While I Was Sleeping #7

To help me preserve my emotional health while my physical health is failing, Ben asked me to spend time…

…thinking about all of the things that make me smile, make me happy. He recommended trying to think of things I can enjoy now, even though I am ill, but also things that have added meaning and joy to my life in the past, and things I can daydream about being able to enjoy again in the future.


This week I really want to celebrate an ingredient of our life over the past three years that I particularly treasure right now:

Our Friends

Our first fifteen-ish months in the UK were a mix of working hard and playing hard. When I say playing hard – let me qualify that. We packed a lot of socializing into our time off work. We had so much fun! Lots of weekends away with friends, parties, dinners, mad moments. It was just great. Ben and I needed that time of having fun with people we liked, had lots in common with, and who had the same energy we have.

Then came the Pandemic – National Lockdown – and the fun went online. It did not take long until we realized there was fun to be had on zoom. But more than just fun, it was a chance for everyone to talk about how they were coping with this unexpected change of working habits, lifestyle, and the conversation that developed amongst everyone was all about mental health. I think we helped each other along. It is a shame we have not been able to spend s much time physically together as we would have liked. But we still have remained good friends.

Over the past couple of years, some of friends have had unexpected challenges. Some of them were made redundant, some moved to different areas. There were new romances, there were break-ups, there were engagements, weddings, pregnancies, miscarriages, births…all sorts! lol – sometimes we ended up living vicariously through the experiences of our friends. We have always tried to be of use to our friends when they were experiencing tough times. Ben probably has a better idea than I do of ways we may have helped them.

In turn, we have experienced challenges of our own. But more recently, we have found ourselves in the centre of a challenge that we never imagined.

I am ill. So that is a challenge for me – yes. But it is Ben who has the bigger challenge. Ben has been through all the emotions and drama of seeing someone he loves suffering, and feeling so helpless because money cannot buy a cure. I feel for him so much. I worry more about him than I do about me.

So I am so glad that our friends are rallying around. They have already helped a lot on a practical basis with helping me to get to appointments. It reassures me that Ben is not going to be alone. He has a wonderful family, but I really do appreciate that our friends have proved themselves like family.

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