Sometimes I have moments where I can’t find anything to be thankful for, where I want to turn around and tell life exactly what I think of it. But I know that there’s always something to be grateful for, because there are so many people in situations far, far worse than mine (I occasionally forget this, and that makes me want to kick myself). I am lucky. There is no denying that. Sometimes things just become so dark and so bleak that we can no longer appreciate the good things we have. People might use the words ‘ungrateful’ or ask what a person has to be unhappy about, but they don’t appreciate that good things can live in the shadows of darkness, and that nobody can take that darkness away, because it lives within us. I am very thankful today. I woke up feeling incredibly lucky, and wanting to thank the entire world.
I’ve been speaking to the other people on my course via social media, and I was stunned by their kindness. I took another leap of faith (reassured by my flatmate’s reaction to my health issues) and I told them about my heart issues (I didn’t want to overload them by telling them everything at once). I couldn’t have hoped for a better response. They all wished me luck with my surgery, and one girl even has minor heart problems herself, but nothing that has needed intervention. It was like talking to my flatmate, but on a much larger scale. I couldn’t believe how understanding and reassuring they were. I thanked them over and over, and each time I thanked them they said it all over again. It meant so much to me. I told them that (over and over again) and they all added me as friends. I thanked them again as I sat waiting to go for my surgery, and I messaged them afterwards because they asked to be kept informed. Throughout the last couple of days so many of them have privately messaged me to say they are very glad to hear that I’m alright and that they can’t wait to meet me (apparently I’m ‘sweet’). One girl is from Italy, and it turns out I’ve been really close to where she lives (I went to Pragelato on a school ski trip when I was 13). I’m quite shy. It takes me a while to make friends usually. And I already have quite a few. People who haven’t even met me were more supportive than a lot of the people that I have known for years.
This made me realise that sometimes our judgements of other people are unfair. We are wounded by one person and we write off a whole group. We do this with extremists and religion, with hoodies and teenagers, but we also do it on a smaller scale. Once you’ve been stung by words you become wary of all who produce them – sometimes for a few seconds, and sometimes for a lot longer.
A while ago I mentioned a family friend who drove 110 miles because he decided that I needed a friend. Yesterday he messaged me, having heard about my surgery, to say that he had bought me a little present from Reading Festival, which he was going to post today. I’ve always wanted to go to Reading Festival. I planned to go a couple of years ago, with friends who I don’t see any more, but I was in hospital, so they went without me. I’ve mentioned before that I really want to go to a music festival, and when he realised that I had never been to any, he said that he and his girlfriend (who is equally amazing, but we will get to that part in a minute) are taking me to Reading Festival next year… NO. MATTER. WHAT…. There are no words, just feels. I was hit by a tidal wave of feels.
His girlfriend then started texting me, and said that if ever I want to talk about anything at all, I can message her. I usually say this to everyone else, because I hate the thought of people going through things alone. I forget how amazing it feels to be the recipient of those words. The feels intensified. I sat smiling at my phone like I had some serious issues. We’re all going to try and meet up for dinner once a month.
Yesterday I got more blog traffic than I have on any other day. I got some extremely thoughtful comments (again, I was hit by a tidal wave of feels). This probably doesn’t sound like much, but I was incredibly humbled, and also surprised. It meant more than I expected it to.
My main thought yesterday night, after ‘is all of this real?’ (I asked this quite a few times to ‘110 mile friend’) was… ‘What did I do to deserve such amazing people in my life?’ Over the past few days I have been touched (more like sucker punched) by the fact that people cared. So many people have messaged me – family, family friends, the 4-5 friends that I still have from school… And I often ask myself why they care, because I haven’t been in a position to be there for anyone, or help them through their issues. I’ve been a rubbish excuse for a friend, and a pretty lousy excuse for a teenaged human being. I’ve spent a couple of months unable to walk very far or do anything, mostly stuck in my bed, sleeping my days away, fighting with my body as it gives up on me, and trying to claw my way out of a pretty unpleasant place. And I felt forgotten. I thought I had been left behind. And then not one person, not two people, but a whole crowd of people (some of whom have never even met me!) reached back to where I’d been left and placed me in their thoughts. In doing that, they pulled me back to the present. They didn’t leave me behind. And I know I will drift from their thoughts again, but right now I’m riding the wave.
These things made me smile when that was the last thing I wanted to do. They lifted my mood when I thought it was anchored in place. I haven’t slept properly since I came home because my chest is sore, so I’m so tired that I could cry, and I was getting pretty fed up with not being able to move around freely without pulling at the wound over Reginald. I was starting to forget myself and get a little frustrated, the good things were starting to get lost under a shadow, but multiple people ran into my life with metaphorical torches. And I’m truly grateful for that. I know I promised to write something worth reading ‘soon’. And I fully intend to fulfil that promise. Today I just wanted to say thank you. It’s something that isn’t said enough.
“Count your blessings, not your flaws” – King, Lauren Aqualina
And of course, an extra thank you has to go to my family, who get very cross with me when I try to do things for myself (I’m not very good at doing nothing and staying in bed if I don’t feel awful) and have been pretty fantastic over the last couple of days.
And if right now all the good things in your life are overshadowed, this song lyric says it all: “You’ve got it all, you lost your mind in the sound; There’s so much more, you can reclaim your crown; You’re in control, rid of the monsters inside your head; Put all your faults to bed; You can be king again.” – King, Lauren Aqualina (One of numerous songs that got me through)