The Mighty Logo

To My Friend With Chronic Illness, From Your Friend Who Has Your Back

To my friend with a chronic illness,

You are my friend, and I love you.

You aren’t an illness or a diagnosis. You aren’t weak or burdensome. You tell me you feel you aren’t tough or courageous, but your actions tell me another story. You are mighty, and I am so very proud of you for the way you carry on, and I am proud to be welcomed into your life.

If you’ve heard my voice sink when you had to cancel our plans, that’s not disappointment with you. I feel sad that you are suffering. I feel powerless because all the caring and compassion I have for you can’t lift the weight on your shoulders. I wish with all my heart and soul that I could make it all better and if there were a price to be paid, I’d be ready to do whatever it took to settle that bill. None of that changes that I want to be around you, and when you are up to it, I’ll be there. I’ll keep inviting you out and saving a spot for you.

When I look at you, I see the good and the bad. I see the guilt, fear, anger and frustration. I also see kindness, love, compassion, wonder and joy. To say that I don’t see the negatives is dishonesty and a disservice to all the effort you put into daily life. I see them. I value them. They do not detract from the person that I have come to care about and admire.

I aspire to pick up the best parts of you and to incorporate them into myself. If our friends are a mirror for what we are, I am forever improved because you saw that I was worth letting into your world. Earning the trust of a person with a chronic illness is no easy feat. To be welcomed into that fold is to be accepted into a very exclusive, superlatively special club.

I very much want you to get better, but I also want you to know that if you don’t, I will still be here. When you are feeling low and struggling, I will sit with you, so you aren’t alone. When you are feeling good and look your best, I want to be there to celebrate, laugh with you and to make the best possible memories, so we can look back and say we lived the best we could.

I am so very fortunate to have you, and I will do everything I can to help. You’re special to me. That remains true regardless of the circumstances. Sick or well, happy or sad, every minute with you is a gift to be treasured for the rest of my days.

Whatever happens, I want you to know that I have your back. If you need to focus on yourself and your health – physical, mental, emotional, or otherwise – then I encourage you to do so. If I can help, I want to do so. If you need space, I understand. My caring for you is not conditional or contingent on your status or capability. Whatever you are, that is what I love and support.

With love and devotion, always,
Your friend

Getty photo by Archv

Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home