Loyal, kind, caring, encouraging, positive friendships are so important, especially in low moments. As previously mentioned in another post, I am a very mindful friend and want to be with, and around my friends when I feel positive, full of energy and fun. I am slowly learning that it is okay to also pick up the phone when I’m having a difficult day. I say I’m learning, but I’m still not very good at it if I’m honest.
How are you? But how are you really?
I also try to dodge the question, How are you feeling? or, how are you? I know that may sound silly, because if you phone someone, or see someone you generally ask that question, but for me I lose sight of the old me, who would reply on que, “I’m fine” regardless of if I was or not. Now, when people ask me, it feels like it’s a more specific and not just a general ‘how are you?’ The question has become hard because I cannot hide behind ‘I’m fine’ as a reply as my body doesn’t quite look, or feel fine.
My internal voice says: “god, don’t ask me that question, I’m feeling crummy and less and less like the old me, I have no idea if, or when I’m going to feel much better and more like myself.” My outside voice says “yeah, I’m okay” My closest friends know this about me, and I can say ‘I’m okay’ and they know that I am, but they know me well enough to accept my answer and carry on with conversation without dwelling on it and that’s how I like it.
Nearest and dearest
My closest friends are the most amazing people, given the opportunity they are there in a shot if I need them. They come round with food for dinner, sweets for my kids and a bunch of flowers to brighten my day. I love them dearly. They all love and support me, and I am truly grateful to have them in my life.
Be true to yourself
I have read comments within the chronic illness community regarding friendships. It saddens me when I read about how people have had friends, or people they thought were friends be direct and unkind. So called friends that do not take into account how difficult it is to live day to day with challenging symptoms you cannot control. It is hard to stay upbeat when in pain, or overwhelmingly tired from medication you are taking to try and keep symptoms at bay. Chronic illnesses are debilitating and if like me you find it difficult to talk to friends and family when your struggling, you can end up feeling isolated and very lonely. I couldn’t bear the thought of being a burden to anyone, or for my friends to schedule me in because they feel like I need some kind of intervention. I want for them to come and see me because they want to share an hour or two laughing and chatting over a coffee, maybe even make a plan to go for a coffee elsewhere for a change. I am not my illness; I am not defined by it. I am still me, still passionate about life and thinking about how I can jump head-first into something new.
I remember reading something that resonated with me many years ago. I cannot remember it exactly, but it was along the lines of not being afraid to say goodbye to people in your life that make you feel less, people who make you feel sad, or small.
Sometimes you find friendship in the most unusual places. Sure there are unpleasant people out there ready to jump on someone else’s evil bandwagon, especially on social media. However, there are some incredibly kind people out there, who genuinely want to make a difference in the world and who absolutely want to make a new friend. A few kind words go a very long way and can make such a difference to someone’s day. We all need a little love and kindness in our life. I know I do.
Positive, kind and caring friendships are wonderous… I love them all!
I hope your having an awesome day wherever you are in the world
Much love C x