Friend Therapy

I’m not going to lie. June has been a very stressful month for me and my family. Our treasured family pet of 20 years passed away and my brother is in the hospital with Stage 4 cancer.

At mid-month, while I was trying to hold it all together – being a rock for my children grieving their pet and a sounding board for my siblings as the family stress increased, I never really stopped to acknowledge how everything was affecting me.

A long time friend asked me to go golfing. You know you’re stressed when the idea of doing something you normally would consider fun stresses you out!

With my energy levels down, I was going to turn her down completely, but I asked if I could just have coffee with her instead.

As we sat on her lovely deck in the country with lattes and pastries in hand, I let the “everything is going great” facade down and told her things weren’t going well and completely broke down. She hugged me, consoled me, made me laugh and we proceeded to have a 3 hour visit talking about everything under the sun as good friends do. It was just what I needed.

And I almost didn’t go. I almost said, “It’s not a good time.” or “I won’t be good company.” or whatever excuses come to mind when we are avoiding what would be good for us.

Friend therapy is one of the greatest tools we have at our disposal and so often we deny ourselves that because we don’t want to burden others with our upsets. We don’t want to admit the embarrassment of going through hard times. Or, perhaps we don’t want to face the truth.

We need to acknowledge when we are avoiding fun because it is a sign that we are choosing depression, upset and stress – and it is a sign that we need to take action for our own sake.

My friend saved me that day – ok that might be a bit dramatic – but she did lift my spirits, my mood, my outlook and my energy. I feel the strength to keep moving forward and facing the things that are ahead for me and my family. That is priceless.

Reach out to your friends – especially the ones you feel good around,¬†who don’t judge you, and will make you laugh. They are a great gift in your life. Let them give to you. Never be afraid to ask for that – but do ask. They can’t read your mind.



Fay Thompson