Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. Helen Keller
Afternoon you beautiful humans. I hope today is treating you well. The focus of this post is a genuinely super positive one, so three cheers for that! It’s all about friends and the true power of friendship.
Growing up I was never one to have a large group of friends. I’d usually have one or two BFFs and a couple of close buddies. I prefer it that way personally; quality over quantity. After getting ill in sixth form, it was difficult to not feel as if I’d simply been forgotten…a sort of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ scenario. It was a bit shitty but to be totally honest, it helps you weed out your true friends. Those who stick around through the rollercoaster that is life are those you always want in your corner. Fact. And what have I discovered since being so unwell? You can find lifelong friends in the most unexpected of places in the most undesirable circumstances.
As I was predominantly housebound for a long time, online forums became a lifeline and somewhat of a sanctuary for me. The first group I joined was called Foggy Friends; essentially a forum for those with M.E/CFS. There were so many lovely members and a variety of topics were discussed; anything from the serious to the downright silly. And as everyone was in the same or very similar boat, you immediately had common ground and a place to go for advice. Okay so I still couldn’t be online for any great length of time, but the small moments of communication were such a blessing in my daily life.
I then discovered AYME (Association of Young People with Myalgic Encephalopathy). This offered even more than Foggy Friends as all the members were peers or nearer my own age. Again we would talk about anything and everything. At this time, the private messaging part of AYME was still available, so a number of us exchanged links to other social media accounts such as Facebook. That then led to me finding even more friends through our new mutual ones. I got to hear so many people’s stories and experiences with chronic illness. It was so reassuring to know that I wasn’t alone.
As a number of us began to get closer, we decided to start writing each other letters; even sending gifts for birthdays, Christmas etc. It got to the stage where I’d be receiving at least one piece of pen pal post every single day. I treated myself to SO much stationery and absolutely loved it. The feeling of getting post was one thing, but to know that I, albeit in a small way, was brightening someone’s day, that was the main driving force. I could still make people smile, despite being miles away and confined to my home.
And the best thing about all this? My best friend Daisy. We began talking online right at the start of me being ill. We’ve both been through some serious crap with our health, but we’ve always had each others backs regardless of not being able to see each other for months at a time. Now we’re both doing a heck of a lot better, we can do stuff and hang out more, especially as we only live 20 minutes drive from each other; talk about a small world! We chat shit. We’re immature. We insult one another on a regular basis. But we can also talk about ANYTHING; mental and physical health, relationships, the future. Basically, if I hadn’t of gotten ill, I’d never have met my best friend for life.
I LOVE YOU DAISY ❤️❤️❤️
Oh and to give you an idea of our quirky friendship, here’s something she lovingly sent me the other day…
Keep smiling and hug your friends tightly.