Friends will come and go - but the real value is in the loved ones that are always there.
When I was first diagnosed in 2009, I didn't want anyone to know. Only my wife and parents knew- not even my sisters didn't know. I needed time to process everything. Maybe it was pride, or fear that people would leave me - I don't know. But a few months after my diagnosis, I did tell some of my closest friends and my immediate and extended family - but to this day (almost 4 years later) most people are not aware that I have MS.
I am slowly opening up to the fact that I have to let more people in on my diagnosis - but I am still hesitant to let anyone from work know. I don't want to risk my career, while I am fully able to have one. Employment and MS will be another blog post.
Which brings me back to my friends. I am not sure if it is due to the MS or just changing life situations, but many of my friends that I thought would be there for the rest of my life have disappeared from my life altogether. Sure, we may chat on social media every now and again, but I don't really count that.
I would say that I only have 3 or 4 friends outside of my wife. I have lost most of my friends, and made some new ones over the years. But the one constant in my life has been my wife of over 8 years. After only a few years of marriage with our whole life ahead of us, that "in sickness and in health" vow was challenged. She has been my best friend, my confidant, my soul mate, my love, and at times my caregiver. I owe her everything. So for all the friends who have left - "goodbye!" - it doesn't matter as long as I have my wife.
She is there to cheer me up when I am down, challenge me when I am being unreasonable (which is often), help me when I need it, and love me all the time. I am truly blessed. I owe here everything.