When My Friend Let Me Be Vulnerable During a Pain Flare at Dinner


Right now, you’re in your room, asleep, while I’m on the couch in your living room trying to cope with my pain level skyrocketing.

It started out as a normal day, other than me having slightly low energy. I went to work, went to a doctors appointment, and then went to grab dinner with you. Dinner was great, and then when I was feeling slightly off. So, we went back to your place for a little bit.

And then the pain got worse.

There’s so much guilt that I feel in the midst of a flare up, regardless of the situation. But, I don’t think I’ve been in a spot where I couldn’t function enough to get myself home. Things went from OK to not OK very quickly, and that scares me. I haven’t ever had to be this vulnerable in front of you before. I don’t want to be a burden, and even if you’re telling me I’m not, it still is incredibly hard to have to ask for help.

Thank you for always making me feel safe and valued. It’s because of this that I can feel comfortable telling you that I need help and can’t make it back to my car tonight. It’s because I know you value me that I am able to open up to you, squeezing your hand and crying on your shoulder. It’s because I feel safe that I feel like I can ask you, “Why can’t they fix me?” I take some level of comfort in knowing you feel my pain when you say, “I don’t know.”

Thank you for listening to me apologize over and over. I really am sorry I ruined our night. Thank you for reassuring me you wouldn’t leave, and promising that you wouldn’t make me go to the hospital unless it was my decision. Thank you for listening as I said, “It’s not fair,” over and over. Thank you for telling me you weren’t mad at me and that I wasn’t a burden.

Thank you for being in both “friend mode” and “doctor mode” tonight. I feel especially torn when I talk to you about my health. While I know you and trust you above almost anyone else, I feel a sense of guilt in feeling like I’m taking advantage of the letters “M.D.” that will soon come after your name. You’ve been such a good friend since before you got into medical school, and I’m trying not to take advantage of the fact that you’re now a month away from being a doctor.

Thank you for taking care of me. You are absolutely amazing. I know that I’m a better person because you’re my friend, and I’m so grateful for that. I know that there are very few people in the world with a heart as big as yours, and I’m grateful to be a part of your life.

You’re the best.

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