Fainting, seizures, heart monitors, plans of suicide.. EKGs, EEGs, echocardiograms.. How often do you hear about these things in relation to your friends (assuming you're under 70)? How often do you hear "ER"? I hear them a lot, especially lately. These are people I know and love, whom I've lived with and shared way too much personal information with.
I sat next to a good friend of mine from Walden at dinner Saturday night. I met her in PHP just over a year ago now, which is strange, as it feels like it's been years. As she talked, I looked at her face and thought, If I were emotionally removed from this community, it would send a chill down my spine to think of the things she's done in her past. But, I'm not. And it didn't. I'm not much phased by any of it anymore, which is odd knowing how those who haven't experienced it, personally, are so overly shaken by it, it seems. This, of course, is not to say that I don't care. I care very much. I care every time I hear a friend is going to the ER or back to treatment. I care every time I receive an e-mail or Facebook message from someone I've never met that wanted me to know s/he is going to treatment for the first time and was hoping I could settle their nerves about what to expect. I think the difference is that I no longer worry. Worry is wasted energy and, let's be honest, it doesn't help anyone. Action and care help, worry does not. Maybe it's because I know the routes or because I know that everything will turn out how it's meant to. I can support someone, but I cannot save them. They have to save themselves and, when they're ready, they will.
It's hard when you form these relationships. You grow to learn these peoples' stories and to love them during some of the hardest times of their lives. Meanwhile, you're fighting for your own. I just hope people are able to find where to draw the line so that they don't lose sight of what's most important: their own recovery. You can't be much of a wall to lean on if you can't even hold yourself up.