Monday, July 12, 2010

The Beginning

Monday, July 12

Caroline and I met during our Freshman year at our Ivy League university. We lived next door to each other and shared many of the same classes but it took time for us to realize the true extent of our commonalities. We were both struggling with chronic illness, but we managed our pain and hid our isolation in our own ways. Then, as our friendship evolved and we became closer, we started to feel safe enough to open our lives to one another. Both of us knew that is near impossible to battle chronic illness without an ally, without someone by your side to give you a sense of security and understanding, and so we decided (although perhaps not consciously) that we would be this person for each other. And not just during college, but for a lifetime. 

It has been eight years since we graduated from college. Although so much has changed in our lives, so much has also stayed the same- we are still close friends and live in the same city, we continue to struggle with chronic illness, and we still depend on each other to get through our daily battles. And, most importantly, we continue hope that we are able to transform what often seems likes a nightmare from hell into something positive for ourselves and others. We believe that one way for us to do this is to write about our struggles so that we can share this process of extracting meaning from suffering with others who are experiencing the grief, pain, and loneliness that are guaranteed to come with the chronic illness package.