*Singing* “What about your friends? Will they stand their ground? Will “you” let them down again?” Let’s face it. RA and other chronic illnesses will change things about you. Therefore, it changes some friends perception of you. Heck, it even changes your perception of you. It changes your energy levels. Some days it’s where it use to be but, most days it’s not. Sometimes “friends” just don’t understand.
You use to be the life of the party and you still are. You are just not at every party. You use to be able to work 8-10 hours go home do whatever needed to be done and be back out the door and off to have a few rounds. Maybe you can’t do that but you still hang out sometimes past your bedtime which also may have moved up or not depending on your sleep habits or lack their of. Nevertheless, you are all the way there when you are there!
Yet, they still may not know what to think or how to feel about the “new” UNimproved you. They may think you are acting FUNNY. They may think you can’t do something so they simply don’t invite you. I really hate that one. Let me decide for myself what I can and can’t do and if I want to hurt or not later. It’s my choice! Some get upset that you are ALWAYS sick and can NEVER seem to make it. I am sure it’s not ALWAYS and NEVER but it seems like it because once before you were ALWAYS there and NEVER missed a beat. These are the ones that take it personal. They shouldn’t but, they do. As if you already don’t feel bad enough this is like adding insult to injury as if you can CONTROL when you have pain and for how long. There are certain things we can and can not do to bring on pain or make it worse and that doesn’t always work. It is us who must adjust our plans and attitudes when dealing with pain and fatigue whenever it shows up.
I have had friends that treat me like they always have because they have known me long enough to know who I am and how I am. I have had some friends, because it’s their nature, to want to do everything for me. God love ’em! (I got that phrase from an elderly person lol). They mean well and sometimes I have to say “Thank you so much but let me try it first” and at others times I just let them do whatever it is because I know it makes them feel good. I like doing things for people for that very same reason.
The best way to solve the friends problem is to be vocal and to be honest. The best way is to know you would if you could. You know you wish you could turn back the hands of time when you could do it all but, that’s not happening and it’s cool. T.L.C is what you need form your friends. Tender Love and Care.