This post was first shared on December 2, 2012. My views of my “friends in the box” are even stronger than they were a little over a year ago when I first wrote this blog post. Something incredible happens when I am able to share my story, my thoughts, and my feelings with those who share many of these same feelings and struggles. Something incredible happens when I read a comment by a new follower who is struggling (maybe they haven’t recovered as well as I or are just starting this journey) that says they are so happy they are not alone. Something wonderful happens when someone I have never met, tells me how much they appreciated reading Allergic to Life and thank me for sharing my story and the plight of so many others through it. Something incredible happens when I make a new friend who hasn’t seen me and, therefore, can’t say “but you don’t look sick”. It is sort of like the television show “The Voice” during blind auditions. Others hear my story, learn my struggles, but don’t see me.
For all of my “friends in the box”, thank you for your support and for friendship. Although we may never meet and we may never talk on the phone (although I have had some wonderful conversations with a few of you as well as some emails), I treasure you all. For those friends who I have had the pleasure of meeting during my Dallas Days, I hope some day we will meet again.
A blog I regularly follow had a featured post today titled, “My Friends in ‘The Box’.” I tried to share it here but have not been successful. A link to this wonderful article is at the bottom of this post.
Some of my friends, like those of the author, are in “The Box”. They are easily accessible by turning on my computer and reading comments they have written on my blog or by reading of their plight through their blogs. Some of my friends are, as my husband refers to them, “phone friends”. Some of these friends I have met in person during my trips to Dallas for treatment. Some of these new friends I have never met in person. To me they are more than friends in “The Box” or “phone friends”. They are my lifeline to someone who truly understands chronic illness. No matter how many times you talk to your friends or family about this they can only offer support or sympathy. They cannot offer the kind of support or understanding that someone who is truly walking the same walk can.
I have received comfort from them and hopefully offered comfort to them. I now have some amazing new recipes that are gluten-free. I have recipe ideas that I can tweak to suit my own food allergies thanks to many of them. I have learned of many more chronic invisible illnesses that before starting this blog I had not heard of. Most of all I have gained understanding and total acceptance by these friends in “the box” who I have never met.
Please visit the following website and read Stephanie’s article. http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/guest-writers/my-friends-in-the-box/comment-page-2/#comment-137590