I Got Chronically Ill At 19, And All My Friends Abandoned Me

“My empty space in photographs was an open wound; I’d cry scrolling through Instagram, feeling left out and forgotten, wondering when things would change. I’ve read time and again people are grateful for their illness because it’s shown them who their true friends are. But what do you do when your illness proves you had almost no true friends at all?”

Two mom friends pose for a photo in front of a colorful mural while spending quality time together

‘I’ve always loved my friends – but in different seasons of parenting, I’ve placed different value on my friendships.’: Mom shares important lesson on friendship, ‘Don’t be scared to take the first step’

“When my kids were little, friends were a lifeline. We got together daily to keep our sanity. As our kids got older, and we entered the ‘sweet spot’ before adolescence, I put my friendships on the back burner. But in the past 18 months, I’ve needed my friends on a new level.”