It hit Bob and me six months ago that my health issues could actually take me out if we didn’t unravel them. That kind of awareness changes a person – and it changes relationships. Only a few people understood that it felt like I was fighting for my life. One well-meaning friend wouldn’t let me finish a sentence. She interrupted my attempt to explain what I was going through by pointing out all I have to be grateful for. Yes, I knew and know that, and I am grateful. But no matter how beautiful my home is, I still need to be able to digest my food. One of my blessings is in the people that do understand.
The healing process is organic, not linear. Every morning last week, when I stepped on the scale, I discovered I had gained another pound! The healing process shifted from repair to strengthening. I celebrated Friday by returning a pair of pants I bought one week before. I explained to the merchant I had gained seven pounds in the week since I got them. She was thrilled for me. Her concern was revealed by the joy she displayed over my progress.
I hadn’t spoken of my ordeal to my dance community as a group, but I celebrated my progress again on Saturday by briefly speaking of my struggle and gains. The support was heartwarming. Clearly people had noticed and been concerned. One woman told me she appreciated my mentioning it because she and her husband had noticed, but didn’t know me well enough to ask about it.
To me, if you know someone well enough to worry about something like rapid weight-loss, you know them well enough to ask what’s happening with them. Ask and listen deeply to what they say.
If I were to do it over, I’d address the elephant in the living-room at dance sooner. Did I know them “well enough” to share persoanlly? Who is to say? I will say that I know them much better now, and I like that.
I still have a long way to go, but last week was well worth celebrating – with the friends who get it, with the community I celebrate life with each week through dance, and with you.
Where are you holding back from asking or sharing because you don’t know someone well enough? Might it be that sharing is the very thing you need to do to know them better? It’s worth the risk.