What’s it really like being sick?
There is a barrier between you and most healthy people. Healthy people want healthy friends. They want friends they can regularly rely on. They want friends who’s lives are not regulated by pain, medication, exhaustion, sleep patterns, and doctors appointments. Very few people can see past these barriers to see the person you are, and who can blame them.
They can’t see that you have a sense of humor because they see you when you are tired and hurting and they think that is you.
They can’t see that you love helping other people, but because you are so sick you can hardly take care of yourself.
They can’t see all the things you want to do with them and participate in, they can only see that you flake out a lot. So they stop inviting you.
They can’t see that you are strong and brave and every day you fight a battle just to meet your basic physical needs. They can’t see the effort it takes to just move your arm or put on your makeup or get outside the house. Your strength is invisible.
They can’t see how you long to be normal and to be a normal friend, all they see is that you periodically fade out of their lives for no discernible reason.
They have no idea what it is like to try and live a normal life when you are not normal. When everyone has expectations for you and you constantly fall short. When you are constantly being pressured to do something you physically can not do and treated with contempt when you inevitably fail.
They don’t get it.
So they drift away and move on because you can’t be a good friend. And it hurts.
The truth about being sick is that you pretty much have to handle it yourself…alone…and it sucks. Even the most understanding healthy person can’t really comprehend what it’s like to live this life. They don’t understand what it’s like to be left behind again and again and again. It makes you feel small.
Then when you try to cross the barriers of communication and explain your hurt, people just think you are just self centered. That you talk too much about yourself, and you think that you are the only one who is important. You think too much about your illness, you should just think about something else instead of focusing on it all the time. And maybe you are guilty of those things, but you have to be just to survive. Being sick effects every single aspect of your life and who you are, and it doesn’t just go away. Being sick is a long, hard, lonely journey and it’s a journey without a destination.