…the space they need while simultaneously making it clear that they remain available and supportive. It sounds simple, but the people I know who’ve reached out to say that they care about me but I should feel absolutely no pressure to respond before I’m ready — and who really do back off after saying that — are uniformly people who have personal or familial experience with cancer.
Despite my efforts, I still feel like I’m failing. I’m wracked with guilt over the people I’ve only talked to once or twice since this whole ordeal started, the friends I put off for weeks while I try to carve out some time for myself. The problem is, I don’t need the odd free night here and there to recharge. I need whole days of emptiness. I need them just as badly as I need support.