When My Friend Shouted 'Spoonie!' Across the Table at Me


It was late one night Saturday night when one of my friends started to inquire about my chronic illnesses. Mainly my epilepsy and chronic pain. I shyly and apprehensively started answering them. I’m very outspoken about my health, but when someone first publicly asks me about it I initially become a bit quiet. I guess I get worried about what they think. I worry if they think I’m talking about it for attention, rather than my true intentions, which is for education and awareness.

Anyways, as soon as I began talking, another friend, or more so acquaintance shouted across the table, “Spoonie!” My eyes lit up and I smiled. While I never wish for anyone to have any sort of health issues, in that instance I didn’t feel so alone. The whole time I’ve dealt with my health issues I’ve always had people who have stood by my side. I’ve had my amazing family who’s fought right by side. I’ve also had my loving, supportive boyfriend who has picked me up when I was down and never stopped loving me even in my weakest moments. However, I never truly felt I had that person that I could talk to who really got what I was going through. Who understood the hardships of dealing with the unknown, the mistreatment by the medical professionals, the pain, the trouble explaining that you’re not healthy despite looking like you are. I never had that person.

Yet when that one word was shouted, I knew that had changed. I had someone who understood when others didn’t. After that moment we talked for a long time about all our experiences and all our health issues. Some of our health issues were different and some of them were similar, but it didn’t matter the diagnoses. What mattered was that our situations were all too familiar. What mattered was that we weren’t alone anymore.

We may often feel alone, misunderstood, forgotten. However, what’s most important is that we remember that we are stronger together and we are never truly alone.

We are always together.

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Thinkstock photo by oatawa

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