Posted tagged ‘Chronic Illness’

How relationships change when you have a chronic illness

May 16, 2012

It is strange to me how relationships change when you have a chronic illness.  Since I became so ill with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Back issues the relationships with my immediate and extended family are stronger, but the relationships with almost all friends have become more distant or non-existent.  I really miss “my friends” or were they really my friends??  😦

My husband and I have always had a loving and strong relationship, but since my illness our relationship has gotten even stronger – and I didn’t realize that it actually could!  I am grateful that he is so supportive and does anything to help make our lives easier.  I know this is not a “piece of cake” for him.  Relationships with our boys, my parents, mother-in-law, brothers and other extended family members are stronger as well.  I am also so thankful that my family is so supportive.

Friends on the other hand really surprised me.  I mostly had friends from work, friends that I went to church with, and neighbor friends.  My neighborhood friends are still my friends and I still hear from some of my old church friends that I know I could call on at any time.  Work friends that I thought were “my friends” are distant or non-existent except for a couple.  I had worked with some for almost 20 years and I had developed what I thought were really good relationships.  When I had to quit my career (5 years ago) I was VERY ill.  At first I would receive calls or emails from some of them but most just simply forgot about me.  I was too sick for a while to even think about trying to contact friends, and now that I am somewhat better, I normally have to be the one to initiate contact.  I realize that it is difficult to know what to say to people who are so ill, but trust me on this…. just say ANYTHING.  I am still a person and need friends to call and talk, to email me, to talk to me on Facebook, to ask me to go to lunch, etc.

Sorry if I sounded a little pathetic, but this is something that really hurts – way down deep.  Isn’t it strange how relationships change when you have a chronic illness.


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