When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness like MS, a lot of things change after. If you think your life won’t change you are in denial because it does at some point. Some friends you tell about your diagnosis are there for you no matter what and provide you unconditional support. You know the kind of friend where it doesn’t matter how much time has gone by when you talk or get together it feels like you never were apart when you see each other again. Others unfortunately avoid you after you are diagnosed like the plaque or they slowly treat you different over time. Even people who were friends for awhile before you got diagnosed disappear or don’t want to keep in touch or return your phone calls anymore. At first I used to wonder why they would do this to me or beat myself up worrying if I did something wrong. This has happened to me as I’m sure it has to many of my fellow MSkuteers but this has shown me that its more about the quality of my friends for me now than it is about the quantity. I was once told you can always count your true friends on one hand. This is still true for me today. I have had friends come and go in my life but the closest ones to me in my life I can always count on. I know these chosen few I can count on my one hand who are always there if I need to pick the phone up to talk. I have always taken it personally at first when a friend decides not to be a friend anymore. Why do some friends leave us? It’s not like they can catch MS from us. Do they think for a second that we wanted to get diagnosed with such a nasty MonSter? I might be physically different than I was before but I am still the same person inside. When this happens we wonder why we said anything at all to them about our MS. If they knew us well enough and tried to understand our chronic illness they would know we have good days and bad days like anyone else. It is awful if I have made plans and I end up not well that day so then have to cancel but its not like I wanted to cancel its just that I knew my body wasn’t up to going out. If I know I have something I am going out to coming up I have to prepare and get my rest many days in advance. I know the average person might not have to do this but we with this MonSter do. I mean the energy it takes to get ready from having a warm shower, to doing your hair & make-up to getting dressed takes a lot out of us in terms of physical exertion. It’s like I am all dolled up ready to go out and I have no more energy left to actually go out sometimes. My close friends that know me well know this and don’t even second guess if I can’t go or can’t stay out too long.
Going through some good times and hard times with many friends (even some friends who also have MS) has also taught me the ones worth having around don’t make things hard on you. They just love you for being you and you don’t ever need to worry about their caring or loyalty because they are always there if you need them. These are the true friends you focus your time and energy on because lets face it life is too short and none of us know how long we have on this earth. Some friends may come in your life for a season and then go after awhile and that’s okay too. They came into our lives for a reason in the first place and were not meant to stick around for the long haul. So take the time when you can to show these close friends in your life how much they mean to you. These are the friends I truly cherish.
“A true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart. ~ Author Unknown”
Until next month,