Monday, November 22, 2010

Invisible Friends

Four years ago when I developed pelvic pain, I remember a PT telling me about a support group called Happy Pelvis on yahoo groups.  I instantly loved the name, given that my pelvis was grumpy at the time and I felt afraid and isolated.  I couldn't really get my mind around the concept of talking about my personal health issues to strangers on a computer screen.   I signed up anyway, and lurked for a while until I felt comfortable enough to join in the conversation. 

Through Happy Pelvis and another group called HOPE I have met some amazing people. They are courageous in sharing their stories, insights and experiences both positive and discouraging. Beyond emotional support, I have found resources that I would not have found anywhere else. I've been able to educate my doctors, family and friends with information from these communities.

A few women are now my dear friends.   Despite our age differences and geography, we became fast friends. To one, I am a surrogate big sister and we can talk about life well beyond what initially connected us. Our family backgrounds are strikingly similar and that made us instantly familiar with each other. When I am having a bad day, she is there for me with a sweet text message and a photo of her beautiful cat. Another sends me photos of her travels to Costa Rica and together, we share a distant sunset. 

 I recently reconnected with a friend after she took a break from the support group.  I thought about her so much over the past year and I was elated when I saw her return.  We caught up by phone the other day exchanging stories about disappointing doctors and other frustrations related to pelvic pain. She told me that she was adding a new puppy to her family, and I quickly went into dog training mode and shared my expertise.  Bon and I  were able to slip right back into the cadence of our friendship. Listening to her southern accent adds texture to a friendship where we likely will never meet one another. There are times when I have to remind myself of that.  

The two groups that I belong to are a sanctuary.  They provide a sacred space to vent and share with others who are on the same trail as me. Like therapy, I can go there and dump my worries and support others. I can preserve my strength and be more available to my husband, my dog and friends around me. 

I'm fascinated too by the sociology of the groups. . Sometimes I sign on and study the screen names and avatars. I laugh every time I see Pelvis Stressley.  Now, how did he come up with that name?  Her Majesty writes each post with commanding confidence and royalty.  I wonder about Tiny Dancer?   I imagine a little tinker bell, petite and waif-like. 

Then there are names like Graceunderfire.  I say it real fast. I want to have "graceunderfire".  A reminder of what we need now and then.

Lately, I've gotten to know a lovely woman called Pomegranate.  I stumbled upon her blog which inspired me to start writing again.  As we delicately start sharing little seeds of our lives with each other, I sense a friendship developing.  

I know that these friendships remain in the virtual realm, and are likely to be transient.  Yet, the support and guidance we give one another is a gift.  The definition of friendship is evolving for me. I have a collection of invisible friends. But they are real.

Peace, Healing, Humor

fish below, glowing, hopeful for some food 
and a visit. sweet karma when you feed the fish 
and wish upon a fish.


  1. Jude, your writing is so delicious! Thank you so much for this post and for being such a wonderful friend! I can not thank you enough for all of your help, support, wisdom and the many smiles you've put on my face! Love, Bon:)

  2. Thanks, I'll let Jude know.
    Love Cora !!!!

  3. Lovely essay, Cora! I'm thankful for our friendship.