What is a friend? Well my dictionary states “A friend is someone you know well and like, but who is not related to you.”

I found a lovely quote yesterday, “A true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes when everyone else believes the smile on your face!” Very apt for someone like myself who experiences physical, emotional and mental pain on a daily basis. If anyone knows who said this then please let me know so they can get the credit they deserve.

In my 30 years of life I have been used and abused by so-called ‘friends’. People who knew my vulnerabilities and used them to their advantage. At 5 years old I was in situation where a ‘friend’ offered me what looked like a mushroom, it turned out to be a toadstool – I became really rather poorly within minutes and the result was me having to have my stomach pumped. There have been many more incidents through the years, too many to mention in fact and all varying in degree of nastiness. Believe me, dear Reader, there have been way too many. Sometimes you do have to wonder why people call themselves ‘friends’ when they are only going to drop you like a hot coal or tell others about things you have said in confidence. It has made it considerably more difficult to trust people that is for sure.

Then there are the bullies that have been prevalent in my life. In childhood it was horrific and has left me scarred mentally as explained in a previous article. The bullies would often befriend me then cruelly taunt me about hearing issues or even health problems, it went beyond taunts though. I was physically bullied too. Memories I have of happy moments at school are overshadowed by the vicious girls/boys there.

In recent months I have found some truly amazing and inspirational friends. They vary from a modelling background (you know who you are) to a Forces background to even fellow Crohns Disease sufferers. The support I get from them is something I have never experienced before and I like it, no scrap that I love it. I try to be as good a friend to them as they are to me. I am truly blessed with the friends I now have. I love each one unconditionally, and individually.

When you are good friends with someone it does not matter whether they are 5 minutes away or 50 hours away, they will be there for you!

So, dear Reader, if you are one of my friends I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you and have faith in everything that you do or decide to do. You can do whatever you put your mind to. I shall be the one holding your hand along the way and cheering you on at the finish line.

Life is a mountain, a very steep mountain. If you have friends at your side it makes the climb far more fun and far easier.

Next month I am meeting some fellow IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) sufferers. I look forward to, hopefully, making some more lovely friends through that meeting. I already know one of my best friends is also going as a fellow Crohnie so am very excited about the 17th February!

For now I shall leave you to your thoughts; coursework; homework or even housework. Until next time stay safe and keep smiling as it confuses people!

MP xxxxxxx