I’ll be honest… For the last 12 weeks I’ve avoided social situations… Even doing the school run was a little too much for me. Not really because of my mental state but because of the awkwardness surrounding having a child in hospital. Whenever life gets tough, you seem to get accosted by people you never normally talk to; you say the same thing time after time to endless people. I have found though that the people who talk to you during a tough time fit into five rather different groups.
This group is probably the hardest to talk to… When they ask ‘how are you?’, they really do mean how are you?. They become genuinely upset and praise you for doing what any parent would do in your situation… carry on. That said, it’s difficult to answer questions and know what to say.
These are the easiest to talk to… Because they are people you don’t normally hold a conversation with. You don’t really care what they think; they don’t really care about what’s going on… they just want the low down ready for their coffee morning with the rest of the gossips. You will be topic of conversation… whether it’s to gossip about how tired you are looking… or how you don’t appear to be coping… it’ll a be an open mic session on your life.
‘I don’t know what to say so I’ll just ignore you’
This is the thing that makes me sad… because they don’t know what to say people ignore you. Personally, you would rather them fall into the ‘Don’t know, don’t care’ group for the reasons mentioned below. You may get a ‘hello’ off a few people you considered friends before your troubles but they don’t bother actually speaking to you anymore.
Don’t know, don’t care
You love this group… They have probably heard about it all on the grapevine but are so wrapped up on everything that is going on with themselves that they don’t remember. It is a breath of fresh air to hold a conversation that doesn’t involve talking about your problems… It’s the only thing going on in your life at the moment so a different conversation is fantastic.
The Ones who surprise you
It may be a good surprise or it may be a bad surprise… but either way their reaction stuns you. Whether it is a good friend who suddenly doesn’t make contact and runs for the hills… (probably because they don’t know what to say) or maybe it’s someone you thought had moved to Timbuktu and have been silent for months suddenly rallying around to do whatever they can to help… the ones who surprise you really do surprise you.