On Mental Health

The greatest news ever- I got my best friend back!!

On Wednesday I had the best news I’ve had so far this year.

A friend of Nina’s messaged me to say that when he visited her that morning she had been much better, and that she had been asking about me and wanted my phone number so she could call me. I got this message as I was walking through my front door after work, which was lucky as no-one saw the tears which followed.

I messaged Ru, to tell him the good news, and then messaged Nina’s friend back to say thanks for letting me know. He gave me the number for the ward she was on, and I told him I’d call her tomorrow, as I had a day off work and so would have enough time to be able to speak to her properly.

I also needed a little time to process. I literally felt as though a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders, but at the same time knew she had been going up and down, and therefore that her lucidity might just have been the product of a good morning. I figured I wouldn’t know either way until I called and spoke to her, and so tried to put it out of my mind until the next day. I was feeling psyched though- even if it she wasn’t entirely better yet, it was obviously a massive step in the right direction and therefore so positive!

I called her yesterday, not being completely sure what to expect, but mentally crossing every finger, toes, arm and leg. I felt like a pretzel all wrapped up in hope knots. A nurse answered the phone, and when I said Nina’s name she instantly told me she’d pass me over. My heart literally leapt into my mouth and my pulse rocketed. Nina picked up and said “hello?” in a small voice. I told her it was me, and she said “oh Ally, how are you my special friend?”

She told me she was ok, but that everything was very strange; she said she couldn’t quite work out what had happened, why she was on a hospital ward or how she had ended up there. Despite the fact that she was confused, it took me about 30 seconds to realise that this was Nina! I was actually talking to my friend again! I told her this, and then broke down a little and told her what an amazing relief it was to hear her voice and be able to speak to her again.

She said she couldn’t remember anything from the time she’d been hospitalised; three months of time had slipped from her memory. She’d been having EST treatment, and although I don’t much time for this, I may now may have to revise my opinion of it, because it seems to have contributed to her recovery. I explained what had happened to her over the last three months, about the initial experience and what the doctors had thought happened, and then about the reaction she had had to the meds and the next 6 weeks on the intensive care ward.

I told her she’d been through the ringer, and that she was the strongest woman alive. I told her I’d been to see her, and that when I hadn’t been with her I’d been thinking of her continuously. I reminded her that she’d promised me she’d go away on holiday with me when she was better, and that we must still do that, despite the fact that I didn’t really want to stand next to her in a bikini anymore.

She listened, and laughed when I told her how jealous I was that she’d lost so much weight and was so dam skinny. I joked, “every cloud has a silver lining.. yes the last 3 months have been bloody horrendous, but you’re bloomin skinny now! So at least one awesome thing has come of this!” She laughed as well, because we’ve always said that you have to find ways to laugh at the ridiculous situations this bloody horrendous disease gets us into.

It was so strange, so very unbelievably strange and breath-taking and incredible to talk to her and hear her express herself and ask me questions. I felt like she’d been in a coma, and had finally woken up. Obviously I’ve seen her and spoken to her over the last 3 months- but that was never really Nina- it was like 1 part Nina and 4 parts psychosis.

She sounded so completely level, and so understandably bemused by her strange surroundings; like she’d woken up from a really long sleep and couldn’t remember the dreams she’d been having. I couldn’t talk to her long because her dad and step mum arrived to see her, but I told her I’d call her the night after, and would be there to see her on Saturday.

After I hung up I felt as though I was in a dream. I had been so worried, and so upset about what had happened; I would find myself getting down and despondent, and then resent myself for not being more positive. A few days earlier I had finally turned a corner in my thinking, I’d let go of all my worries and fears which related to her, and embraced nothing but the positive mantra; she will get better. Ru had loads of input into this- I’d tell him what I was troubled by, and he would say, “don’t worry, she’ll come back to you soon.”

And it turns out sooner than expected!

I feel as though my optimism has had positive results- a powerful example of the power of positive thinking- don’t be troubled by your worries and doubts, instead hold onto what you hope and dream for!

My friend is, quite possibly, the strongest woman on this planet. I may be slightly biased.. but she is strong in ways which most people wouldn’t even be able to imagine. She has gone through such hard times, such trials and tribulations- and now she has come out the other side. She kept fighting the illness, kept fighting all the BS it fired at her and forced her to engage with. I’m actually glad that she doesn’t remember it, because none of it would have been worth remembering.

Soon we’ll be back at hers, drinking wine, eating chocolate and spending time together again. I feel as though I’ve been blessed; my friend has come back to me, and come back to the light. I always knew there was too much of it shining inside of her to ever entertain all the dark for too long.. and she has confirmed this. She’s a trooper and the most amazing woman ever, and I’m so over the moon that she has come through this most testing time and will be able to leave hospital soon.

It really has been the best few days 🙂



8 thoughts on “The greatest news ever- I got my best friend back!!

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