a love letter to my friends…

Growing up, most of my friends were boys. I was into riding bikes and playing video games, and most other girls were not. As I entered my teens and 20’s my closest friends were female, but the majority of my friends were still males. Generally, I always felt that I got along better with men.

While that’s probably true, as I entered my 30’s I began to realize that I get along best with kind, brilliant, funny, drama-free women. In short, You.

Yes, you, reading this. YOU. (Apologies to the, like, 4 men who read this blog. I think you’re swell, too).

I have lost friends since I first became sick. Some were “party” friends, who didn’t have much use for me after I stopped going out as often, and some were needy friends who didn’t like that I now had problems of my own to solve. Some were just friends, and I don’t know why. I usually lose a “friend” or two everytime I post something about postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), dysautonomia, mast cell (MCAD), or chronic illness in general, on Facebook, which I do about twice a year. Apparently I’m not allowed to post occasionally about a lifelong life-altering illness, but am expected to “like” the 5 posts about a friend’s kid who has the flu.

I have gained friends, too, through support groups and this blog. Some live in my city, and others live in other states and countries spread throughout the world, friends who I have never, and unfortunately due to our illnesses probably will never meet in person. There’s a kinship in mutual suffering; we fight different battles in the same war. I save every email I have received through this blog. That perfect strangers share their fears, their vulnerabilities, their hopes, and their stories with me is incredibly humbling. We are unlikely friends, brought together by circumstance, but held together by compassion and understanding.

A friend recently got married, and while we were discussing the wedding plans over a drink, she asked what she could do to make it easier for me to attend. At that wedding, friends sat and stared at the ocean for over an hour with me, as I was moving pretty slow after three migraine days that week. For my birthday last week, chronically ill friends whom I have never met sent birthday messages. And not just “hey, happy birthday” messages, but touching messages that remind me that, although we have never been face to face, I have still been seen.

Chronic illness is hard on friendships. As a whole, we aren’t the most reliable bunch. We get sick and miss important events, even after promising we’d be there. Due to brain fog, we may forget important details you have told us. We probably aren’t going to join you for a hike, or a late night party, or skydiving, or standing in line at the grocery store. You’ll have to help us, from time to time. We may not make the best bridesmaids, godmothers to your kids, or workout partners. Somedays, we may not even make that great of a friend.

But I promise you this: we will never take you for granted. Because we know what it’s like to be left behind.

Friends, thank you for letting me share my life with you here. For letting me be this confused, existential mess, and for responding with softness and acceptance and dirty jokes and “we’ll figure this out togethers”. For remaining my friend through it all, or for sending me an email through this blog and planting the seeds of friendship.

I will continue to strive to be worthy of your friendship.

“In the end,Β all you have are memories, and usually the ones you have with friends are the ones you treasure most.” – Notes from the Universe

Smell ya later.


15 Replies to “a love letter to my friends…”

  1. I love this post and am reblogging if that’s OK xx

    1. Absolutely! Thanks, Jak!

  2. I looooove this post! You hit the nail on the head!πŸ‘πŸ»

    I also have a totally unrelated question. I just switched my blog over to WordPress.org and while scanning for a new theme to use, I happened to install the same theme you’re using! Didn’t even realize it until I read this post! But under the post title, it’s displaying the date and my email address. How did you get yours to say Lindsay instead of your email address? I’ve searched everywhere in the customized and I can’t figure it out. 😫 Thank you dear!

    1. Okay, so when you’re logged into your dashboard, up in the top right corner you should see something like “Howdy, [insert your name/email here]” If you hover over that, there should be a drop down menu. Click the “Edit Your Profile” option. Then, about halfway down the page there should be something like “display name as” with a pull down menu for you to select from.
      Hopefully that works. If not, let me know!!

      1. Aha! That worked! Thank you so much! 😊It’s been quite the ordeal getting all of this set up!

  3. Linds, you’re AMAZING.
    Sorry we missed seeing you in SD but sure understand the migraine why! Missed your birthday, even though I got the best card from you all covered in minions! You thoughtful thing!! But I hope you know how much you’re loved, and I sure understand about the loss of friends… I have about 5 true ones, including YOU!
    Much love, and late but Happy birthday wishes!
    Stacy and Andrew

    1. Thank you! I’m so disappointed I didn’t get to see you when you were here. I think I missed seeing you guys the last 2-3 times you were here!

  4. Ahhhhh… Life with Dysautonomia!
    But we understand because we cancel alot too πŸ™
    Just miss you!

    1. miss you guys too!

  5. I love this post and I love you. It’s everything I want to say. I, too, had mostly male friends. The women in my life are special and I treasure you. I’m reblogging it, but there’s no reblog button, so I copied and pasted, if that’s okay with you. See here: https://elizabethmilo.com/2017/08/16/a-love-letter-to-my-friends-by-lindsay/

    1. See, that’s why we’re friends! We’re the same! Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to look into what happened to my reblog button.

  6. Also, not sure I should admit this, but it wasn’t until I was typing the name of your blog into my post that I realised it’s NOT Musings of a Dysautonomaniac, which is what I’ve always said in my head. πŸ™‚

    1. Oh MY GOD. That’s brilliant! Why didn’t I call it that??!

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