You never imagined that at 20 years old, when you should be enjoying yourself the most, you would be sat alone.
You never imagined that at 20 years old, you’d not have any real friends.
Everything was so easy at school, you saw people everyday, you made plans, you had ‘best friends’. I guess once you are unable to make plans, or see people, you soon get forgotten.
I don’t know when it happened. It sort of just did. You found yourself being excluded from things. You stopped being asked to go anywhere.
It’s so hard to make people understand that you want to do all of these things but you just can’t.
I’m not boring, I’m ill.
While everyone else goes out and enjoys themselves, you sit and watch the night unfold on social media, wishing you were there.
You find yourself thinking, should I just go? Put on a brave face and act like everything is normal – not that I know what normal is by the way – then you remember what the consequences would be the next day if you did and decide not to.
It’s always our heads overthinking, talking us into or out of things. The anxiety of the ‘what ifs?’
Sometimes I wish I could switch it off. Ignore it just for one day.
This isn’t even me saying I want to go out every weekend. It’s not about that. What saddens me is not having someone I can just text to talk to, or meet up with for lunch. I miss that. I miss speaking to people. I miss seeing people. I miss having a best friend.
I sometimes wonder if the people I used to call my friends ever think about me or wonder if I’m okay. I think about them. I wonder what they’re doing. I wonder if they’d ever think of speaking to me again.
It’s strange. The people who you thought would be there for you forever. I know I would have been there for them, despite my illness I would have tried my best.
You start to question years of friendships. How can you be so close to somebody for years, literally inseparable – to absolutely nothing?
I think to myself sometimes. What if I had died? What if I had never had that emergency surgery? Would they have cared then?
It’s sad that it has to get to a point sometimes for people to realise what matters. You know the old saying, ‘you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone’.
The thing is, the only thing I wanted was a message, just a simple text to ask if I was okay. I didn’t want ‘Get well’ presents and cards.
I was never asking for someone to come and sit by my bedside day and night. I still don’t ask for that and never would. I don’t expect people to give up all of their time for me.
I don’t ask for much, all I ask for is a friend.
Words by Natalie Bamford