Being the Sick Friend
The unspoken label no one wants, but is referred to anyway.. the "sick" friend. Not everyone has one, but in a world full of amazing scientific research, as well as the best diagnostics that we've ever had..... there is likely more than one in a group of friends.
I'm not talking about the friend that has migraines once in a while that seem to go away with Excedrin. I'm talking about the friend that misses parties, weddings, or their own graduations because they are too sick to leave their house, their hospital bed, and their safe space.
I'm that friend
As much as I hate saying it out loud, much less typing it, I'm that friend. I'm that friend that has to send text messages that start with an apology and usually end in an "I promise we'll catch up soon." I'm the friend that makes promises that I can't keep. I'm the friend that's easy to drop, gets left out of group text messages, and soon, doesn't get invited to nuptials that as kids, was the only thing best friends dreamed about.
I'm the friend whose illness is inconvenient, but not just to me. It's inconvenient for someone trying to plan dinners. It's inconvenient when you think I'm not the life of the party because I can't make a drunken toast at a bachelorette party because my meds interact. (I'm still me).
I guess I was a friend when it was convenient
Here's what you missed since you've been gone: I'm the friend who is loyal until I'm 6 feet under. I'm the friend that will answer 3am Facetime calls from a friend that is in an absolute panic because they are having awful nightmares about the circumstances of their illness.
I'm the friend that puts together care packages for months, spends all my spare time sending out cards, and puts together packages because it's my only reach to my true friends that live so far away from me.
I might be sick, but I am loyal
And I'm not sad that you chose to leave when you did. I'm only sad you won't be around to see me achieve and overcome all of the massive obstacles you will never be around for.
I mean, it never occurred to me that I would go to bed one night and essentially wake up in someone else's body. This new body - I came to accept it and, well, you didn't. I'm sorry you aren't a part of my life anymore. I'm happy. I may live a life of ups and downs and everything in between, but I'm happy.
I'm pretty sure it never occurred to me that one day I'd wake up and never get better. I'm also pretty sure I never thought I'd wake up several years later with that same illness without any of the friends I used to have.
I'm still me. Don't stop inviting me. Don't stop texting.
I'm still me.
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