Watching a Friend Struggle

Throughout my life I’ve encountered many situations where I wasn’t sure what to do or how to act.  When I reflect on these times I realize that sometimes my silence was taken the wrong way. I didn’t know what to say so I said nothing at all. I tend to hide when I’m caught in a situation that creates confusion for me. Fortunately, I learned that I have to offer my support through my actions.

I remember one occasion that I tried my hardest to diffuse a stressful situation. I sat over dinner one night and reassured the person across the table from me that she shouldn’t worry so much about losing her job. I told her not to worry because it would be ok. I remained calm and relaxed so I wouldn’t show any worry on the outside. I figured that by acting this way my calm manner would radiate into her. I remember it so vividly because I tried my best to be supportive and strong for her. However, in her eyes I had failed. She took it as me not caring at all. Afterward I realized that she didn’t want me to say that it was ok. She wanted me to sympathize and show a little of the fear that she felt. The whole area became gray and I crawled into my own skin to hide. I wanted to hide because I used my best judgment and made it worse. She took it with her and saw my response as a huge uncaring flaw in my character. I’ll never forget how disappointed I was in myself for not doing the right thing, but in all reality I didn’t know what the right thing was. At that point in my life I felt like nothing I ever did would be right. I slid deeper into a hole and ran from everything. As I searched for answers I realized that I had to be a little more vocal and outgoing.  I also learned that communication is essential to a healthy relationship. Looking back on it I probably should have explained why I wasn’t worried or maybe she should have asked me exactly what I meant. I’ll never be sure, but it helped mold me into a better person once I was able to look back at it and analyze.

Recently I have watched two of my friends struggle with their health. I spoke of one of them recently when I wrote about her deteriorating discs. I have another friend who suffers from severe endometriosis. Before I met her I had never heard of the disease. Now, unfortunately I have seen first hand what it can do to a person. This girl wanted children and the disease kept her from that dream. When I speak to her I can sympathize because I too can relate to that lost dream. I can also feel her pain because she would be a wonderful mother. She’s very caring, loving and genuine which is everything a child needs while growing up.  She’s full of life and has good values which I’m sure would have easily been instilled in her children if she ever had any.

Her disease creates a lot of discomfort throughout the month and puts her in absolute agony at times. I can hear the pain in her voice in those times. The only thing I can compare it to is a small bird that is chirping for its mother while she is out searching for food.  I have more admiration for her than is imaginable after watching her struggle day in and day out with the complications of the disease. She never complains, but I know she would like to. Instead, she stocks up on medication to lessen the pain and does her best to deal with the complications. I know that she would like to cry, but she stays tough and pretends she can take on the world. I’ve noticed over time that she too does what I once did and tries to hide from the world. It seems that she’s afraid to let people in to help her. I’m sure that she could find some relief if she accepted the help offered. No matter what she puts one foot in front of the other and pushes forward. She never misses work and tries her best to just deal with it by herself.

As I’ve watched from the outside it makes me thankful for the simplicity of my life. Although I take 3 to 4 injections of insulin every day I’m not in pain. My disease is also something that I’ve had to learn to live with. I’ve dealt with some unfortunate incidents as does anyone, but I’ve never rolled around on the floor in agony. I believe that everyone encounters different obstacles along the way to help them improve in an area that they wouldn’t have otherwise. I’m not even sure why I think that, but I do. My disease has taught me self discipline. I’m sure my life would probably be very different if I was never diagnosed with diabetes. I have never had a drink of alcohol in my life. I’m not sure but maybe diabetes saved me from becoming an alcoholic. I’ll never know the real reason, but I do know that it has helped me become who I am today.

I try to make sense of why my friend acquired severe endometriosis. I can venture a guess or two.  Sometimes I think that maybe she wasn’t able to have children because she’ll adopt her own one day. She’ll give a good life to a child who might have ended up on a street to nowhere if she didn’t come along. It could also be because she would find support and guidance in areas she never thought possible. It might have brought out the best in people that help her. After all, she once went down a path without much support or comfort, so this might have been a way for her to see that better things actually do exist out there.

I could probably go on and on tonight about this topic. However, I have to draw it short due to other obligations. I try to remember almost everyone is fighting some type of battle. Some people keep it quiet, while others need the attention that the battle might bring. I’ve learned to be supportive, caring and compassionate. Any help is better than no help and sometimes the smallest bit of hope you can give a person, might become the only thing they need to get to a better place.

Leave a Reply