Lee came into his own for me, during this summer. It was a deeply distressing time for me, at a point when I was not medicated and suffering with the effects of Bipolar in their full glory. That was not the most comfortable of things to witness and for most people, would have been enough trauma to bare, but he saw it through, with Jason and myself and did what Lee does best. He kept the house in good order, cleaned furiously, made me laugh and saw me in some terrible states. Things got so bad, that I allowed both Lee and Natalee to attend a Doctors appointment, to give me the support I needed, when Jason was unable to be there because of his own appointment with destiny.
Both Lee and Natalee were fantastic at speaking for me, when I was unable, either through sheer exhaustion or frustration at the lack of care being administered by The NHS at the time. They watched my Doctor scroll through reams and reams of notes, trying to reach conclusions and their support in pushing me forward at a difficult time was invaluable. In all honesty I am not sure, I would have coped with that important appointment, without them. For me at the time, the indignity of allowing others into a private appointment was clear. There is very little, personal time, that I can spend with anyone these days and for me The Doctor was my time to express how I felt. A personal and private meeting, in which I could lay down my thoughts to a professional, who was there to help. Lee knows more about me at that time, now, than I probably remember about it myself. The marvelous thing about the mind, is its ability to forget trauma, popping it somewhere safe and secure, to be analysed at a date and time more conducive to recovery. For Lee and Natalee, who were witness to this point in my life, when I needed people, more lucid than I, to take on board the ramifications of my situation, that conversation will always remain fresh, for me, I don't remember a thing.
Part of recovery, is about trying to deal with every day life and do all the things that one would normally be able too, if one was well enough. I remember we spent a lovely day at the beach in Bournemouth at a particularly manic time for me. The day was hot, which for me, is normally a bad sign, as I don't get on in the heat at the best of times, let alone play ball and actually sit frying in the afternoon sun, turning into a lobster, as the British do, but without Lee there it would have been far worse. He does have this ability to make me laugh, playing one of his characters, that cheer me up and make me feel less pressured, stressed and more able to cope a little better. Lee is a funny guy and always knows just the right thing to say, to knock me out of whatever cycle I may be in at the time.
Lee spent a lot of time with us here at Capri, this past summer, he almost became part of the family, he met all those who came visiting and was, as ever the perfect house guest. There may well have been times, that I was sick of seeing various faces, day after day, but I know now, why that was necessary. The importance of familiarity and stability at a time of great strife was important, very important. Not only did it take pressure off Jason and others, but it also provided, that all important network of close friends, that is so important in aiding recovery. The stronger the group of people are, the easier it is to come out the other side, less scarred that would otherwise be the case. Whether you call those close, friends, or as I call them, family, they became integral to my stability and ability to move out of danger zones quickly. Of course Lee would also prevent me from leaving the house, or harming myself, but it was much, much more than that, it was offering a closeness, that had been sadly lacking in my life at that time. Family it was, and family it will remain.
Lee came to the fore with me at least, at our Wedding, he really showed just how much he cared for us both and became a great source of support on the day, making sure everything ran like clockwork, handing out the order of service and running around getting everyone to sign our Wedding book. He was a little trooper, and made the day that much easier for us. He came back to Capri afterwards, where we spent quality time chatting, going through photographs and generally being there when Jason couldn't, due to his family commitments. From the moment he arrived at Capri, on the morning of our Marriage, he acted perfectly and as I know, enjoyed the day as much as us. It is because of Lee and of course many others, that we look back with such happiness, on a day, that for so long hung in the balance. The relief we felt, that everything went without a hitch was worth so much and that is thanks to people like Lee.
I have seen Ralphie in a different light recently, despite our turbulent friendship, up's and down's and arguments, Lee was always there when it counted. He showed a side of himself, that I had not appreciated, until I became ill and had to rely on others for support. His support was unconditional and heartfelt, specifically because of the friendship we had. Just like the battles throughout mine and Jason's time together, both Lee and myself, had many fights, which we both carried around with us, like a cross to bare, rubbing it in each others face whenever we could. Today we still do it, but laugh about those circumstances in equal measure, they made our friendship what it was and also made us grow closer at times when we both needed it.
I can't promise I will never again fall out with Lee, because that is what makes our friendship work in the way it does, but I am damn sure, I will do my very best to make light of any future failings before opening that box full of drama past. Thanks for being there gay daughter and thanks for making the bad times, a little more bearable. Much love x