Just a quick post today, on this the last day of 2014, or it was when I started this post, and it's now the first day of the new year. I hope that you all enjoyed the holidays and wish you all the best for the New Year.
If I could sum up this year in one word it would have to be 'friendship'. Okay that's not a descriptive word but it's one that encapsulates my year as a whole. When I look back on 2014 it is with happiness that I have come to be friends with some truly lovely people; who I feel honoured to call my friends.
On New Years Eve 2013 I decided to let go of a 'friendship' that was dragging me down. In fact it was making me more ill. Part of me was scared as I had been used to turning to these people for comfort. They were probably my closest friends. However I soon realised their friendship actually more than anything made me feel needed. That actually it was me who was putting in all the effort and always to be there when they had problems. And of course being chronically ill you're limited enough as it is. I think my logic was 'if these people who I do a lot for do not treat me as friends should then what hope is there?' So in a way although I knew they weren't good for me I still felt scared to let them go.
Well turns out a lot of hope. By the time I was coming to this decision I had already began to get to know people in the online chronic illness community. Talking regularly to some of them; and not just about our illness either. Here were people that despite having plenty on their own plate would also take time for you too. To ask how you were. To cheer you on when you achieved something. People that understood that getting downstairs or having a shower were big achievements not mundane 'well I do that every day... what are you so excited about?' things. I'd even received cards and little gifts, which I found so increcibley thoughtful.
Of course you're not going to get on with everyone you come across, whether they have the same illness or not. That's just a fact of life. You won't share the same interests, same sense of humour. You might just simply clash.
However this year the friendships I have made that I know are completely genuine and have come to treasure has been the most welcome gift. I know I'm never truly alone. I know people will be there for me when I need them and will celebrate with me when I achieve something. My wall is covered in cards. My hands ached from writing many christmas cards. And I feel truly blessed.
And in return I do my best by them, listen when they need to talk, offer them support when times are tough, celebrate their achievements and feel proud of them, and make them laugh. These friendships are no less real because of where you met.
When I looked through my memory jar, which I will do a post on very soon, a lot of the memories involved these friendships. Many of us became closer when we teamed up to raise money for charity for ME awareness day. Together we raised over £4000, which considering we raised that from our sick beds felt like even more of an achievement. Another was getting to meet one of the friendsI've made online. It felt as though we had been friends for years. Certainly not like we were meeting for the first time.
Hopefully we'll have the chance to meet up more in the new year and share plenty more laughs. I hope to meet some others too, health allowing.
Sadly two of my online friends passed away last year and although I had not met either of them their passing still really upset me, as it did many others. Regardless of whether we had met or not, we still spoke as often as we could; cheered eachother on, offered support. Exactly like any other friendship; only our circumsatances meant that we did most of our socialsing online. I have spoken more about this in this post. And I feel thankful that I got to know them.
So here's to all the people that have made 2014 a brighter place. Who have supported me through the rough times, cheered with me when I managed to leave the house and given me some good giggles.