When Something Actually Happens

When Something Actually Happens

Losing a friend when you have a chronic illness
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When I first started getting sick I started reading up on people with chronic illnesses. And one thing always stood out in every post I read, how they lost friends as people became aware that this wasn’t temporary. This was permanent. And so far there is no cure. I thought to myself ‘There’s no way this’ll ever happen to me, my friends are too good of friends to do that’. So slowly I started informing friends of mine what was going on. And I was right they stood with me, they cried with me and listened to my frustrations when yet another specialist fell through. I was proud of them and so very grateful to have them in my life.

I had just moved back to Upstate New York when this started so a lot of people didn’t realize I was back. I had people who didn’t realize I was back until I had been here for 18 months! That was with posting on Facebook and my location being somewhere in the capital district. And suddenly someone I was close to in high school and all the way up until I left was messaging me and we were reconnecting. For us it was as simple as breathing to bring our friendship to this current point. She stood with me through the last debacle that was my meeting another specialist. I was so happy she was back in my life.

She was engaged and had begun the wedding planning. I was thrilled for her, because after everything she went through she deserved to have everything. I supported her and chatted about everything from colors to the bachelorette party. She confided that my title was to be ‘Best Friend of the Bride’ with basically co-Maid of Honor duties and everything was going great.

Until the day she started dress shopping and brought the group of us together. I had started to be in pain as I walked to the car where she was waiting with another friend of hers but I didn’t want to be that person and cancel with them in my driveway. So I decided to push through and fake it with my pain levels slowly rising. As I climbed into the back seat of the car I knew this wasn’t going to end well. Having to bend the joints and sit was excruciating to me and I found out after that I didn’t hide how much I was bothered very well.

Add into this I was meeting someone for the first time and I was already nervous, it wasn’t a good situation. We get through the day and I get a text a few hours later that broke my heart. She needed space from me, from our friendship. And at first I understood but as she kept texting me and liking my posts on Facebook I grew more frustrated. How can you ask for space and then keep popping up and expecting me to be okay with it? I was hurting and after a brief exchange via text I asked for some space so I could come to terms with everything. She dropped contact and I went about my day. I saw my therapist that day who helped me understand my frustration and to get a different view on the situation.

So I asked her for a meeting so we could talk. She agreed and we set a tentative time for the next weekend. That weekend she backed out suddenly saying things were ‘too hectic’ and I understood. She had chosen her dress and things were going on for her fiancés birthday party in just a few weeks. She then asked me about my symptoms for my illness. I had briefly told her most of the illness but at that moment I was in what’s commonly referred to as a ‘flare’ where my symptoms are worse and all I can do is try and wait it out.

So I responded telling her everything about what I go through on a daily basis. Well there was no response and I figured she had gotten caught up in something. The next day I was looking at Facebook and noticed a name I didn’t recognize liked something on my account that I had tagged my Dad in. So being curious I went to the likes and wasn’t really noticing anything until after I verified this person was a friend of my Dads. At that point I noticed the ‘Add Friend’ button next to her name.

We’d been friends on Facebook since she got her account. And suddenly the pain was back in my heart and I knew that this was it. It had finally happened to me, I lost a friend due to my illness. And the worst part was she wasn’t even the one I thought for sure would go running because of how sick I am. There were people higher on that list actually. The worst part for me was just how she walked away, didn’t say anything and just left. It’s been a few days now and I’m slowly recovering from the blow that this was to my ego. I occasionally pick up my phone to text her because something happened that I knew she would enjoy and have to remind myself to put my phone down. She’s gone and I need to respect that no matter how much it hurts.

Another friend who was aware of the situation asked me if I could ever be friends with her again and to be completely honest the answer still is ‘I don’t know’. I don’t know if I can trust her and I don’t know if I want to trust her. I have other friends who are still standing with me and as time goes on I’ll make more but no one will ever replace her.

A, if you’re reading this I hope you are getting everything you want in life. I’ll always miss you and I wish you all the happiness in the world. Have a good one and maybe our paths will cross again somewhere on this journey we call life.
Cover Image Credit: Pexels.come

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5 Things That I Need My Differently Abled Friends To Know

Being your friend has truly been a privilege.
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I have been lucky enough this semester to be placed as a Young Life leader for students with disabilities in the Mid Miami Valley. I have always had a huge love for students with disabilities. In high school I loved hanging out with them, I loved getting to know their big hearts, and I loved just being their friend. And now that I am a Young Life leader for these amazing people I am able to connect with them on a deeper level.

I now get to be their friend and get to walk with them on their journeys with Christ. It has been truly the highlight of my semester and probably freshman year of college!

So here are some things I want to say to my amazing friends with special needs,

1. You are not broken in any way.

You guys were made just the way you are by God and, yes, you may have a few more barriers or look different than most people our age, but that does not make you any less of a person.

2. You bring so much joy to the world.

You guys have so much to offer everybody and you have a way of being a light in so many situations thanks to your big hearts.

3. I am sorry if anybody has ever called you the "R" word.

The word "retarded" is toxic and demeaning and should be considered a cuss word. If anybody has ever used that word to describe you, I am deeply, deeply sorry. You are so much more than that.

4. You are SO loved.

There are so many people on this Earth that love and adore you guys, so never ever be discouraged if there are some people that just don't see how great you are. I love you and God loves you so much and more than anyone on this Earth ever could.

5. I see Christ in you more than anyone else.

You guys have a way of carrying yourselves that shows love to all people and you have a way of finding so much happiness in the little things.

I love my friends with disabilities so much and I am so proud to be their friend. They have more barriers to living a normal life than your average person, but it makes them stronger and they are not in any way less human than the rest of us. They inspire me every day and being their friend has truly been a privilege.

Song of the week: "Cry Pretty" - Carrie Underwood
Cover Image Credit: Sydney Fowler

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How To Take Care Of Yourself When Sick At College

Mom can't always hold your hair back and make you soup.
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Being a freshman in college is difficult enough, but what they don't tell you about being a first year is that you will get sick many many times throughout the course of the year. it's the first time in your life you are sick and your mom is not there to bring you soup, check your temperature, take you to the doctor, etc. Its taken me some time, but I think I have finally figured out some tips and tricks to make yourself feel better when you're sick and on your own:

1. Daily Vitamins

Vitamin C chewables are so easy to get and don't taste like death like some vitamins do. I recommend taking 2 a day to prevent feeling like crap.

2. Chicken Soup

I have made soup in my dorm room before, so know that it is indeed, possible. Just make sure you get the canned type that's easy to open, because, I don't know about you, but I don't have a can opener lying around my room.

3. Getting rest, but still doing things

You should nap whenever you can. Sometimes a lack of sleep is what can get you sick in the first place. However, that doesn't mean you should stay cooped up in your bed all day every day. You should get up and do some activities every once in a while like making food for yourself, doing your laundry, organizing, just so you don't feel like a potato and make your sickness worse.

4. Tissues and cough drops everywhere

Tissue packets that you can put in your backpack are the key to going to class while sick. Also, always have a travel-sized hand sanitizer on you. Cough drops are also a really easy and efficient way to stop your throat from hurting if you don't have time to sit your butt down and drink tea or do that crazy throat spray.

5. Showers

Never underestimate the power of a good long shower. Sorry to my floormates, but the past 2 times I've been sick this year, I took showers and would stay in them forever. I don't know if this scientifically correct, but I always felt as though my nose cleared up so much after I showered.

6. Hydrating

You should do this anyway, but make sure you are drinking a lot of water throughout the day; it can help you feel better. It also helps, if you are trying to lose weight, to drink a gallon a day. You'll have to pee a lot but it clears up your skin and just overall makes you feel better.

7. Call home

Yeah, your mom can't do anything to help this time around, but she can make you feel better with her words and advice. Whoever it is at home who has helped you with the flu, colds, and sore throats in the past, it doesn't hurt to talk to them to get some advice and just feel comforted.

Cover Image Credit: flicker Creative Commons

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