It can be tricky to say thank you, sometimes. It can be hard to find the words to express what we really mean, because so often, when we say thank you, what we mean is so much more than that. Someone holds the door open for you, you say thank you. Someone’s says ‘bless you’, and you say thank you. Someone tells you that you look pretty today, you say thank you.
People always say that actions can mean much more than words. But in this case, that’s still not right, is it? Because holding the door open for someone is an action, but yet they still get the same response as those who spoke. That’s because it’s not about the actions just being actions, it’s about the meaning behind those actions. Someone holds the door open because they’ve been told it is the polite thing to do. When someone helps you confront your biggest fears, the sentiment is very different. For me, that’s a little tricky to cope with, because I want to say thank you. But thank you isn’t enough. But I struggle with words, and don’t know what to do, so I say thank you again and again. Now thank you means nothing anymore. It’s in the rut, with sorry.
But this time, thank you wasn’t enough. And I tried saying it again and again. But repeating the words didn’t make them mean any more. But maybe I can explain myself now. I hope so, because I need to say a proper thank you. And I need to explain why that thank you means more than any that I’ve said before. Because she deserves that much; what she did for me was really special.
A few weeks ago, my best friend allowed me to confront my biggest fear. For anyone who’s been around here for a while. They’ll know that I’m largely terrified of alcohol. Whilst I’ve come to university and learned slowly to cope and ignore, the idea of getting drunk was, and still is, very much a no go zone. But this friend promised me a long time ago that we’d do it together. And my lord, we did. Big time.
She’s always helped me with alcohol related fears. From just after we first met when she saw my terrified face at the concept of being asked if I’d like a drink by her mother, to an hour or so later on that same night, when in a room on our own, she made me take just a sip of that drink. A few years later, we ordered wine in a restaurant in London. Both under age (although me only admittedly by a couple of days), they handed us the wine menu, so I let her order, and I drank my first glass of wine. A few days later, I let her mix cocktails on my eighteenth, and feed them to me on the presumption that she’d look after me. My parents told her to watch over me. It was fine, I didn’t get drunk. I was too ruled by fear. Ironically, a few months later at her eighteenth, her parents said the same to me. Little did they know that the situation would be completely reversed. That night, her eighteenth, was the first time we got tipsy together, or as I kept saying ‘I’m just a little bit drunk’. My first ever jager bomb was bought by my favourite teacher, and we well and truly danced the night away. We crept into her house much later than we were supposed to and ate birthday cake before heading to bed, and waking up very early, and rather hung over the next morning to revise. There’s been ups and downs since then, which we won’t mention. But a few weeks ago, she came to visit me. She stuck to that promise that we made that when the visit happened, we’d get drunk together, and she’d keep me safe.
It’s fair to say that I was absolutely bricking it. Well, truly, and completely shitting myself. Somehow, she forced me to hold it together, and we made it down to prees and pizza. The rest, as they say, is history. Mainly because I can’t remember that much of it. From what I’m told, I danced like a complete idiot, was VERY stubborn that I would NOT get onto the strip pole, we stayed later than my course friends, asked for our favourite friendship song to be played – twice, and I spurted a lot of microbiology (I’d had the exam that day). Microbiology wasn’t all I spurted, either. I was six approximately six times over the course of three hours, and she made me change into a new set of pyjamas. We didn’t get to bed until half five, and I woke up at 8.30am shitting myself because I couldn’t remember what I’d done. Subsequently, I woke her up to ask, too. I was so so scared, it’s too difficult to explain.
But now, I can laugh about it. Whilst I’m in no hurry to tell my parents, it’s the kind of thing that happens to teenagers all the time, and I’be been told that it happens to everyone at least once. I’m just glad it happened when my best friend was there to carry me home, remove my necklace, put me into bed, and tie my hair back. And it sure as hell won’t be happening again. It’s the kind of thing that will be completely forgotten about until I ask her to make a speech on my wedding day. Which I will be asking her to do. My lord, she’s got better stories than anyone else!
And whilst I have begun to confront my fears, it’s plain to see that thank you is just not enough. She may be training to be a doctor, but this girl hates sick. Yet she propped me up at the toilet, and she made sure that I was okay. I know for a fact that I cannot think of one other person who would do that for me.
But she knew I was afraid, and she knew that I feared that I would get hurt, or do something that I would regret. But she made it safe. She made it okay, and she allowed me to do something that a year ago, I didn’t think that I’d ever be able to do. I’m so grateful for that, you cannot even imagine. She’s the only person that could make me safe enough to not worry about what I was drinking. Nobody else will ever manage that, I’m certain. I always struggle with words, and to say exactly how much it means to me. But it does mean the world. If she didn’t truly love me, she wouldn’t do that for me. They say that our friends are the family we choose, but it’s not just that. I don’t think we chose this friendship, because when we met, we seemed the most unlikely pair. We were thrown together on a school trip that left our worlds colliding, and we’ve simply never looked back. I’m proud to say that she’s the sister that I never had, and I’m finally confident that she will support me and care for me until the end of the world, no matter what choices I make or fears that I have.
And I’d do the same for her. Always and forever.
So thank you. And I really mean that, more than ever, and more than anything else in the world.