Friends Forever! … Or Not?
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So what do I mean by that title… Well, here are a few thoughts that are running through my head:

  • Friends Forever! Until you get sick or something…
  • Friends Forever! Until you can’t do everything I want to do…
  • Friends Forever! Until your life changes because of a diagnosis…

I know that this doesn’t go for EVERYONE diagnosed with MS… but for me, it happened. I was diagnosed when I was 22, so age can make a difference in how your relationships/friendships change.

To simply put it… change happens. Whether you like it or not, it does. I didn’t see a drastic change in myself after my diagnosis, but that could be cause I was in some sort of shock… but looking back now, I can see that change. Personally, I don’t feel that it was a bad change at all.

It has been 4 years since I was diagnosed with MS. I’ve grown as a person. I’ve also just grown up in general. Things that used to bother me, don’t (Well, not EVERYTHING.) But you get the idea. A lot of time has passed and I’ve been through a lot within the past 4 years.


Do I do the same things that I used to? No… Well, mainly the socialization part of it. Am I being anti-social that led to this? No… I just don’t have the same group of friends now that I did back then. Yes, I’m anti-social to an extent but not on purpose… we all know that we have a bit of anti-socialism in us, where we just want to be a couch potato… or we just aren’t “up to socializing”.

Do I want my “old life” back? Nope. Well – I could go without having MS, but then I wouldn’t have all of you awesome readers/followers. I also wouldn’t have met my ‘MSWorld Family’.

Now just to let you know, I don’t just keep to myself and never talk to anyone. It’s actually the opposite of that. I talk to my family/friends that I have gained through MSWorld.org everyday. The only time I don’t talk to them on a daily basis is if something is wrong with the internet/cell signal, etc. You get the picture though, right?

As of now, I have a great support system of friends there for me when I need them. But after I was diagnosed… not so much. And I can’t say that there is any blame to be given because if your life changes, so do other things in your life.

When I had this big fat diagnosis thrown in my lap… how could others my age really relate to what I was going through? Especially when the diagnosis/my health was all I could talk about at the time because honestly, I was freaking out. But then – when I noticed some dis-interest in talking about my diagnosis, I started just drifting away from those friendships. It wasn’t intentional; I think it was more of a natural response on both parties. Now let me just clarify that this is how I’m viewing the situation NOW… not then, or even a year or two ago.

When those friendships ended, my anger/frustration found a way to break free. I felt isolated and abandoned and I was really upset about it. At the time, my mind set was… these people were supposed to be my ‘best friends forever’ but forever didn’t seem to last as long as it was intended.

Am I still upset about this, yes I am. But there is no anger towards anyone anymore. Even if they were just friendships and not ‘romantic relationships’ it felt like a break up in a way. I was losing so much of my life as I knew it… then I lost, what I had thought, was my support system.

Now, just to be clear, this is my own personal situation that I dealt with. I know that others diagnosed have had completely different situations of ‘abandonment’ from friends, significant others, etc. So, I just wanted to clarify that this isn’t me comparing the situations. I just wanted to voice the realization I had with friendships that were lost after my diagnosis of MS.

I’m also just speaking about the friendships that I had, where we grew apart… Not the certain ones where I was dropped like a hot potato. I like to say I can forgive people for mistakes… but there are something situations/hurtfulness, that just stay with you and aren’t as easy to “just let go” of.

xoxo

Ashley Ringstaff

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