Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Fear and Friends

Since the stroke happened, one of the things I have really and truly dreaded, is seeing people who knew me before the stroke. I wonder what they will see, think and notice. What will they compare and will the "like" the post-stoke person? For the past couple of years, I have only had that with a handful of people due to the fact I lived abroad for so long. Most of the people I know here don’t know the pre-stroke me, and the ones that do, hadn’t really seen me that recently or often. But, in the past month, I have had two of those situations. One planned and one not.

The first one was when Christopher sent me a message on Facebook that he was going to be in Vegas. I was happy to see him, but felt very intimidated as well. Christopher and I spent most of our time together at work. We went out a few times for drinks or food, but mostly our interaction was at the office. On the day we were to meet, I decided to leave town. Partly because I forgot, but I think partly because I just didn’t want to deal with it. Just as I was on my was out of town, my phone rang and it was Christopher and so, against my self protective instincts, I decided to meet up with him later that afternoon.

Last Friday evening, I was out for a drink at a place I had never heard of before here in Las Vegas. Then at one point, standing less than 15 feet away from me, was my friend Stephen who I know from When we both lived in Delhi. Stephen and I, along with a small group of people spent quite a lot of time together. I would say that if everyone was in town, we saw each other at least once a week on average. To see him here in Vegas was shocking, to say the least. I suddenly felt like the spotlight was on and there I was, unprepared. I felt awkward and didn’t really know what to say. We agreed to meet up again during his stay in town. I spent the next day both hoping he would call and hoping he wouldn’t. Then on Sunday I got the message that they would be by the pool at a hotel here and I was invited.

As with Christopher, I almost backed out. And as with Christopher, I am glad I didn’t. Honestly, I didn’t expect anything to be different, and I know that a lot of the fear is just that, fear, some imaginary scenario I have looping through my head. If either one of them noticed anything different, neither anything or acted any different than I remember. Conversations might have been a bit different than before as time had past, we had all been through some pretty major life experiences. I was not the only one to be dealing with loss and change and grieving over the past years and months.

After the intimidation wore off, which was pretty quick, I had an amazing time catching up with both of them. And as usual, each time I break through the fear of what I think is or might be, I almost always discover that I was really fearful of nothing.


  1. I look forward to meeting you again Rob. We were never close, but we had mutual liking and great conversations.
    Your experience has made you grow and think in a way which I can't imagine. And maybe my life in between that epic evening in a bar in Madrid (which is one of my most memorable moments with you) and when we meet brings stories which I can amuse or interest you with.
    It's all life, even though yours was close to death. We all live, change, grow, learn and shuffle along.
    Thanks for always sharing your thoughts so candidly. Jessica from the Wunderman days

  2. When you came to Denver, were you afraid I would try to take advantage of you? (again) :-) Your true friends will always love and accept you for who you are Robb. And to those who don't, it is their loss if the relationship ends. Hugs to you, Julie