Don’t get me wrong I understand that a friendship with a chronically ill person can be difficult. Understanding the difficulties that a person goes through can’t be easy. But in reverse people with chronic illnesses have a tough time too.
The uncertainty of a life with a chronic illness makes it hard to arrange plans with friends. I am very lucky to have some friends who would be totally cool with me cancelling last minute if my pain was so bad but for some people because they see that “I look ok” they don’t understand why I can’t keep up with the pace.
If I make plans with a friend and I am worried my pain will stop me from having fun I will literally panic about it in the days leading up to it, even if i have planned things with a friend I know understand what life with fibromyalgia is like for me. The panic has nothing to do with the friend it more to do with how I know fibro can punish me solely for having for living a normal life.
Sadly a chronic illness diagnosis has meant I have felt like I have grown apart from some people but in reverse I am closer to others and even better a chronic illness diagnosis has bought friends to me, and people who just get it because they have it! The friends who have stuck by me, who have tried to understand and who just appreciate I am still the same person have helped me so much. That being said, I have gained the most over the last year from developing friendships with other spoonies.
Friendship, and keeping a social life is important in helping to manage life with a chronic illness. It can feel very lonely at times so maintaining regular contact with people helps my mental health even if it cant help the physical pain!