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

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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.

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Getty Image by manop1984

Originally published: February 19, 2018
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