Friendship is such a valuable experience, especially in this day and age when families often don’t even live in the same state. We need to cultivate the few very close friendships we do have, and continue to invest in those friendships that are longstanding. Of course, all of those friendships and the extent to which we stay involved in them, often depends on the day or week we are having. So, how can we be a good fibro friend?
For the past three or four years I have met more than 400 women who suffer from fibromyalgia or other chronic illness. There are about 100 that I keep track of, and a couple of those women are really dear to me, even though we have not yet met in real life. Concentric circles of friendships, with the closest ones being in the center. These are the ones who are there when you really need a listening ear, someone to vent with or share a milestone, or someone you could call anytime day or night.
I found these women in groups I joined or started myself. Initially I really didn’t know any of them, but with daily or weekly interaction, it didn’t take long to establish some solid FM friendships. We have established a connection and extend a compassionate heart toward one another.
It’s an incredible thing to seek out and develop friendships with others who “get it.” They not only understand, they can empathize. You have a ton in common from the start, you feel less alone and truly more understood than even your closest pre-FM friends. It’s kind of like if you’re a single person — you just can’t relate as well to your married friends, and even less so to the ones who also are parents.
There are more amazing “aha moments,” greater camaraderie, a lesser need to pretend, and a deeper joy to being understood and supported so well. I would encourage you to get established in a group or online forum that meets your needs, and get to know some of those people. It’s so worth it!
That’s not to say we should ignore our other friendships; it’s just that having some established fibro friends really helps us not to feel so alone in our illness, or as lonely, especially for those of us who spend our days or nights alone.
I always appreciate your input and enjoy this community!
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.