What Everyone Needs: Friends Who Show Up. Even When You, Don’t.

I felt like everything including my body, was falling apart. I was doing everything I knew to do to cope, including, prayer, studying scripture taking breaks to care for myself and upping my Zoloft dose- but it wasn’t enough.

I called a girlfriend fire drill.

“I need to get together. I’m losing my mind.”

I’m pretty sure that is a fair summation of the text I sent to my circle of friends. What followed was much exchanging of calendar dates and options. (Apparently, we all have lives.. who knew?)

We settled on a date two weeks out.

Just KNOWING I would have a safe place to cry and complain and whine and whimper and listen and be heard…made the stress manageable. (ish.)

A week before our girlfriend time- I got sick. REALLY sick. As in: I may need  to use a plunger on my face in order to breathe- sick.

The night before our gathering… My husband and I were scheduled to do some comedy schtick for an event. Oxygen is helpful to comedic timing. So is not feeling like you’re going off the rails on a crazy train. Let’s just say it wasn’t our best performance. (We bombed. pretty much.) By the time I got home after the event- I stripped off my “professional” clothes, crawled into my rattiest faux-ga pants and top and wallowed in the crazy that is my life and the suckage that was our night.

I also took enough cough and flu medicine to be grateful I didn’t have a drug test to pass.

The next day- I continued to wallow and wheeze. I debated the ER because really- breathing isn’t an “optional” part of life. I decided to just stay in my jammies and nap while Netflix ran continuously bad shows on my Kindle. I told people they were on their own.

“I AM SICK.” Which is as close to calling in as it comes for a SAHM.

6 netflix episodes and a box of chloraseptic drops into my sick day… my phone started blowing up with texts.

I’d totally forgotten the volunteer brigade that awaited me at a friend’s house. RIGHT NOW. “Where are you?”

UGH.

I knew I couldn’t go. I was really, too sick. I suspected the CDC might be on their way to quarantine me, anyway. I knew I sucked- because I’d forgotten the date/time of our “let’s put Tracey back together like humpty dumpty” gathering. I felt like a horrible friend for being so needy and then not showing up. I knew feelings were probably hurt. I knew schedules had been rearranged to take care of ME. People were put out. Maybe even annoyed. (I probably would have been.)

But, these are my people. They know me. They love me. Even at my messiest and worst.

They were gracious, They probably had fun without me. (I’m still jealous about that. I also know they’d have had more fun with me. We’re awesome like that.)

Later, my cell rang and I got a check in call to see if I was avoiding them…. (See? they really do know me.) Nope. Just out of my mind and sick.

I wish I would have gone. I wish I wouldn’t have been sick.

But, here’s the truth- having friends who show up for you- even when YOU don’t? Still makes a difference. A big difference. 1) they forgave me for not showing up. 2) I know that if I sent out another text, they’d be there. regardless. Because they love me. Even when I screw up. 3) It’s kind of nice to be missed.

I’m thankful. I feel less alone in this mess….even without actually seeing my girls face to face. (Although I sure hope I get to do that asap. I miss THEM.)  Because I know they are there for me. Even when I’m not.

What about you? DO you have friends who’d show up for you even when  you don’t? Do you let people know you well enough to ask if you’re avoiding them? To confront you when you’re a jerk? To love you when you’re a mess?

If not—start taking some risks and people in. It’s the only way to survive and flourish in this mess we call life. The reason we feel like we can’t do it on our own- is because we’re not supposed to. we need each other.

PS: I’m in a better place now….emotionally and health wise… Humpty dumpty’s pieces are coming together again. 😉

“Dear Lord- I am so thankful for the women, friends  and family you’ve brought into my life that love and support me even when I suck. Thank you for each one, and thank you for loving me through them. In Jesus Name- Amen. “

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