Since my hernia operation, which itself hasn’t gone to plan, it’s been a rough and complicated few weeks and as much as I hate to do it, I’ve had to ask for and accept help from friends.
I’m not a big fan of humans, so my friendship circle is smaller than most and because of previous jobs, that small circle is spread across the globe.
So if I were to throw a last minute party I wouldn’t have that many people turn up BUT if I needed to talk to someone at three in the morning there is normally a friend awake.
As those of us that have suffered IBD, cancer, stomas and other life changing ordeals know first hand, there is a ‘fight or flight’ of friends. Some friends just seem to vaporise, whilst others are there supporting you and absolutely fighting in your corner.
However, the friends you make after such a life-altering event can generally be counted on and tend to be more hard-wearing. Perhaps because they themselves have been through something similar.
These are the strong women that get me through challenging times like the last few weeks. The friends that notice you’re not yourself and build you up to stay strong. The friends that stand by each other when the going gets tough (cliché but true) and encourage me to see things through.
Friends don’t have to be physically near. I can WhatsApp a friend abroad or go on Twitter in the middle of the night.
That mate, who can help explain the silly thing I don’t understand, is there, or if I’m giving myself anxiety over something and I just need to get it out my head, there’ll be someone to listen.
For me, a friend is someone who can encourage me when I don’t have the courage, who will push me when I want to give up. A friend is also someone who will ask me the difficult questions that I don’t necessarily want to ask.
A friend is someone I can trust and respect. Someone who supports me not only when I need it but also when I don’t even realise I do.
And most importantly I hope I am all of the above and more to my friends and always there for them when I’m needed. Even when my own run of luck hasn't been so good.