As I was walking to lunch, I ran into a girl from my therapy group. She was having a phone conversation and I was looking the other way, watching the snow. I heard someone call out, “SHELBY!” and then “Hold on one second,” and the manner in which I turned to hug her and she ignored her phone and jumped to hug me was one of the most comforting things I’ve felt in a long time. All I could say over and over was “He’s fine! … he’s fine… he’s okay. He’s home.”
She squeezed me tighter and I practically cried, because she relaxed so much upon hearing that my dad was okay. It’s so nice to know that even though you feel like you’re the only one going through a life-or-death situation, there are other people in the same boat of mental distress with you. She was one of them. She probably has more empathy in one arm than I do in my whole body.
I kept up with our counseling moderator through email during the whole process, but I’m unsure as to how much she actually told the group. I’m going to check in with everyone tomorrow just to update them on how everything went, and calm their nerves if they were as stressed as I was. I needed that dose of comfort for the day, though. I still need people to hug me, and tell me they love me, and tell me they know how I feel.
For some reason, she just turned my day around.