When Something Actually Happens

When Something Actually Happens

Losing a friend when you have a chronic illness

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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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.


It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.

These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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Poetry On Odyssey: A "Break" At Work

Breaks at work aren't always what you think.


There are times during work where the stars align, and I'm right in their sights to get supremely screwed over. If things get slow and quiet enough, and I've just finished something I've been focusing all of my energy on, something...happens.

I break.

I don't know if I would call it a panic attack, since it's less fear of dying and more sudden hyper-awareness and inability to deal with anything, but it sucks all the same. It completely swallows me into a dark pit of brokenness.

One of the things I do to try grounding myself is messaging those close to me. I structured this poem similar to what one of those conversations was like. During all of the edits, I decided to keep it mostly short and disconnected because that's exactly how I feel during these moments—disconnected and unable to keep a coherent thought.

I hope you never have to experience something like this; I hope this poem gives all you need to know about what these "breaks" are like.

Break at work, everything to think about
Chores, writing, apartment
Chores, writing, apartment

Can't do any of it
Can't move
Can't hear


Panic attack?
Don't know
Not good

Bathroom? Fresh air?
Not possible
Can't move

Bra too tight

Deep breath anyway
Ignore the constricting
Actually focus on it

Cold and hurts
Drink more anyway

Can't eat anyway

What do?
Don't know
Can't think

Can't do
At work

Nails in palms, eyes shut tight
Focus on breathing exercises
Focus on chest pain


Deep breath in
Hold it
Slow breath out

Ignore how it stabs
Ignore the tightness
Focus on the rhythm


Keep eyes shut
Until breathing
Is stable

Open eyes
Blink because it's bright
Inhale, exhale, breathe

Hear the quiet of work
Everyone doing their own thing
Oblivious to what just happened

See the sharpness of screen
Blink it into focus to see
Everything I have accomplished

Drink some more water
It's necessary, it's good
Not cold, not hurting, just soothing


Breathe in relief, it's over now
The world has returned
To what it ought to be

Whatever it was
That break
Was not a break.

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