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To My Friends Who Are With Me on My Chronic Illness Journey

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Dear Forever Friends,

Never would I have thought that this would be my life. Whether you have been a part of my life since first grade, or just came into my life this year, you have all made a huge impact on my journey.

I am so thankful for every single one of you – more than you will ever know.

Thank you for the little things you do, such as trying to keep up with my constantly changing health situation, sending me encouraging texts, and making sure I never feel left out. Thank you for always pushing me to go out, but also for staying in with me. Thank you for letting me always pick the restaurant based on where the menu is the most suitable. Thank you for leaving events early with me when I feel sick. Thank you for not judging me when I’m eating baby food and drinking Ensure. Thank you for always supporting me with everything I do, and all the decisions I make. And most importantly, thank you for treating me like I am “normal.”

The writer with a friend, standing on a hay bale.

To the friend I’ve known all of childhood, thank you for acting like nothing has changed. I appreciate that we have known each other for almost 15 years now, and you’ve remained constant. Even if we only see each other every once in a while, I know you’re always there.

To my friends who I’ve known from home. Thank you for not changing. I can always count on you guys to lay around and do nothing with, or bake a fun desert from Pinterest. You knew me before my chronic illnesses and you’ve stuck with me through it all.

To my role models, thank you for showing me the way when I came to college. Navigating college away from home can be a terrifying experience, let alone when you’re battling multiple illnesses. Thank you for guiding me academically and giving me the best life experience you can. I look up to you more than you know.

To my little ray of sunshine. Thank you for being so fun, positive, and spunky. I need that on good and bad days. Thank you for sending me weird pictures and memes that make me forget about everything. I am blessed by your kind heart.

The writer with a friend.

To my best friend. I hope everyone like me has a friend like you in their lifetime. Thank you for coming into my life when I needed you the most. You’re my rock and my shoulder to cry on. Thank you for keeping up with latest and greatest of my health saga. Thank you for the trips to CVS and dropping everything whenever I need you. Thank you for giving me confidence to fight these diseases and understanding me on a deep level. You have more strength in you than anyone else I know. There truly are not enough “thank yous” in the world for your friendship. I love you more than you know.

To those of my fellow chronic illness fighters, I hope you each have your own “tribe.” And if you don’t yet, do not worry. You will find friends in the most unexpected places and they will walk into your life when you need them most. Keep searching for those people that genuinely care about you and what you’re going through. Friends are what get me through the hard times, so I hope you find yours soon.


Your chronic illness best friend.

Originally published: May 2, 2018
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