One thing Multiple Sclerosis has done for me is weed out the people in my life that were only there for the ride, not the journey. So many times people proudly boast about the great numbers of people they know and pat themselves on the back because they have a sea of people surrounding them, but are those people really friends? I can almost guarantee you that a majority of them are what I would consider fair-weather friends.
I’ve noticed that people seem to be great at hanging around when they are getting some type of reward or kick-back for being your friend. You know, the free food, tickets, perks, support that you are able to send their way. But when those things dry up and you become the one in need of their continued help, they suddenly have other things more important to do.
Life has taught me a few things—I guess you could say the hard way—about people. I have learned what true friendship is…and is not.
A friend is not…
- the long list of people in your High School year book.
- the person who friended you on Facebook, followed you on Twitter or added you on Instagram.
- someone who attended your birthday party, lives in the house next door or says hello to you in passing at the office.
- the person who gives you a piece of gum or hangs out with you at the mall.
- someone who waves at you from across the room, bags your groceries or invites you to their wedding.
A friend is…
- someone who is willing to go grocery shopping with you on the coldest, rainiest day of the year and allows you to change your mind ten times about which kind of cheese you want for sandwiches.
- someone who puts up with your moodiness, hangs in there through the tears and listens when there’s nothing left to say.
- someone you can call up at 3 o’clock in the morning to take you to the emergency room or help you with a flat tire on the side of the road.
- someone who holds your hand when you get a bad doctor’s report and who never judges you when you have a melt down.
- someone who genuinely wants to know how you’re doing, who goes out of their way to make you feel comfortable and who never walks away.
A friend isn’t the person who says they are your friend…they prove it every single day by the things that they do.
Hang on to those true-blue friends. You won’t have many…maybe one or two, but they are worth their weight in gold. Be sure to appreciate them and tell them how amazing they are. They need to hear it even if they say they don’t.
Take some time today to give them a call, send them an email or even a little surprise in the mail. Never take someone for granted who is willing to stand with you through a chronic illness and everything that comes along with it.
Living with Multiple Sclerosis will weed out the people in your life that shouldn’t be there, but in the end you will be left with the beautiful roses, orchids and daisies. Treasure the people that treasure you and never let them go!
As Oprah Winfrey once said, “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”