Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Everyone always ask me who are your friends? You tell them their name and they proceed to ask if they live locally to you(insert city, town, state)I say no and many find that weird well my friends live in a tiny little screen. Theoretically no they don't live inside my phone, computer, or tablet. These are my friends whom I call some of the most amazing people I have ever met or as I guess the "normal" people call them my online friends.
I have friends spread out from Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, Spain, Ireland, Germany, and of course I have some friends in the US too. I could list Hawaii, Alaska, Texas, New York, Iowa, and North Carolina. I can also list those in my local area who I am friends with too; There is Cate, Betsy, Carole, Brynn, Alex, Ce'de, Logan, and I could list many more. It's strange to say that you are friends wit someone who you've yet to be in the same room with, hugged them, taken a picture with, gone to the movies or out on a date with one of them.
Some people have no clue how they could how I have all these friends across the world that I haven't met. We have all bonded over one thing and that would be our disease. Not always do we have the exact same disease but with any chronic illness you struggle with coping, learning how to live with pain, finding treatment options, and just being able functional in general. It has benefitted me because I know I am not the only teenager who is sick, the one who can't go to school always, has feeding tubes, surgeries, and missing out on being a normal teenager. To them I am not weird. I am just me. They don't ask 50 billion questions like everyone at school does because they already know what a picc line, g-tube, ostomy, central line, portacath, TPN, echocardiogram, endoscopy, and many other medical terms.
You get people who question you about these friends you've met like "How do you know this person is real or are they really who they are claiming to be?" Very good question I have yet to run into anyone like that. I have made some of the most amazing relationships online with these people who I consider my best friends. Plenty of us actually have been able to meet up in person and I think it is the coolest part ever! So many of us actually do know we are real from others who have met these friends in person! It is amazing!
I hate the questions of people who say well it's dangerous to talk to strangers! Are you sure what you are doing is safe? Okay while I agree I do not know who every single person I talk to is actually who they say they are I do know many who I can prove are real people. I am sure you can admit we do a lot of things everyday that aren't technically safe and we know that they aren't safe but we do them anyway? You can't deny that you haven't done something that was unsafe in your life! For example, when we were kids plenty of us would go walk across the street without looking both ways. Our parents would scream and yell at us because they didn't want us to get hit by a car who didn't see us. Maybe that is just a petty example but I know you could think of many more! In life you have to take a chance with everything and sometimes you just have to live a little!
While I have not met my friends in person. I know I have connected with them, sympathize with them, cried with them, been touched by their presence, and felt their heart. These are the friends whom I have never met but have the most amazing bond with ever. The friends I have made online are the most amazing, kindest, most understanding, and supportive people I have ever met in my life! I know if I ever needed them they will always pick up the phone, text, call, or even Skype me at any hour of the day if I needed them.
These friends are my life honestly. I have not connected with anyone in my life from school, church, sports, or school clubs as I have connected with these friends. They just make me feel special, loved, and important. Thanks to the Internet I have made friendships that will last a lifetime including a few sweet girls who I can't even put into words how much they mean to me. I could write a novel about every single one but I know it would make you extremely bored and you probably wouldn't care to read it but it means so much to me. I couldn't imagine my life without them!
For those who have become my best friends over social media because of our chronic illnesses I just want to say thank you. Every single on of you have helped me make it this far and I don't know where I would be without y'all. Probably curled up in a ball crying because it sucks being different from everyone in a world who doesn't understand. I can't begin to say how much I love y'all! Please never ever forget how important you are to me!