Recently I’ve been having some problems with a friend. The issue was trivial, my reaction astronomical. It turns out that when you’re feeling fragile, no matter how aware you are of your colossal over-reaction to a situation, it’s really difficult to slow down the stress train.
I won’t go into microscopic detail but essentially I feel like one of my close friends isn’t being overwhelmingly sympathetic to my current poor health. Then when I dropped out of a music festival the two of us were going to this Saturday her reaction was less ‘I’m sorry you’re feeling shitty, how can I help?’ and more ‘Are you going to refund me for my ticket if I can’t find someone else to go with?’
I was upset, to put it mildly. Adrenaline coursed through my veins, there were some tears and I felt so stressed and hysterical I had to spend most of the next day in bed spooning a hot water bottle and watching crap TV. A ridiculous reaction to something that, although a little upsetting, wasn’t an impending apocalypse. For me, selfishness is one of the most abhorrent qualities a person can possess, but I’m also aware my friend has her own problems and she probably didn’t mean to act like a dick.
My mother had some words of wisdom to impart. “Sometimes, Claire, it’s OK to be an ostrich,” she said.
“An ostrich? What?”
Turns out she meant it in terms of burying your head in the sand. Stepping away from an issue, not even attempting to deal with it until a later date. Sometimes when you’re not strong, the wisest thing to do is walk away. I don’t feel like this situation has been resolved, there’s still a lot to say, many Britney Spears ‘Toxic’ lyrics to be quoted, but now isn’t the time for any of that. Now is the time to make like an ostrich.
So that’s what I’m going to do, and I feel pretty good about it. Who knows, I might even be able to save a friendship this way.