Thursday, September 16, 2010
Thursday’s Workshop 2 Parts  Invisible Disabilites  The Joy of Friends
The first thing you'll learn when stricken with a chronic illness is who your REAL friends are.
I have a card next to the bed inscribed "we'll always be true friends!" from someone who has not once done a single thing to help me, only asks how I am if I contact her first, etc. We'd been friends for about 10 years when I got sick, and while she's right that I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for her, she's wrong in her definition of "true friends".
My "true friends" are the ones I can ping when I'm at my worst, who'll listen to the symptom list du jour, and even if there's nothing else they can do, offer a "there, there" or an "I'm here". The ones who'll run to the store when I need OJ and Vitamin C for a cold, or Gatorade for digestive distress, or a craving for some food I don't normally keep in the house. The ones who'll answer the phone at 3 AM with "honey, what's wrong?" rather than "do you know what #$&%!! time it is?"
Don't beat yourself up when all your friends flee -- it's not your fault, it's theirs. They're too self-centered to "do unto others". They'll get theirs in the end. You need to devote all your energy to getting yourself well, not to beating yourself up over other people's actions.