This post is a collaborative effort between my friend Chels and me. Together we want to share about the back and forth of health and illness and how we make friendship work in the midst of this. Chels started chemo in November and I started getting amino acid injections for Hashimoto’s in February. Along the way, we’ve learned a lot about long distance friendship in sickness-and we’re stronger friends for doing this journey together.
We became friends largely because we were honest about our lives. Then by the fall, both of us were really sick, and that drew us closer together really quickly. Yet, currently we are learning the dance of back and forth, of changing expectations as I get better and Chels gets worse, as she continues dealing with the affects of chemo and radiation. Our relationship is changing and we have doubts. Chels has to harness her strength to work and recover. And as I continue to gain more of a semblance of health, I can think more about my future. Tension builds, and yet we cling to our friendship.
Chels stated to me in a conversation during this trip to Memphis, “I have to remember that you love me and want to talk to me. I don’t exactly know how bad I’m getting, but I know that talking to me is hard.”
My doubts look like this: “What do I tell her and not tell her? Do I hide the fact that I’m getting better? What information is going to hurt her? Help her?”
We make mistakes. Lots of them. Sometimes I disclose too much, and sometimes Chels doubts that I love her. But we do the day to day well. We do the back and forth well. Sometimes that looks like lots of movies or HGTV, naps, and short walks. Other days we have longer conversations and can plan adventures. And we’ve learned to just let each day stand on its own.
Neither of us know what the future holds. In honesty, none of us do. But we will enjoy today; our friendship is too important not to.
What is the glue in your friendships? What back-and-forths exist with your friends?