Family and friends

What’s that saying? ‘You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family’. A cheese-ridden cliché of course. But, like most of these things, it’s a cliché because it’s true.

Some of you who follow me on Twitter will have noticed, last week,  tweets like

Horrendous news this morning so will prob not be tweeting much today.

or

What a shitty bastard day. I’m off to kick the shit out of something. Luckily, this will be a punchbag in a gym.

and even

I am a ball of pure rage tonight, but have to say operations people at Gatwick airport are really REALLY helpful and nice.

If you were watching closely, you may also have noticed an A-team marathon and the drunken tweeting of Buffalo Springfield lyrics, but they’re less relevant if I’m honest.

Last week, I had some bad news about a family member and dealt with the situation as best I could. I’m not going to go into details because they’re not particularly relevant to my point.

It was interesting to me, though I wasn’t thinking about it too much at the time, that family politics came into play despite this being somewhat of an emergency. I was under strict instruction not to phone some relatives, only to tell other relatives certain things, and just to outright lie to other members of my frankly massive family. This didn’t make my task too much more difficult, but it definitely didn’t make it any bloody easier.

I went to see my GP this morning for a routine pre-scheduled check up. I’ve gone there years and it’s a bit of a running joke with my doctor that I have freakish blood pressure. It’s ALWAYS 120 over 80. No matter what I weigh, or how much or little I exercise, my BP never varies. I wasn’t at all surprised to find that it was 150 over 95 today.

Families are stressful. Friends on the other hand are little miracles. In the last week, I’ve had a few people call and ask if I was ok. It’s not a lot, but when you feel like you’re up to your neck in it, a call can make a big difference.

And one friend in particular has been a star. Not one of my lifelong friends, not even someone I go down the pub with regularly. In actual fact, a friend I only ‘met’ in the real world quite recently after a brief discourse over the internet.

But they were there, on the phone, over emails, letting me know that I had a friendly ear and a helping hand. I know they read this blog, and I’m not going to embarrass them by naming them, but I have to say thank you to them. Not only have they let me rant at them about my thoughts and feelings, but they’ve offered practical help and made me feel a little less alone in a difficult situation. So, thank you S. I owe you big-time.

A man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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