Days 14-16 Prompt: Who in your life, aside from spouses or family, inspires you? Who do you turn to when you’re having a hard time? Think about those people and how much they mean to you and how much they do for you. There are so many of us out there who feel like we have no one and who feel like we’re lonely, so appreciate those in your lives who make each day a little better.
I’m lucky that I have a handful of really supportive, positive people in my life who have helped me time after time when I’ve been having a rough go of things. While I won’t identify some of them by name, I know that if they read this, they’ll know I’m writing about them.
Most months I attend local CCFA and UOAA support groups and it’s at these groups that I have met several girls with IBD or with ostomies who have become very important to me. I’ve often reflected (and remarked publicly) what a comforting feeling it is to walk into a room full of people who know exactly how you feel and understand what you’ve been through. At my UOAA group, I’ve met three girls who are absolutely fantastic. Two of them, in particular, have become good friends of mine and are people I know I can rely on for support and advice and comfort. They visit me in the hospital, message and call me to see how I’m doing, and open their lives up to me so that I can see that I’m not alone in whatever I may be feeling. I have one good friend from my CCFA group who I have such a great connection with that I can’t imagine not having her around. Coming from someone who grew up a “loner,” it’s a weird feeling for me to feel attached to others and know that I NEED them.
While I have many online friends through my various websites/facebook pages, there are only a handful that I’ve met in person and those girls mean the absolute world to me. They all live far away from me and so I only get to see them every few months, but they still keep me going with their phone calls, texts, Skype talks, and emails. What’s funny is that I always advise people to be careful about who you talk to on the internet, how much you reveal, and to certainly think very carefully about meeting people offline. But without even thinking twice, I acted on a gut feeling and drove almost 15 hours to Chicago this past April to meet four of the most awesome girls on the planet – and share a hotel room with them. Since then, I’ve flown to Detroit to see two of them again and I’ll be flying back sometime within the next six weeks.
When I think about the girls I’ve just mentioned above, I smile. I’m having a hard time right now personally and having their support keeps me grounded. It keeps me from just running away from everything and closing myself off so that I never have to deal with bad things again. They are my lifelines and I don’t know what I would do without them.