Thursday, December 4, 2008


This is what happens when I get sick: my mood matches the physical state of my body.

In other words, I feel like crap all over.

Of course, in these times, it's easy to feel like crap, especially when I consider the tough times that some of my friends are going through. I won't mention any names; that's my policy on this blog: to protect my friends' privacy as I protect my own (although I do mention those names who are public, like my friend Brian and his hilarious purple blog).

So, here goes...

I've got one friend who has battled ovarian cancer for the past few years. It seems like every time she's making headway, she has another setback. She tries to be strong, but, in rare moments, she barely acknowledges how tough it's been for her.

I've got another friend whose husband has had brain cancer for the last two years. Earlier this year, it was in remission. Then it came back. Now he's in remission again, but he has no short term memory, can barely walk, and has manic episodes (such as insisting that the dogs be walked at two in the morning).

I've got a friend who is getting divorced and is working four jobs just to get by. The whole employment theme is sadly becoming very common in this economy. I have colleagues who have taken on second and even third jobs, not just to have money for a rainy day, but just to make ends meet.

I've got another friend who's gone through a nasty divorce and was almost bankrupted by her husband. I won't go into too many details about her situation, but her ex was very, very nasty to her in so many ways--some that are too graphic to mention publicly.

And I feel like I've been a horrible friend to each of these women.


I never ask them about their situations. I don't, but it isn't because I don't care. I do care. Tremendously. If I didn't care then I wouldn't be pouring my feelings out on this blog. I let them approach me, if they want to talk to me about it. But at the same time, I feel like a bitch for not asking them questions.

So why don't I ask them the questions?

It's easy.

I don't know what to ask.

How do I start such conversations? How are you? How are things going? How was your last chemo? What can I do?

And what happens if they just don't plain want to talk? I'm sure that these are questions that they get asked all the time, and maybe they're tired of getting asked such questions. I don't know, I just don't know.

One of my recently divorced friends will sometimes tell her story, but it's so emotionally painful for her that she can't finish her thoughts without bursting into tears. I feel so bad, that all I can do is hand her some tissues and listen.

And then I start to feel guilty.

Guilty because I really can't relate to the situation.

Guilty because, well, although I may complain about petty things sometimes, overall I have a pretty good life.

And then I feel guilty because then I start thinking about myself, and chide myself for being selfish.

See the circle I go round and round in?

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