The Important Ways My Best Friend Supports Me in Life With Chronic Illness

You always sound ready. It’s like you know that if the words “help” come out of my mouth, that I already weighed those words carefully and I must truly need it. You are my best friend and I’m gonna brag about you online right now.

I have chronic illness, I haven’t shared the intricate details until this year, because if you have to prove that you need help… what’s the point? But here’s the deal: I am too sick to fake it these days. You didn’t know I was sick when we became friends, you didn’t know I need reliable people in my corner. You didn’t know I was struggling to manage my children’s learning differences, my household, my pregnancy and my self-care. You didn’t know, you just showed up – because that’s the kind of friend you are. A show-upper. Never mind that you have four of your own children who have their own unique needs and learning differences, you show up. Never mind that your husband was away for a month at an internship, you still babysat for me. Never mind that you just went to urgent care yesterday, you offered to watch my kids when I needed to run to the ER with my toddler.

And what’s better? You aren’t some world-class rescuer. You. Show. Up. And. Help. But you also ask for help in return. You ask me for advice. You ask for help with your kids. You accept my food when I offer to cook for you.

You are my village. I feel like a contributor when we interact. As someone who is unable to work due to chronic illness, I feel useful and important doing life with you.

You take me at my word; it’s as bad/good as I say it is. You cheer for me and cry with me. You are one of my first phone calls when I get lab results, or news from a doctor. Why? Because the news affects you about as much as it affects my own family.

We sharpen one another, always leaving the other in better shape than when we found them. Becoming friends with you has helped me grow in new ways. I feel refreshed after a phone call with you.

Thank you for all that you do for your family, and mine. Thank you for trusting me with your children, and thank you for being trustworthy with mine. You are an incredible addition to my life; more people need a friend like you. I pray that everyone has an opportunity to experience a friendship like this in their lifetime.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Getty Image by manop1984

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Illness

lorde instagram screenshot

Lorde Claps Back at People Who Try to Tell Her How to Treat Her Acne

Lorde is not here for anyone’s’ unsolicited “suggestions” for treating her acne, and has some words of encouragement for others dealing with “bad skin.” On Saturday night, Lorde posted an Instagram story of herself lying down with a purplish-pink light on her face (Refinery 29 reported it was an acne LED light therapy device). The [...]
A woman looking at a sunset, visualizing.

When Your Illness Changes Your Dreams

Lately, it’s felt like the news, both online and on TV, is all about being your best self – no matter what type of adversity you’re facing. I’ve read about people finishing marathons while having stage four cancer. Loosing 100 pounds just by walking. Curing their own diseases by changing their diet. We live in a [...]
screenshots from period tracker apps

9 Apps That Can Help People With Chronic Illnesses Track Their Periods

If you’re of a certain age, you may remember the days of marking your period on a calendar — maybe coming up with your own system of symbols and colors to keep track of your symptoms and when it was supposed to arrive. Well, thanks to smartphones, your desk or pocket calendar is no longer [...]

15 Cover-Up Brands for When Your Illness Makes You Break Out

One of the “fun” (read: annoying) side effects of chronic illness is the havoc it can wreak on your skin. Maybe your medications cause you to break out, or you’re highly sensitive to sun, or you sweat frequently, leading to clogged pores. Or, maybe you have a diagnosed skin condition, like psoriasis or rosacea. While [...]