At school, I wanted to belong to the “cool crowd.” I used to watch them from the outside and was so jealous of the way they seemed to glide around school, owning every little aspect of it. We all wanted to be in their little clique because they were the pretty, skinny, rich girls liked by all the boys.
As time has gone by, I have realized how insignificant these physical factors actually are. Being diagnosed with myasthenia gravis at age 15 meant that during the tough teenage years, I faced an entirely new battle. Instead of trying hard to fit in with society, I was simply fighting for my life. I began to appreciate the small things in life, from being able to get out of bed on my own to swallowing my dinner without choking. How could I have thought that being super skinny was so important when my life was on the line? And many others go through so much more and fight a much harder battle.
I have lost a lot of my so-called friends over the years because I have had to pull out of events often. One friend no longer replies to my messages because I was unable to attend an event due to a bad flare. People don’t necessarily understand when I say that I am tired or have to cancel at the last minute. I have been told I am rude because I sometimes disappear to have a nap or cannot speak to anyone due to my muscles failing me.
But I have certainly found my tribe of amazing friends! I have found people who love me regardless of how often we have to cancel events. I have friends who drop everything to take me to a doctor’s appointment or who FaceTime me so I can see how much their child is growing because I haven’t been able to visit. I have friends who message me out of the blue to encourage me and let me know that they are thinking of me. Some people have so much kindness in their hearts and just want the world to be a better place.
These people are my tribe. They are my forever friends and the people I know I can call at any time. They are the ones who have cried with me, laughed with me, helped research treatments, and held my hand throughout. To me, they are better than any “cool kid” I ever met. They are one in a million and they make my life amazing!
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