Thursday, 18 January 2018
Be Your Own Best Friend
I took this photo two days ago.
I was in a cafe with my friend, Harriet, waiting for the results of my blood tests.
Those of you who know my story will be aware that I am a breast cancer survivor. As a result, I have regular check ups at the cancer clinic to make sure that there aren't any pesky cancer cells rampaging around my body.
Currently, breast cancer that spreads beyond the breast and lymph nodes (secondary breast cancer), is incurable. So waiting for those test results is a bit.... nerve wracking. To say the least.
So Harriet came with me to hold my hand. And I took this photo to remind myself of the true value of a great friend.
You see, Harriet is a busy lady. She runs a business from home. Her incredible Spacemasks are so popular that the Royal Mail come to her house to collect her mountains of boxes, packaged up by herself, often with hand written note.
But Harriet wasn't too busy to take a whole morning out to sit in a hospital waiting room with me. And I wasn't exactly sparkly company.
True friends, I realised, will always put you first when you're having a tough time.
They don't expect you to be perfect. They applaud your strengths and forgive your weaknesses, which they know are what makes you human.
A real friend doesn't expect you to always be on best form. They know that sometimes you just need to sit quietly and have a hug.
And this got me thinking. Why is it that we are unable to treat ourselves the way we'd like our friends to treat us?
So, please, if you are having a tough time - whether you're giving up the booze or another addiction, going through a divorce, coping with illness, or just dealing with the lemons that life sometimes chucks at us, then treat yourself like your own best friend.
Make time to look after yourself. Give yourself a hug, by taking some time out to relax, buying yourself flowers, booking yourself a massage. You deserve it.
And stop judging yourself! We often focus on our faults and ignore our strengths. See yourself the way your best friend does - flawed, yes, but awesome.
And you know what the amazing thing is? If you start to really believe that you are worthy of friendship, you attract even more friends, and you'll have even more hands to hold.
And if you have a friend who's going through a hard time, please be like Harriet.
When I was drinking (a lot), I spent an awful lot of time thinking about myself. Usually negatively.
Now I have so much more time and energy that I can properly focus on other people, and I'm a much better friend. Still not perfect, but better.
And, by the way, the blood tests were all clear! Whoop whoop!
You can read my story, of quitting the booze (and getting breast cancer) in The Sober Diaries. Click here to go to my Amazon page. You can read the first few chapters for free using the 'look inside' feature.
There's loads more information and inspiration on the SoberMummy Facebook page here, and you can now follow me on Instagram at @clare_pooley
Love to you all,