This is where I say thanks to all the people who helped me get through the last four years with a pronkless Gazelle.
Thank you. Thank you for believing, for trusting and for never judging. Thank you for offering your advice, your arms, your distractions and your commitment to me.
And sorry. Sorry that I wasn’t able to share more clearly with you the good things in my life. I was struggling to keep my head above water.
One of the most incredible things that always seems to happen in difficult times is the amazing support that emerges. I was particularly impressed with the way in which my mum and some of my friends were able to seperate out the Gazelle and the Gazelle’s illness. Rather than considering him a bad person, they considered him a person with a disease. In his most depressed times mum would ring up and ask him ‘how is your depression?’ She said if he’d had the measles or broken his arm she’d be asking, and depression and CFS was no different.
Although ALL of my friends were fantastic, there was one in particular who was there not only for me but for the Gazelle. When When I first met the Gazelle I’d had a short string of lovely but inapropriate boyfriends and I’d completely lost all faith in my ability to judge a suitable partner. When the Gazelle proposed a bushwalk with a mutual friend, I convinced Friend Fantastica to come along to. It was touch and go that trip and as we cleaned our teeth together that night under the stars there may or may not have been a bit of ‘oh my hand is so cold’ sneaky hand holding going on (nothing says romance like a mouth full of toothpaste!). Indeed, the Gazelle took it as a good sign and celebrated by sleeping outside my tent in the open air with his smelly bushwalking shoes as a pillow…
Anyway, not being one to rush into these things anymore I refused to progress our relationship past clandestine moonlit handholding until Friend Fantastica had given him the nod of approval. Obviously she did so and I think we will both be eternally grateful (in all honestly, I would have abandoned him had she thought him not for me).
But what makes me even more grateful is that not once. NOT ONCE, in the whole 6 years has she ever stopped backing him. Indeed after a particularly fateful event in which the Gazelle’s wiring managed to completely short circuit and I had to boot him off to his parents house for a few nights, it as Friend Fantastica who had the courage to call him and talk him through it. You know who you are dear and we are both eternally grateful (which means you’re now in two eternities of credit!).
It was that courage displayed by friends and family to get things wrong, to intrude into our lives in sometimes elegant sometimes elephant ways that has kept us sane, laughing and getting better. Of course, sometimes I had to ask for help… but that is another post and, coincidentally relates rather closely to my PhD… expect a long one!