I were very close. Possibly too close. We sort of lost contact when he started to see her, but for me, if he was happy, then all was well. He's still a good friend. Texting him back I asked if he wanted a visit while he was stuck in the hospital. All he had to do was shout. Later in the weekend, on his request, I popped in taking him a colouring book and some pencils. What else do you bring a middle aged man who's in hospital?

So why the freak out?

He was going to be fine. He was being looked after. He was loved and cared for.

Leaving work, the sense of unease continued. Being a Friday night and having a blanket rule of no cooking on that evening, I found myself some dinner. Friday night alone at a local cafe with my book. It's quite a normal thing for me.

And then it hit me. It wasn't about the mortality. It wasn't about my friend partnering. It wasn't about the changing friendship status.

For the first time in ages, my solitude and aloneness - something that I'm very used to, had tipped into loneliness. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it kicks hard.

An evening of cupcake baking, dancing around the kitchen to The Pixies and Tash Sultana and a touch of Harvey Specter thrown into the mix and the keel of my emotions righted fairly quickly.

The rest of the weekend, waves of something came and went - contained and bearable. A little like Churchill's black dog, this was more a tired puppy nipping at my heels. Controlled and containable.

Monday morning, the message came through that my friend's operation was successful.

I think this experience, above all, has been one of growing. The freak out has passed. The emotions didn't kill me. I got through it. I'm proud of myself. No damage done to me or anybody else. It's fine.

Even if I have outed myself as a Suits tragic. (I am Donna)

Today's song. Thank Harvey Specter for this one.

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