Saturday, October 3, 2009

Friends and Illness

Something happened recently that reaffirms my reasons for not discussing my health issues with friends. Yes, I do have a few that know what is going on in my life, but for the most part people who read my blog know more about ME than my friends. And this is why....

Someone (another fibro patient) left a comment to me on Facebook offering me "Spoons". Spoons refer to the "Spoon Theory" which gives an awesome description about how people with chronic illnesses have to ration their energy supplies. It is long but worth reading if you know anyone who is sick. OK, back to my point. So one of my oldest and dearest friends (who I have not been open and honest with about my diseases) asked what "spoons" meant and I gave a brief answer and then sent an email to her. I thought maybe this would be a great time to open up to here and explain my situation. I told her in the email what I have and how I am, and sent her a link to the Spoon Theory.

This was nearly a week ago and I have yet to hear back from her. Illness makes people uncomfortable. It freaks them out. I know this, and I am not Mad at her, but a little disappointed. Any response would have been better than none. So I will go back to pretending I am fine and not sharing much about how sick I really am (at least with the real world). Because I have enough going on and don't want to lose friends because I made them uncomfortable with the truth.

If anyone asks.....I am fine. Just fine.

17 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I do think that when people are dealing with a tragedy, other people don't know what to say.

I'm sorry she hasn't responded. That must be hurtful. We are here for you!

Megan said...

I'm so sorry that your friend hasn't given you a response. Hopefully she does soon and apologizes for her lack of response. (((HUGS)))

Thanks for stopping by on my SITS day!!

Deb said...

okay, so a week is not horribly long. i have been known to not respond in a timely manner, too, so let's give her some more time.

THAT BEING SAID... i totally get it. i know what you are feeling and you are 100% right. i don't really understand why people behave that way. i mean, i see kristina p.'s point about people not knowing what to say, but why don't they at least try? but, listen, you need to try to be more honest with your friends about your illness and not give a hoot about whether they can handle it or not. be true to yourself. and listen, i KNOW it is easy for me to say that, when i am guilty of hiding the hard stuff in my life, too.

i'm here for you.

Alice in Wonderland said...

I'm so sorry that your friend hasn't got back to you, and that must be really hurtful for you. I know that in my life things have happened, and people either feel awkward asking about it or go the other way and never shut up about it. I, too have a problem with my shoulder and neck bones, and I've never spoken about that on here, but I have had really tragic things happen too, and only a handful of people know about that.
Sometimes I just wish that I could write a post all about me, and my life, but I know that I have a stalker who is writing really bad comments about me on another blog. These people write under the guise of Anonymous so I don't know who they are, but the comments they write have been going on since April. So, in a round about way, I know how it feels for to feel so alone, but Denise, you have loads of friends and support here, and you can mail me if you think a good chat would help.
Big Hugs, XXXX

Amy said...

That is a shame that she hasn't gotten back to you. Especially when you need as many understanding friends as possible when you are dealing with the illnesses. My mother lost a couple of really good friends when she was dealing with her cancer. And it hurt her terribly.

I hope your friend does respond and soon! Although if she were a true friend, it would not take her a week to get back to you unless she is somewhere that doesn't have internet or cell phones!

But, I hope that I won't get the stock answer of "I'm fine"! I want to know how you are no matter what!!

Mimi said...

Oh I so understand. When people find out that I'm bi-polar many of them looks at me wondering why I'm not in the looney bin. They usually say they understand and then I usually don't hear from them.

Ignorance sucks!

M-Cat said...

It's a little hurtful when those we are depending on to support us the most, let us down.

Just remember, you have a whole blogosphere if people who care and will listen to you vent anytime.

Chronic illness, ESPECIALLY Fibro is beyond a frustration that most people can even fathom.

Hang in there, and know I'll listen (or read) you anytime.

silk purse said...

First of all may I say thank you for stopping by my blog and posting a comment about "Thankful Thursday's, re., what you are thankful for!.., You have a beautiful, whimsical, fun and zestful approach to life my dear, which everything fom the title of your blog, to your two absolutely precious little sons on your banner collage photo; even your delight in and love of chocolate..,

I can't remember when I was so charmed to the core of my being, and believe me I thrive on and deeply appreciate and enjoy every blog that I'm attracted to follow out there in blogland!

Yet, I cannot remember quite the feeling ever being replicated as to when I found your blog site..,
~Utterly and completely charming!..,

With regard to your absent friend,in essence, what I'm saying further to my encouragement of you is that not only are people in general and for the most part either intimidated by what they "secretly hope will not ever happen to them" ; yet frankly they are often down right insensitive unfortunately, as well..,

..,I can see by the insightful, sincerely generous and kind comments previously posted above, that it would appear that you are likely going to find, (and are therfore right in clearly seeing), that it is often the creative people that frequent these blogs who are more artistically sensitive, nurturing and comforting individuals.., We DO often love and support each other as a blogging community!.., We esteem you a well as care deeply about your sufferings..,

Yes when you are chronically ill, all energy must be guarded and spent wisely!.., Only you will know who is uplifting and supportively and whom is not~ Hope it works out!..,

We are indeed here for you!

Blessings , hugs and prayers..,

Silken Purse

Mom said...

I am upset to hear that you had a friend and don't now due to your illness. If she was a true friend she would stand by youu thrugh thick and thin as the saying goes. I know how you feel, I had friends and when your dad got sick years ago they were not able to stay friends with me any more. I was angry and went through the same thing you are doing by just telling people he is doing fine when he wasn't. I hope she does get back to you which will show you that she just doesn't know how to handle your sistuation and what to say. If not just chalk her off and go on with your true friends.

Soft Hugs to All: Laurie D. said...

I'm sorry to read that this is happening to you. Unfortunately people are uncomfortable with things they do not understand,or things that scare them. My husband and I went through the exact situation. We have gone through several years of "one thing after another". What we learned from it is how to seperate who our true friends are from those who are just lingering on the edges.
What hurt the most, we found that the people who we "thought" were good friends, turned out to be the ones that bailed out quicker than rats on a sinking ship. This really hurt. It also made us very angry and we pulled away from everyone because of it. Please, do not do what we did. It was a huge mistake to shut everyone out. It has been said here a few times. You are a wonderful, creative, warm person who has a multitude of people here who care about you and can understand what you are going through.
Human beings are egotistical. They feel they should "always" know the right thing to say about any situation they come across. When they are confronted with something they don't understand, it forces them to see the truth that no one knows everything. This scares them. When people are scared, the animal instinct of "fight or flight" sets in. Unfortunately, most people will chose "flight".
I just wanted to touch on something "alice.." said. I also had to deal with a stalker. It was my "supposed" best friend. I had to go in the hospital. When I got out, she refused to take my calls, she refused to speak to me at all. Finally, I was able to confront her, and she started to send me very nasty e-mails and messages on facebook. She became absolutely viscous. She also convinced a few other people to join her in her attack. This was my BEST friend. She feels that fibro is not real, and she decided to stop speaking to me and start attacking me.
Be greatful that she stopped talking to you instead of attacking you. It hurts like all heck when it happens. Remember, when God closes one door, he always opens a window.
I hope this is just a fluke and she has a good reason for not calling you.
Soft Hugs to you.
Laurie D.

Wendyburd1 said...

I have to say I hate when people do that. It is like they are chicken to even respond and it makes me upset. If I share something like that I want at least an "Oh okay, I had no idea", even that would be okay, but to ignore, it just feels like a slap in the face sometimes.

Queenie Jeannie said...

You poor thing! Personally, I think that's a pretty crappy thing to do to a friend!

Friends are supposed to BE THERE for you!!!!! And we are!!!

You should never have to pretend anything, to anyone.

Becky said...

I am sorry you are feeling hurt and let down, here is lots of l♥ve and BIG HUG from one of your blog friends!

Jersey Girl said...

Sorry you haven't heard back from your "friend." Maybe she needs time to take it all in.
Thanks so much for commenting on my "Pity Me" post. I don't know how you cope with your health issues, having two little boys. It's wonderful we have this blogging community to connect with others who understand what we are experiencing, even when those around us don't.
Thanks again for sharing.

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

people don't know what to say - including me - so i just ask what i can do to be a supportive friend

Amy said...

My best friend has breast cancer and doesn't like to let people know when she doesn't feel well or just how sick she really is. I suspect the she even sugarcoats things for me. It is hard to hear that my friend suffering but regardless of how uncomfortable it may make me, she is a friend and needs all of my support. I keep my questions to a minimun and let her talk to me about it when she wants to talk. The only time I ask is after I know she has had an appointment, then I make sure to call her about it. We talked about it today on the phone and she said she likes that I don't constantly ask but will always listen when she needs to talk.

I hope your friend comes through for you. If not then it is her loss that she is unable to be supportive and caring at this time. I would recommend a follow up call or email on your part just to get a feel for how she has taken the news. She may not know how to respond to your illness. If the response is not good, then don't waste your time on someone who cannot be supportive of you.

Beth in NC said...

I'm sorry. That is so sad. I wonder why she didn't say SOMETHING ... anything at all.

Thank you for coming by my blog and following. Yay! I'm excited to meet a new Sister in Christ!

Love,
Beth

About Me

My photo
Im a Christian Stay at home mom...that means I am a professional multi-tasker and I give all the credit to Jesus. I am married to my best friend and have 3 wonderful sons. God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, nor sun without rain, But he did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way.

More about Me....

Here are some posts that explain about my illnesses

Health Class 101

Things you need to know

Mornings and Why I don't mind being sick