Good friends play important part in every person’s life. They laugh with you, give you advice so you don’t embarrass yourself, they don’t give you that advice and then you all laugh because you’ve embarrassed yourself, they defend your honour, cry with you, support you no matter what and all that jazz. But, that only applies to good friends.
As we all know, people come in all kinds of shapes and colours, and with individual personalities. Sometimes you think you know them, but the truth is you do not. You will never know anyone a hundred percent. We only have access to our own thoughts and feelings, hence we are only capable of knowing and fully understanding ourselves and even doing that is quite difficult at times. There are times in life when you realise that some people, who you thought you were close to and who cared about you, are actually not as close and caring as you believed. Suddenly the image of them that you’ve created in your mind turns out to be false.
In my case, cancer was the eye opener. In fact, I highly recommend this, or any other life threatening illness, when you plan a cull of your Facebook friends list. You know what they say, hard times reveal your true friends. I couldn’t agree more. It’s easy to be around people when everything is a-ok. But once shit hits the fan, some people run the fuck away.
I consider myself extremely lucky, because I have a fantastic circle of friends. Cancer allowed me to test my relationships with them, and I know they’re solid and far from temporary. Of course, there were a couple of people I was wrong about, but the majority of them proved to be exactly the way I’d imagine them to be, and for that I am forever grateful to them. They were there whenever I needed them, went out of their way to help me and most importantly, believed in me and supported me for the entire time. Even though they are all unique and I connect differently with each one of them, at that time I’ve seen them all as one, huge source of support.
I was also amazed by the amount of people who showed me compassion, even though they weren’t in any way obliged to do so. I was suddenly getting cards and gifts from my friends’ parents, my lecturers were sharing their stories with me and offering all the help they could, even friends of my friends were sending me uplifting messages. As someone whose faith in humanity is close to non-existent, I was truly overwhelmed. I would never even imagine having so many people truly touched by my situation.
Of course I could also rely on my family (some of them anyway). I can’t even imagine how hard dealing with my illness was for them, considering how many thousands of kilometres there is between us. Phone calls and video chats were all we had, but I didn’t feel like being on the phone all the time. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t making a big deal out of my situation. I was told that I will have my surgery, I will go through the recovery and I’ll be fine, so I believed that was exactly what was going to happen. For my mom, however, it wasn’t that simple. Sadly, she’s one of the most negative people I know, so she tends to go for the darkest scenario. I know that not being with me was very hard for her and she most likely thought that if I was telling her that I was feeling alright, I was doing it so she wouldn’t worry, rather than it being the truth. Thankfully, she had my grandmother, who is the complete opposite to her, to comfort her and assure her that everything was going to be alright.
Lastly, and most importantly, I had Owen. He supported me more than anyone ever did. I couldn’t even describe how grateful I was and am to have him. He was there for me all the time, helped me with everything, and cheered me up whenever I was feeling down, even when he wasn’t in a great mood himself. And it was all so pure and selfless. He didn’t even complain once, and if he did, he made sure I wasn’t aware of it. At that time, I knew that what we had was rock solid and I felt loved like never before. Sure, my friends, family and even strangers made me stronger, but Owen did much more. He made me feel invincible.
Being sick creates quite a phenomenon – strangers become friends, and some friends become strangers. And what did I do about that? I’ve decided not to waste my time on people who don’t care about me. Instead, I’m going to use that time for those who are worth my while. After all, life is too short to be wasting it on people to whom you’re insignificant.
And watching football. I fucking hate football.