Standing on the outside looking in

Friends who respond immediately to text messages? I’m generally one of those and I have a few friends who are. Friends who if they don’t respond almost as soon as you hit send you may wonder if they are okay?

I am well aware that I’m more paranoid than most about the well-being of people I expect to hear from but don’t. I know this is because my daddy died in a car accident. I have annoyed many friends and lovers over the years, stressing at them about not letting me know if they are going to be late or where they are when they’re supposed to be with me but aren’t.

So when a friend of almost 30 years didn’t respond to a text I sent her asking if she wanted to join me for brunch, I had a fleeting moment of worry. She usually responds straight away. I brushed that worry to the side, until my phone rang last night and it was her husband.

My friend tried to take her own life on Friday night.

He was talking to me. He had found her. She is in hospital. She will be in hospital for a long time. We can’t see her any time soon.

My friend tried to take her own life.

Ironically on Friday afternoon she’d checked in with me to see if I am okay, given everything that’s going on in our little world. Standing on the outside looking in, anyone would think her life was ideal. We just never know, even our closest friends sometimes, what internal battles we are waging.

Before I put Love Bug to bed we read The Feelings Book by Todd Parr and we talked about how great it is that we can tell each other if we are happy or grumpy or sad.

I called one of my best friends and had a long chat. Then she called me back later in the evening for another long chat. We talked about how precious we are to each other and how much we love each other. And about how we should say that to each other more often.

Cuddle your people. Tell them you love them. I have a piece of my friend’s jewellery that I am going to wear every day until I see her. It’s a small part of her that I can carry with me until I can hold her and tell her how much I love her.

Today seems a good day then, to re-post this:

Getting by with a little help
{originally posted 11 September 2013}

I woke up to social media feeds filled with 9/11 tributes, a lot of them about the search and rescue dogs who worked tirelessly alongside their handlers and rescue crews.

Today is also R U OK? day in Australia. The R U OK? Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging all people to regularly and meaningfully ask are you ok? to support those struggling with life.

I haven’t been OK. I am now, with the help of medication. It’s been a couple of months so far and hopefully won’t be more than a few more months before I can kiss my morning ritual of little white tablet goodbye. What’s been wrong with me? Anxiety. It got so bad at one point that I started to cry and couldn’t stop. Which is okay. Except it kind of wasn’t because I was sitting in my office. It was that moment when I realised I wasn’t going to be okay if I didn’t go and talk to someone.

So off to the doctor I went. We had a good chat and he suggested it might be a good idea to put me on something to help with my anxiety for a few months. And it’s definitely helping. If I needed medication for anything else, I wouldn’t hesitate. I have accepted that I am stressed and anxious about finances and trying being the best version of me I can be at home, for my family, for my friends and at work – and that I need help to get through this little bumpy patch in the road.

For me, though, I know that long-term medication isn’t the answer. I’m a firm believer in getting out what you put in, so my cleanse will hopefully help balance out my internal dialogue a little better.

getting by with a little help

I’m getting by with a little help. I’m okay because I have a lot of love around me. I also find the company of dogs to be incredibly soothing. Even if I’m out and about and don’t have my fuzzy loves with me, a quick stop to pat the ears of a willing canine cutie will lift my spirits immediately. As I’m sure it did all the rescuers at Ground Zero. Even if only momentarily.

U OK?

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Brooke says:

    Oh MJ. How devastating. Devastating for your friend, her husband and you. Life is so precious and we really do need to take a moment to make sure our people are OK. My mum is a lifeline counsellor and I see how devastating the effects suicide and attempted suicide can have on loved ones, colleagues and communities.
    Big hugs to you darling xx

  2. Lili says:

    I hope all is well with her and that she will get discharged soon.

  3. So sad for your friend and for all of you who love her. Prayers and healing thoughts are coming your way. xoxo

  4. Dalton says:

    Sending a massive hug your way. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend

  5. Bongo says:

    I’m sure glad us dogs can be a help. It’s so sad when people are going through something very difficult and they keep it all inside. We’re sending up prayers for your friend.

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