A few months ago, in a previous post, I spoke about the significant role my family plays in my life. This was a powerful reflection, so I wanted to extend that to speak about friendships. I have many different friendship groups in my life that all influence me in different ways.
I unintentionally saved this post until Christmas; however, now I have I’m quite glad I did. As like the rest of the world I haven’t seen my friends that much this year, and this has been hard. Although I haven’t seen my friends as often as I would like this year, these relationships are still magical, and what better time of the year to celebrate the magic?
I know that the title is a bit cheesy, but doesn’t everyone need a bit of cheese at this time of year?!
I consider myself very lucky as I’ve always had good friends, and I’ve never been bullied- a few troubles but nothing that your average teenager doesn’t go through
When I was going to university, I worried that I wouldn’t make any friends, and I thought that I was going to suffer from a lot of FOMO because I wasn’t moving away. But I don’t think this has happened. I could have gone out more in my first year of studying. But has it really impacted on me? No, I would say that it has taken me a lot longer to find my feet at university, friendships wise, than others, as I’m not around the corner. However, now I’m in my third year I wouldn’t change a thing!
I haven’t seen most of my friends at university since February and I do miss them. But we make the most of being online, and have just had an amazing virtual Christmas party!
Outside of university of course I have my friends from CP Teens UK! Before I discuss CP Teens, and the friends I’ve met through the powerful online communities (sorry, I had to). I wanted to talk about how important it was for me to find these friends, and make these relationships. I’ve never been confident enough to make friends online before, or even make friends outside of school, so this was a first for me, and it was very daunting for me to put myself out there. But my word I’m glad that I did
The friends I have from CP Teens UK are a great influence on my life, as I’ve never really had many friends from the disability community, but they’re the tonic I never knew I needed! The conversations we have had has opens doors, and challenges me to think about my disability differently. I’m thankful for that, because if I didn’t have these people to bounce off, I probably wouldn’t be as interested in disabled activism as I am. Not to mention all our great memories- hopefully we can make more in 2021! I’ve really missed the ball this year, I can’t wait to boogie with you all again!
However, my friends from school are still a big part of my life, and have been for a very long time. I have some great memories with my school friends, and I’m so thankful that I have these amazing people to go on adventures with. I was very nervous when I first started getting into my teenage years, and started going out with friends, as I knew I’d trip up or choke or something! I remember when it was prom- I was so nervous about all the small details, it was about 6 months before, when I asked one friend to sit next to me at prom so she could cut my food up!! But now when I go out with them, I don’t worry, because I know that without asking they’ll just help me and they won’t mind.
I use to feel like a burden- when we went on a school trip to Berlin, my friends had to take it in turns to push me around and I kept saying “I’m so sorry I’m such a burden”. But I wasn’t, they helped me because I am their friend, just like I’d help them. I know I’m a handful at times and on nights out I’m really (well was) cautious to not let my guard down, as I know I’m vulnerable enough as it is. But at the same time I always feel safe around them, because I know that they are amazing and always looking out for me. I am so fortunate.
I know that making friends, and getting close to anyone when you have a disability can be daunting. You still should be very careful when making friends especially online, but if your situation is anything like mine it’ll be totally worth it in the end!
Thank you for reading and your continuous support throughout 2020!! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!