Friendships that fade when you are chronically ill

Living with chronic back pain has been a challenge to say the least. Then discovering that I was extremely exhausted and my body physically hurt and hurt so badly because I have fibromyalgia was devastating for me to understand and eventually learn to live with, I am still learning.

It is moments like this that we need our loved ones a little more. However, when you have always been the caretaker in your relationships, sometimes you discover that most of the people you have surrounded are not the kind of caregiver and sadly they begin to disappear until they no longer exist in your life.

From being employed as a caregiver to being always that friend that everyone came to ask for advice or for a shoulder or an ear, caring has always been a natural instinct in me. As a wife and mother, these are the roles that I take the most amount of pride in. I’ve never really been the type to ask for help; I have always been self-sufficient and honestly I would normally like to do things on my own, because then they are done at my level of perfection.

Some friendships faded and some family members distanced themselves over time as I began to put myself and my health first. If it was drama and brought stress, I distanced myself from them. However, I have come to realize that many people surround a person when they get sick, if it is a brief illness or possibly a terminal illness. Except when a person has a chronic disease, an invisible disease and / or that is long term, so many people tend to move away. Part of me thinks that it is because some only get busy in their own life with the passage of time. Others do not want to take the time to accommodate their endless illness. Then there are always the few who choose not to take the time to see what is considered invisible, however, it is so visible to you.

Although it saddens me to have these relationships come to an end, it has also made me realize that these relationships were not as true as I thought. I try to remind myself that it is their loss because I am a wonderful person worthy of what I give, to have that same love and reciprocated care. I will never need nor want the sympathy of a family member or friend, but if someone has love and compassion to give I receive them in my life, just as I value my family and friends who have remained faithful to our relationship and caught for my side at a time in my life when I need them even more than I already did. To each of them, thank you! To each one of you who reads this and who understands exactly what I am saying because you have been there, it is your loss because you are worth what you give!

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