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Why Others With Chronic Illnesses Have Become My Best Friends

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This post I am about to write was inspired by a sweet friend, who I am so thankful has come into my life since my diagnosis.

But let me first back up to before my diagnosis. Before I knew what was going on with me, I felt others were very caring when I didn’t feel well, almost concerned as to what it is that could be bothering me. I had a good amount of friends, who reached out to me daily, commented on social media posts often, and showed a great deal of compassion and wanted to hang out. The same goes for family members also. When I finally received my endometriosis diagnosis in March, I felt like a lot of that stopped. The first few days were filled with many people checking in on how surgery went, but as weeks went on, months went on, I felt a distant connection between me and a lot of people. It almost felt like we all had nothing in common anymore. Which in reality, we didn’t.

I began my blog and began posting a lot about my illness. For me, blogging and posting has become therapeutic, and has helped me cope and deal with things on a day to day basis. My goal and intentions were strictly to raise awareness, help other woman struggling, and allow others to better understand what it was I was going through. However, in the back of my mind I was embarrassed. I cringe every time I post something because I can almost feel the eye rolls all the way through social media. To me, I feel like those in my life or who were “once” in my life have heard enough. And this feeling isn’t far off. I have noticed the people I interact with the most on social media and in general, are now those people who are in the chronic illness support groups and communities I follow.

A part of me is sad. Sad that people who I thought were once good friends don’t check in on me anymore. And if they do message me, it’s because they have a question about themselves. I don’t need sympathy and I do not need someone to check in on me everyday, but it is nice to feel loved and wanted still from people who you thought were once friends. A small part of me wishes that those in my life truly understood what a day to day basis is like for me. I am sick and I have a chronic illness. Just because my outsides look OK, does not mean inside I am well. I’m not. Something so invisible and quiet can really be destructive. And this is something those in my life do not understand and something that I feel they get sick of hearing and seeing posts about.

Within my chronic illness community, I have met so many brave, beautiful, inspiring woman. Each story is different, but we all share one thing – compassion for each other. We get it. We don’t judge. We love.

A wall art piece that says, "Fight Like a Girl."

We are there for each other and make sure we don’t go through life alone. I feel like I have more friends now than I ever had. What really brought me to want to write this, has to do with the picture in this post. A couple of weeks ago, this random person (at the time) found me on Instagram. I saw some of her pictures had common interests with me and where I used to live. We started messaging and before I knew it, we had literally talked the entire day. Since that day, we have texted every single day. I could honestly say I consider her a best friend. We get each other. We let each other vent about our illnesses. We check in on each other everyday. We talk about our silly husbands and cats. It’s refreshing. It’s the type of friendship I need.

The picture in this post is a sweet gift she sent to me for my birthday. To remind me I am a fighter. To remind me true friends still do exist, even if you have an illness. To remind me, I am not alone.

A part of me is blessed that I was diagnosed with an illness. It not only led me to her, it lead me to so many other amazing friends. I receive inspiring cards in the mail, comments on my posts, and plan meet ups with all these strong ladies. And it helps me get by. It helps me to have a community of people who are dealing with exactly what I am dealing with. Whether we have known each other for years, months, or a day, I cherish each and everyone of these new exciting friendships. I have friends from all around the world, and not many people can say that.

I still do love those who were in my life before my diagnosis. And I want to make clear that this post isn’t directed towards everyone. There are still a few, very few, amazing friends that check in on me and love me no matter what. And for that I am grateful. But I know others who are struggling with a chronic illness feel completely alone. They feel they have no one but themselves.

I am here to tell them, you are not alone. You have a community of strong, fighting women just like you. Who will always be there for you, understand you, and help you get through your hard times. We are strong. We are beautiful. We are friend.

Follow this journey on My Endo Journey.

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Thinkstock Image By: gpointstudio

Originally published: July 19, 2017
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