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Good morning friends!
It’s Fibromyalgia Friday. Do you too suffer from a chronic illness? Perhaps your doctors have not yet come to a decisive conclusion as to what you suffer from. For those of you who are not familiar with my story see here (2014) and here (2017) for more detailed updates.
|Uni Friends. (c) The Joyous Living.|
Today I wanted to talk with you about friendships + fibromyalgia. Before I became sick in 2014 (hard to believe it’s almost 4 years later) I was not popular but I definitely had a good set of friends. If I had a party, it would be a full house. On birthdays I could count on friends coming out for the evening. Life was and felt pretty full.
And then I got sick. By moving back to California (from London) obviously my uni friendships were tested and yet I have been truly blessed by 3 friends who have stayed in touch and made an effort these four years. And boy am I grateful and thankful for their love and support and encouragement. Here in America, I came home to flowers and care packages that brought tears of gratitude to my eyes.
|Get Better Flowers. (c) The Joyous Living.|
Friends checked in and asked how I was doing. Others offered words of wisdom and suggestions. My best and dearest friends (near and far) have stayed true and made an effort to find time in their busy lives to visit with me. For the first couple years, I could not drive so they had to make their way to me. In spite of having families and lives of their own, my best friends were there for me and I have been so grateful all these years. Health difficulties and life changes prove who your true and real friends are.
I know people have busy lives and so a one-on-one get together can be tough on their schedules and especially when the gatherings are not necessarily the most exciting. Some friends have tried to stay in touch but things fall through the cracks and I understand.
|(c) The Joyous Living.|
The friends that drive me crazy are those who suddenly disappear or keep promising to get together or reach out and never do. As a psychologist told me, the energy put into staying in touch and attempting to maintain these kinds of friendships is negative and difficult on my overall health.
One “Friend” in particular stands out as an example for y’all. I took her with me as my +1 for numerous theatrical performances and movies and art exhibits (hundreds of dollars worth of experiences). All I asked for in return was that she drove. She didn’t even offer to pay for parking (despite my not having a job) but I didn’t take issue and paid the $$ from my savings and sometimes thanks to my parents’ support.
But in September 2016 I told her about my impending surgery and asked for prayers. Suddenly silence. Literal silence. I have not heard a peep from her since. It was tempting to reach out to her but she’s proven her “friendship” was not authentic and I had enough to deal with what with my health and depression/anxiety and numerous doctor visits.
But as my therapist said, I didn’t need that kind of “friend” hanging on my coattails. I needed to release that “friendship” completely and focus that attention and energy on something more productive.
I hope this is encouraging for you who are reading this post. Give your energy to the friends who are true and faithful. And learn the difficult thing of saying NO to toxic “friendships”.
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Do you have a friendship you need to cut off before it hurts your soul?