‘All of your battles will show you who you are.’ Maybe. But they are more likely to show you who other people are….
In Part 2 of ‘Connecting to the mother keyboard‘ Alice Smith explores 2022 friendships
Hospital and convalescence is the best place to contemplate your life – your success, your failures, any regrets and the state of your bank account and job. (Sick pay anyone?) Most of all, convalescence is an Observation Post from which to view your friendships. Or should I say ‘friendships?’
Room with a view
The view from lying on a hospital bed is nothing if not honest. Do you have any visitors? How many? Are they regular or do they sit and run? And when you get home does anyone visit or are they ‘too busy?’ Every injury and illness – like divorce – drags us to a harsh friendship audit. As with every major life event, friends fallout is not always welcome…….but who ever said they liked spring cleaning?
Me and mine
If your friend has children or a husband you are unlikely to see them too often. This is because we are now safely and permanently (?) conditioned to put ‘me and mine first.’ If they visit you that means that they ‘neglect’ husband who loudly states ‘Why should you help? She only has herself to blame if she doesn’t have anyone. Stay away from weirdos like that.’ These women are trapped in a patriarchal cage which – even in 2022 – still feels like the chains on the sink only now the kitchen is nicer and the holidays got better. (Instagrammable.)
You should be better
One of the most surprising observations from the Bed Post is the friend who tells you ‘You should be better by now.’ Also likely to criticise the state of your kitchen as a ‘health hazard,’ and your expanding waistline ‘no more snacks – it’s spreading’ this friend leaves you worse than she found you. Breaking Rule Number 1 of Caring 101.
The problem from where I am lying is this- we are just not used to recuperation periods after injury or illness any more. Thanks to our capitalist mindset we actually enter sick rooms like Alan Sugar, ready to criticise an unproductive person who used to be our friend. The idea of a convalescence or a recuperation period being essential is no longer even understood. We are ‘on or off.’ We are a productive cog in the machinery or we have to be shamed until we hurry up back to our place. Add to this, a compete grief illiteracy which sees us shutting sick, old or dying people away from sight. The result? 2022 friends who do not know how to bring comfort to you when you are injured.
What have we done?
Alice Smith is recovering from a serious injury. This is part 2 of a series of blogs from the hospital bed called ‘Connecting to the mother keyboard.’