One of the more depressing aspects of Lyme Disease is the lack of support from people you previously considered to be your friend. This isn’t exclusive to Lyme Disease (this happens with any hardship people face) but the difference with Lyme vs any other illness is that most people don’t know anything about Lyme or they just write it off as the ‘disease that makes your joints hurt.’ Most normal people don’t know just how bad Lyme can be and I think that can hurt the relationships people suffering with Lyme have. It’s hard to make someone understand something when they’ve never experienced it and this disease is Definitely something that you have to get to truly grasp the situation wholeheartedly. I can’t speak on behalf of everyone but I know that for me personally Lyme has taught me who is truly my friend and who is just nosy and doesn’t really care about my well-being. Not surprisingly there are more people who fall into the second category. Most people are typically just curious about other people’s lives and they don’t actually care about what someone is going through. Likewise, most people who are your ‘friend’ are usually only your ‘friend’ because you hang out with them and do stuff together. When you can no longer be of service to them by hanging out or going to parties (or whatever you do together) they will usually just find someone new to do these things with. Which makes sense…I mean who wants to be around a sick person who can’t go out and do stuff. It seems kinda harsh but that is the reality of most sick people go through. I would honestly say that I have maybe two people that I consider to be truly my friend. Two people who genuinely care about me and check in on me and it doesn’t matter to them that I am unable to go out and do stuff. I think that is the definition of a friend-someone who cares about you regardless of if you can provide things for them. Sure people talk to me on social media and some people may still text me but at the end of the day after I make it clear that I am sick and unable to hang out and do stuff, that is usually the end of the conversation and they don’t talk to me anymore. (Or if I get asked on a date and I have to bring up the fact that I’m super sick and can’t… that is DEFINETLY the end of that conversation…like how attractive is Lyme Disease???? LOL No one wants to go on a date with a sick girl, sheesh). There is someone else they can spend time with who is healthy and ultimately more fun than me. And you know, I totally get it. It’s hard for normal college kids to get the whole ‘sick’ thing. I don’t blame anyone for it because college is about having fun and living before the ‘real world.’ But I have learned something that a normal college experience won’t teach you and that is to cherish the good people in your life who help you when you are sick and to not sweat over the ones who don’t genuinely care. Yeah it’s cool to have people to go out and do stuff with but at the same time it’s good to know who actually has your back and it’s typically a lot smaller of a number than you think. I know that for me if I had never gotten Lyme I wouldn’t know who was a true friend to me and who just liked to hang out with me. Sometimes it’s totally okay to not realize this or care about it but sometimes it’s good to have someone who will support you and talk to you no matter what the circumstance. One other thing to add is that with dealing with sickness I have become a more compassionate person especially to others with illness. I can’t imagine I would have learned this compassion without getting sick. Sickness really does teach you things.