I had a lovely night last night. Finished work early and met one of my favourite human women for a chat and cuddles and food. This human woman, let's call her Sarah cos that her name, 'gets it'. I actually hate that phrase, but it unfortunately describes exactly what I mean.
We have known one another for about 15years now, so she knows me pretty well i'd say. Usually better than I know myself to be honest.
She knows what Crohn's is because she cares about me and therefore listens when I talk about it. She visits me when I'm in hospital, checks up on me almost every other day, and never makes me feel bad if I cancel plans, can't do whatever we were planning to, or yawn and almost fall asleep in her company.
It's hard and I sometimes feel guilty when I let friends like Sarah down. She goes out of her way not to make me feel this way, but it's frustrating to see Crohn's get in the way of fun times. Making plans is hard enough with a full time job, partner, friends, family, and a cat to think of, without worrying you won't be well enough to actually attend said planned event.
Sarah asks how I am and let's me wax lyrical on it. She gets annoyed when I apologise as she tells me I shouldn't be apologising for something I have no control over and shouldn't feel I have to limit the amount of time I spend discussing my illness.
We have, like everyone else in my little world, had to change our routine very slightly to incorporate my illness. It may mean I'm not well enough to leave the house and meet her so she will come to me (usually with flowers) or that we limit our nights out to a couple of hours with coffee instead of the taxis at 1a.m of our teens.
It's very important to have people in your life who don't want you to sugar coat what you are going through, don't shy away from the more gruesome details of the disease, and let you talk. But most importantly, don't let you wallow. Sarah and my partner are both particularly excellent at this - albeit in very different ways. Sometimes this can grate at the time but it's something I'm very grateful for.
Sarah always makes time for me even though her life is fit to bursting itself. She feels what I feel and vice versa. When she is sad my heart aches and I want to cuddle her senseless til she forgets all about her problems, like some sort of hug-hypnosis that I've just invented. Hug-Hypnosis™.
Failing that we just talk - and more importantly listen. I know that I can say anything to her and she wouldn't judge me. We share everything together and don't have to trim off bits of the conversation to suit others because we 'get' one another. That phrase again..
Anyway, the point is, everyone should have a 'Sarah'.
But not mine, because she is MINE, get your own.