A good support system is crucial to getting through the endless roller coaster that is life, whether or not you have an illness. Without the love and support of my friends and family, I don’t know whom or where I’d be.
Creating a good support system can take constant editing at first. What I mean by that is getting rid of the relationships that not only put stress on your body but also on your mind. Emotional baggage takes a toll on your physical health. As someone with a chronic illness, I have limited time and energy, so I value my quality of life more than if I weren’t sick. When I hang out with people, I’m putting my trust in them to make sure my time and energy spent are worthwhile.
“The people in your life should be a source of reducing stress, not causing it.” This quote could not be truer. I had a friend once who constantly brought her drama into my life and interrupted my peace of mind. She would pressure me into doing things that could potentially put my health at risk, like going to a party after middle school graduation, when just attending graduation had already worn me out for the day. It didn’t matter how long I had known her, she never tried to understand my health situation. Once I severed my friendship with her, my health and wellness greatly improved. The people who take up space in your life should understand that your health is important and respect that. Not take advantage of it.
“Sometimes your circle decreases in size, but increases in value.” Truth is, I don’t have that many super-close friends, but the ones I do have would do anything for me, and vice versa. They’re the kind of people who will still want to hang out regardless of whether that’s in front of the television or at the mall. I know they would drop everything just to be by my side. (I know because they’ve done it before.) Being with them makes me feel loved and valued. I realize that they might not understand the full extent of my illness, but they never pressure me into doing something that my body can’t handle, and they know exactly how and when to assist me without me having to ask. Those are true and meaningful friendships.
“People will come and go in your life. Everyone was there for a reason. To teach you, to love you, to experience life with you.” I think the hardest, yet most rewarding, lessons that we learn when going through rough spots is who our true friends are. People reveal all their colors when they witness someone close to them struggling. Some of those colors are vibrant and beautiful and some are dark and haunting. But that’s their problem, not ours.
Letting go of certain people in your life doesn’t mean you don’t love them or hope for the best for them. It just means that you’re protecting your inner peace. It isn’t the easiest thing to have to do at first, but eventually, you will feel that weight being lifted off of your shoulders.
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