"Never forget the people that take time out of their day to check up on you."
Chronic migraines (chronic illnesses) can feel so consuming and lonely sometimes. Not many people in your circle truly understand what your life is like, but I have found that when you surround yourself with the RIGHT people it can make your life so much better. Being a military family, we know how to quickly turn an empty house into home, how to open up to others hoping for a connection and to recognize (quickly) the people that will fill your cup. I am so grateful that not only have I been to many places, but I have gleaned some of my very best friends from this nomadic life. I live far away from most of my best friends, but I have formed a bond with them that no distance can break. We text almost daily, share stories and advice, support each other and keep each other close. They are a beautiful collection of wildflowers that I get to carry with me.
Sometimes you connect with a person and you are hopeful that they will be a great friend. But as time goes on, you see that your interactions with them are not a good thing. When someone tells you that you are lying about your health and they have no compassion, just walk away. Nobody has time for that poison. I have placed myself in a position (more than once) to try to help someone become more understanding to a complex life with chronic illness through a friendship with me - it doesn't always work and that is okay. I have let those people go down their path with a prayer that God will open their hearts to be more understanding and empathetic to others in the future. I want to have my life bloom from kindness. I want people to know that I am trying my best to love like Christ and be compassionate. Living with a chronic illness forces you to see the world through a new lens- one that makes you acutely aware of the possible hidden struggles of others. To live my best life, I have to surround myself (and my family) with people that also share my need for positivity and tenderness. That does not mean that I am a doormat. Relationships of any kind are a two-way street, and I refuse to invest my energy in toxic people. Kindness is often mistaken for weakness, but you can be kind and still set limits.
One of the things I am most thankful to my girlfriends for is that they take me as I am. They know that I have to live my life differently than them, and they support me. When I have to cancel plans last minute, have weird requests when we get together (like unplugged air fresheners and closing curtains) or call them for help they just roll with it. I have had them babysit last minute when I needed to go to the ER. I have shoved N into their arms the second they walked in my door so I could go throw up. They let me vent, ask me questions and educate themselves about my illness. They know my limits and never make me apologize for the things I cannot change. They have helped me pack my house and shuffle kids. They have helped me buy my home in New York while I was in Michigan and Jeremy was in Japan. They check food labels. They ask how I am feeling. They have held me in my darkest moments and celebrated life's rainbows. They take the loneliness that creeps in and wrap me in love -for all that and more I am so blessed.