Is a virtue, catch it if you can. Seldom in a woman, never in a man.
Don’t blame me for that little rhyme. It was something my Granny used to say. She had lots of little sayings – almost all of them now politically incorrect, I think.
But patience…….it is a hard one, isnt it. We are used to “instant gratification” these days.
I can remember the days when not everyone had a phone in their house, let alone one they could carry round everywhere. Some of my friends at school had what they called “party lines” which were shared with the next door neighbour. To make a call, you picked up the phone and risked there being a conversation already taking place between your neighbour and someone else. Usually a loud click would alert them to the intrusion. But it was possible to pick the phone up in such a way that the click was barely there, and conversations could be listened in to.
I remember in the first house i lived in from leaving home, there was a circular dial phone in the lounge. The landlord put a special lock on it so the dial couldnt be turned to make a call. (Yep in those days, you had to wait….yes, wait….for the round dial to return to its original position before you could dial the next individual number) but even without the benefits of the internet a way was found to by-pass this dastardly lock!!
So the other option was the public phone boxes. And often there would be a queue for them, and you’d have to wait…..
You’d always despair……or walk up the road to the next one…..if you saw someone with a massive pile of coins stacked up on the shelf coz it meant they were there for the duration. Yet you couldnt help feeling a bit smug when it was you with a quid in 10p pieces settling in (standing up) for the duration.
Can you imagine any of this being re-introduced nowadays? (Take a minute to just imagine it) PMSL – there would be screaming, jets of steam from ears, probably even violence.
No-one, it seems, has any patience any more.
We want everything NOW!! INSTANT!!!! IMMEDIATE!!!
I mean once upon a time second class post meant it arrived in the afternoon….or a day later than first class. Well now we only get one delivery of post, and that comes between 2pm and 3pm. Whatever happened to getting your post before you went to work in a morning?
Was that me being impatient there? Perhaps….or perhaps just bemoaning a lower standard of service for higher prices.
And once we moved from one side of the UK to the other, I wrote a lot of letters. And my friends wrote back. Sometimes 6-8 sides of A4, depending on how big their handwriting was and how much news there was to tell.
You’d post your letter off…..and wait for a reply.
Now, you have text or whatsapp, email, house phone, mobile, voicemail, Facebook, skype etc ad nauseum. But not only them individually, a lot of them all link in together!!!!
No need to wait.
We have instant loans…..seriously…..15 mins from request to it being in your bank according to the advert….and it takes forever to pay back at the rates of interest they charge, unless you pay it back on payday.
Instant food, ‘instantly’ bigger boobs, instant weight loss etc etc etcetera.
So I suppose it’s no surprise that “getting well” is expected to be quick too. Or “getting over” something awful.
I believe the legal minimum paid compassionate leave from work for the death of a parent is a day. One day. To attend the funeral.
Now, i wasnt working when my dad died, and my mum made the funeral arrangements, but I know for sure there was no way on earth I would have been fit for work between him dying and at least the week after the funeral.
Who makes these laws? Robots?
In days gone by, there were such things as convalescent homes where you went to fully recover from a major illness or surgery.
Now – you are out as soon as possible due to the sheer number of patients vs beds.
My point is though, that where our emotions are concerned – it’s not that easy, is it?
It’s the same with health too, I think.
People can be patient for only so long and then …..well…..what is it exactly? Do they run out of patience? And with it they also run out of friendship? And love/affection/regard/fondness etc at the same time?
How does that work, pray tell? Because it makes no sense to me.
But then I keep saying I’m not like most people. But I have seen it happen SO many times. And I have been told by other people – so many times through the years – leave them to it/ walk away/ let go….and so on.
But what sort of friend would that make me? A fairweather one obviously. Dammit, what sort of person would that make me? Uncaring, basically.
Now I know that there is only so much you can do for a person and that at some point they have to start helping themself. This I know very well. I also know that you have to put your own welfare first. You put on the oxygen mask before you put one on your child, sort of thing. And I agree with that – mostly. Because you see, I dont believe that looking after yourself AND looking out for someone else/helping someone else through a bad time are mutually exclusive things.
They are not. Simple as that.
My own situation is complex. I am still in contact with, trying to help and generally be a friend to someone I loved …..with every ounce of my being……but who caused me a lot of hurt. Our relationship was a casualty of something that couldnt be stopped or avoided. He is a part of my life and I would miss him terribly if he wasnt. So in a way, part of my well being depends on him. In just the same way anybody’s wellbeing depends on anyone they are close to and have good feelings for.
I have also been going through a very bad time – but only partly because of the hurt from what happened to him and our relationship. My health and other things meant my depression went way beyond him. And it lingers. I am still depressed
So – just what does anyone really expect me to do, eh?
He is doing things to help himself. I may not agree with his approach all the time – but does that make me right and him wrong? Not always 😛 He’s doing things differently to how I would – but he isnt me.
Oh believe me – I get massively frustrated at times. I get massively cross when I can see something from my perspective that he cannot see from his.
But that doesnt stop me being his friend. That doesnt stop me caring. It just means I have to go away and ……regroup…..remind myself of a few things LOL.
It means I have to be patient. And sometimes that is very hard.
Because I also get frustrated with myself. It still frustrates the hell out of me when I get out of bed half asleep to go pee and find I struggle to walk, for instance.
It frustrates me still to feel like going for a swim…..just for that fraction of a second…until my brain catches up with itself and I know I cant. Or when I think….”I’ll go downstairs in a minute and……..”…….and next thing I know 3 hrs have gone by bcoz I fell asleep mid thought. Or I have just texted my daughter to say i will pick her up when my migraine lights start flashing.
IT FRUSTRATES ME!!!!!
So, having to shift gears from my own frustrations and impatience at myself to being patient with someone else – its almost like learning to drive again, like learning how to change gear and which gear to be in, when.
And I dont always get it right.
I know people mean well. And I have noticed myself being noticed (Although its probably just the purple hair, coz it aint my figure, thats for sure) but the thought of dating someone else makes me feel physically sick. Does this mean I still love him? As I keep saying – I am most definitely still in love with the man I fell in love with. Will that change? I have no idea. I will certainly never be able to replace him.
And we didnt fall out of love.
Could the love for me still be there?
I honestly, really have absolutely no idea. There’s still something….but its nothing remotely like what it was.
But, of the 3 other people I know who went through very similar things, when they emerged from it:-
1 came thru with emotions like love for other people intact.
1 came through with it reduced down to “a little bit”
And the other came through knowing more clearly how he felt.
So – who knows?
I don’t know. But I do know that it helps me to have him in my life. Would you take that from me?
I am also helping myself – tho my progress is slow and hindered by my physical state. He does not hinder me. As I have just said, it helps me to have him in my life.
But even if we never get back to where we were….which is probably the most likely conclusion, realistically……who can put a time limit on grief? Because I have mourned the loss of what was, of the man I was with. I still miss him, of course I do.
Even my dr, when i explained why I had taken so long to get my bloods done said that when you have a bond like that with someone it doesnt matter how long or short a time you were together. She got it.
So, people……please…..my depression will lift when it lifts, unless i can get a change in meds. My grief may never end. For some people it doesnt. That’s just how it is. I may never have another relationship. How could I? My well being is helped by but is not entirely dependant on him.
I have no illusions of a happy ever after.
All I really want is for both him and me to be well again.
I just have to learn to be patient.
And if I can do that, so can you.