One of the hardest things is that once you’ve been ill for a while, some of your friends just disappear. It’s hard not to take that personally. Perhaps they’re not sure how to relate to you anymore, or maybe they just don’t want to see you suffer. Either way, it’s painful.
The days I feel better are the days I feel the loss most keenly. It’s difficult communicating that without sounding selfish or whiny. It would seem like your friends would want to draw closer with the knowledge that you’re ill and your life has become more limited in so many ways. Yet, most people I talk to don’t experience it that way. People often don’t understand how much you’re suffering and how grateful you’d be for some company and a bit of normalcy.
Friends may not understand why you are at home most of the time, but if they knew, they might have greater empathy and make time in their schedule for you. I’d like to talk about a few potential ways to develop new friendships if fibro and other chronic illnesses keep you mostly housebound, or if you just want to establish some new, like-minded friendships.
- Facebook groups: Find at least one Facebook group related to fibro, or a group a that may be related to your particular interests, such as cooking, writing, quilting, or whatever else you are interested in.
- Online forums: Forums can be a great place to connect with other people and enjoy one another’s company. Forums such as Patients Like Me and Healing Well connect people who are living with your same illnesses. Forum engagement is a great way to meet people who understand what you’re going through and can support you (and vice versa).
- Book clubs: How about starting or joining a virtual book club? Check out One Book One Facebook, Book Talk, or Goodreads.
- Volunteer: If able, why not volunteer at a local pet shelter or food pantry?
- Adopt a furry friend: Consider rescuing a pet that could really use some loving and keep some of those lonely feelings at bay.
Let’s face it: If your friends aren’t willing to stick by you now that you’re ill, what kind of friend were they anyway? I think they call those “fair-weather friends.” I want friends who will check up on me, text the latest gossip, and generally just keep me in the loop. I’m sick, but I’m the same person inside that I always was.
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.