A circle of kids looking up at a playground, in the middle is a toxic symbol.

A Sense of Belonging

I can't remember if I've mentioned this before but for most of my life, I hid my SMA as much as possible when I was younger.

Hiding and trying to fit in

When we’re young, we all want to fit in, but looking back, what does that even mean? Hiding yourself to be just like everyone else? I absolutely hate that idea and that we learn that from a young age. For me, I have no idea why I hid. I guess because I was going through so many changes in middle school, with nurses, and being in the hospital a lot, as well as overall life changes.

As we all know, the SMA progression changes as we age, and my body wasn't in the best spot back then because I didn't have a good doctor. And middle school is just crazy. All of this to say, since I have finally have to freedom to slow down and actually live my life on my own terms (although scary because I don't know what that looks like, to be free and just live. No drama, just peace. and I'm very thankful), I have been thinking a lot. Specially about friendships.

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Holding on to people who were not friends

When I was younger, finding friends was hard, and I had a lot of toxic ones. But I was desperate to find someone, just to escape the SMA drama of it all. Last year with my amazing mama’s help, I was finally able to cut off people that I had been holding onto for years just because it was comfortable. After my 2022 peg drama, I was finally able to heal. Like I mentioned in my “overwhelmed” article, my peg can still be a headache, but I am thankfully able to have some peace and not be in pain all the time.

Going back to cutting toxic people off, I messaged these people and said how I felt -- that I was feeling villainized and made to be seen as the bad person here. This a classic sign of manipulation, and they never took accountability.

Finding my worth in a relationship

After having these friends and “falling in love” last year, I found my worth. I also knew that I am an awesome person, but it took healing from trauma to come to a place of self love and acceptance (in a positive way!). Also I feel the need to say, by falling in love, a guy who I was messaging with for years who also had SMA and who was around my age, had decided to say we were a couple even though we long distance. It didn't work out our differences showed when we met at the SMA conference.

Finding friendship and support

All of this to say that I wanted to mention how thankful I am for the true rewarding friendships that I have found during the 2019 conference and online. I have finally found my power through positive friendships and support from those who just get it.

Last night as of writing this, I had small happy cry and moment of gratitude for those who just get in my life. I finally have peace, and it's strange but incredible. These friendships have helped to not be defeated by my SMA and just feel seen and heard.

If you are struggling to find your tribe, don't force it, it will find you when it's time.

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