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.