We often make Spoonie friends in unusual places. We meet our special Spoonie friends in doctor’s waiting rooms, in line at the pharmacy, and in face-to-face or online support groups. Spoonies for Life asked our subscribers, “What do your Spoonie friends mean to you?”
Our Spoonie friends are very important in our lives. When we are going through tough times, our “normies” friends do not always understand our frustrations. One subscriber said, “…just when you think someone close understands, they say something to make you realize they don’t. Not really. So having Spoonie friends to write to, people who understand, is so important. If I need to vent…they are there.”
Such understanding is important for our mental health. Being a Spoonie can be a lonely situation. Having friends, even/especially the ones we have online can give us the support we need. “They mean the world to me. While I’ve only met one in person, they have been there for me through the good times and bad, offering comfort and advice for both Spoonie-related stuff and personal stuff. It’s nice to know I can go to my Facebook group after a rough day and talk about whatever is going on without judgement…it helps distract me from my own issues and helps me learn from others how to handle life’s crazy situations.”
Online support groups give us a place to be completely open. You are able to check in on your own time- whenever you feel like you are able, when you need some support, or just to get something off your chest that “normie” friends just don’t understand. Our subscribers have said, “They remind me that I am not alone. They allow me to vent without judging me or making me feel as if all I do is whine. I can be myself in [the] group and take off the fake face I wear most of the time.” “We’re a community. They understand what I am going through in a way that no one else does.”
Spoonie friends in “real life” are important to us in different ways. They know our limitations because they have their own. They are the ones who say, “Want to just come over and sit on the couches? We can just read our books, but still have company.” “Come over to hide from your family and get kitty therapy.” Or, “We just got some green tea ice cream and we’re putting it in the freezer just for you!” These are the friends who understand if you have to cancel last minute, or leave early. They understand your suffering and heartache, as well as how small triumphs are worth celebrating with you.
Spoonie friends come in all shapes and sizes, from many different backgrounds, and with many different conditions. They can share their own Spoonie stories and give us insights to new treatments, and walk you through difficult times. They keep us sane. “My Spoonie friends mean never being alone. Having someone who can totally understand all of your pain. I love my Spoonie friends so much!” “They help me put things in perspective and realize that being a Spoonie isn’t the worst thing ever, as there are so many amazing Spoonies out there living their lives to the fullest. It’s not all doom and gloom!”