I feel like I need to start off this blog post with a disclaimer…have you done your enneagram number test yet? I most recently have gotten interested in this, and I have to say, this test if FAR superior to the MBTI and zillions of others that I have taken over the years. I see these results as a guideline or another tool for my toolbelt of life. By all means, I do not take them for the gospel! But one thing is for certain, the number that I am, is DEFINITELY defines me to a T. So, by now you are curious, what IS your number…well folks, I’m a 2. Two’s are seen as “the helper” the one that wants to be loved, to help out, is intuitive of others feels, thoughts and needs…TOTALLY ME.
I am the type of person that wears my heart on my sleeve. I pour my entire heart into something that I am passionate about and am fiercely loyal to my friends, family and anyone I come in contact with for that matter. But what I have discovered as I have navigated the uncharted seas of “chronic migraine” is that this personality trait has often have left me in a big crying mess over the past 6 years. You see, I am an incredibly outgoing, and like I said, if I meet you and feel a connection to you, then I expect we will be friends for life. THIS is NOT HOW OTHERS THINK—–Even at my ripe old age of 39, I am still learning and growing as an individual and figuring out what parts of my heart do I want to share with others and whom will be let in to my inner circle.
Over the years, I have had large circles of friends, with whom I just KNEW we would be BFF’s FOREVER. But the reality is that being hit with a chronic illness, doesn’t widen your friendship circle, it actual shrinks it. It’s hard for me to understand how someone could walk away from a friendship with someone WHO CLEARLY is hurting and could use a friend more than anything, but then again is my personality characteristic that gets me in the most trouble. For years my husband , has tried to tell me to “not get too attached” to people, they will hurt you. I ignored his statements because there is NO way someone would exit someone’s life at the very moments that they need it. WRONG..PEOPLE DO IT; and guess what IT HURTS!!!
As you all know, chronic illness is a very dark and lonely place. I spend a great deal of time inside, in dark rooms. I have lost SO many friends over the past 6 years, I have stopped counting. It used to tear my heart wide open and I would morn the lost friendships like someone who lost their mother. But over time, I have become accustom to not depending on anyone to stick around once they see how complicated my life is. At the end of the day, most people want easy friends, friends they can go grab a beer with or spend time on vacation with. There are VERY few people who will enter your life who want to see all the messy parts. The parts when you cant get out of bed for weeks at a time, or contemplate suicide because the pain is so intense.
But what I can tell you my friends, is that the friends who DO STICK AROUND…they are like buried treasure. Sacred rubies which should be tucked away and treasured. Because friends, life is hard, and at some point the person/people that left you when your life got hard; will need someone because their life is hard, and I hope and pray that they are able to find someone, because THIS person right here has been burned, and is not going back. To truly heal and transform as a human with a chronic illness you have to be willing to keep your eyes on the horizon, hold on to hope and never look back. Every day is a battle and one day when you are old and gray you will look back at your life and have something to be truly proud of …you persevered, YOU held on to HOPE when it felt like it was lost, and you GREW as an individual to recognize TRUE AUTHENTIC friendship.
I hope and pray that each of you has someone in your life that you can turn to and supports you. If you do not, I am here for you. Please feel free to DM at any point. This community of “chronic warriors” need to stick together!