I was thinking about a friend of mine the other day. Her name is Emily. I have mentioned her very occasionally. She was very ill some years ago – I mean very ill. She was unconscious for months in a hospital ward. Anxious times for all of us.
I dealt with my own anxiety by keeping journals for her. I started with one journal, but I think I filled six in the end. I included all sorts of things about what was happening within our group of friends. I just felt that I didn’t want her to miss anything. I glued in all sorts of pictures to accompany what I had written and included the names of songs I wanted her to listen to.
When she woke up and I was able to give her those journals, she was blown away by them. Recently, she told me she still has them (although it is over ten years ago that she was ill) because they were so special to her.
I was thinking about how lost in herself after the challenged she faced. Although physically she was much better, she seemed to battle depression. She had a string of romances with men who didn’t seem to be right for her. Then she started going out with a guy who had an awful reputation. She ended up marrying him. There were challenges. He was dishonest about his financial situation. She was dishonest about other things. It was so strange to watch her predicament unfolding.
They are still married. They have done alright in the end. They have had challenges. The financial issues have taken a long time to remedy. They have kids. They have a busy family life.
I found it hard to understand what she was going through back then. She did tell me, I just didn’t understand why her feelings were influencing her decisions so much. (I was much better at reasoning to make decisions when I was younger. I have never been a “follow your heart” kind of person, because if I did I would end up seriously in trouble time and time again. No…I prefer to make careful decisions that take into account the cost of each possible choice and envision what will really me bring happiness.)
She told me she was lonely. She told me she did not want to be single. She told me she didn’t care who, she wanted to with someone. I had a different approach to romance so I did not understand her.
But she was being honest about her feelings. She felt miserable on her own. She wanted to be with someone so much. She changed the way she did her make-up (drastically) and the way she dressed. Her behaviour changed significantly. She was not the same person I knew before her illness.
I still cared for her a lot, but I was so worried because her decisions seemed so reckless and I could not see how they were going to make her a happier person. Aaaaah sigh. She has made her own decisions. Some of them brought happiness, some of them brought a lot of stress and many challenges.
We are all still friends, although our lives have veered off in different directions. I think overall she would say she made the decisions that were right for her at the time. But they had a high cost at times. I think she would say they were worth the cost. I never stopped worrying for her though. I gave them hundreds of pounds when I could afford it. But there was a limit to what I could to to help them.
Whenever I hear the name Avril Lavigne, I think of Emily. Emily loved Avril’s music after she came out of her coma. Emily did not want to be on her own. She wanted to be with someone.