I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to my last post, ‘On being positive‘. Thanks so much to everyone who has read and appreciated it; I’m delighted to have written something that people have found helpful and insightful.
The thing that was missing from that post was the other side of the conversation. I am hugely grateful to have so many people supporting me and wanting to find the right thing to say. Several friends admitted after reading the post that they have struggled to try and find the right balance between upbeat/positive and not trivialising or making light of things when getting in touch. I appreciate that this isn’t easy.
Nobody knows what to say. Because there isn’t a right or wrong thing. What counts for me is saying anything – just getting in touch and saying hello really. Not every message needs to be heartfelt or health-related, or the ‘right’ thing. In fact, often the best messages are just silly jokes, or a photo of something somebody has seen and thought of you. Just things to show you are being kept in mind.
With treatment going on over such an extended period of time, there tend to be flurries when lots of people get in touch (around big news/changes), but for the rest of the time things can be pretty quiet. Being in this situation with anybody who is going through a tough time, I would recommend setting a reminder in your calendar every week/fortnight/month just to send a message saying hi. Everyone is busy and it can be hard to remember, and then if you haven’t been in touch you can start feeling awkward and then not get in touch because of that. Honestly though, the occasional check-in message is so appreciated.
Mainly I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all those people who do so much to be in touch and keep my spirits up. You are brilliant and I am very lucky to have you on my team. I hate the thought that you might agonise over what to say before sending me a message. But fear not – I’m still the same person with the same sense of humour and interests, and I just love hearing about what you’re doing too. Because even though I’m a bit on pause at the moment, it’s good to know that outside of this bubble things are going on as normal. Thank you for being there, not just for me but for my boyfriend too.