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Making/keeping Friends though Ill

(8 Posts)
Nubbler Wed 17-Oct-12 02:48:58

Hi, I have a much reduced social life for several years now.this is mainly due to chronic illness (fibromyalgia and a couple of other things). Nothing serious but quite disabling. I am often too tired to go out and if in a lot of pain sometimes have to cancel at the last minute. Not surprisingly my friends have gradually dropped off, some moved away, some married ghastly people I prefer to avoid ... But as I don 't work or even get out that much I am not meeting new people often. My confidence is broken as one old friend told me I was just vegetating, shortly before she got a new job teaching at a university, and I haven't seen her since as I feel too lowly to bother her! Interestingly she hasn't tried to renew contact either. I am not in a good position to be a good friend, so how can I ask the same of others? I do have a handful of mates, none of them 'get' my situation. One went on a rant about disabled people and their blue badges,excessive benefits etc recently so I've gone off her! Tips welcome. Perhaps there's no answer. I don't want people feeling sorry for me.

RobynRidingHood Wed 17-Oct-12 06:15:05

I'm not sure I'd want to socialise with someone I picked the vibe from who may think my Dh is 'ghastly'.

Read back you post and see what you can offer a friendship, coz all I'm reading is a litany of complaints about how your friends aren't meeting your standards.

UsingAPsuedonym Wed 17-Oct-12 06:22:16

I have cfs and also find it really hard that I can't 'give' much. I think part of the problem is that people really don't understand the illness. My brother is outright rude about when I was on incapacity and at the time I had a year or two where I wasn't often leaving the bedroom, however he saw me when I was up.

I haven't been able to go to my walking group etc and I do feel friends drifted away. I then had kids which adds a whole new dimension. My ME is much better and I'm able to function but I'm still exhausted. I don't know how now to start from scratch again when I have so little to give. Would love some good friends!

UsingAPsuedonym Wed 17-Oct-12 06:23:08

Oh and yes I've had u'd rant about benefits with no regard for my situation too!

daffydowndilly Wed 17-Oct-12 08:12:08

Perhaps try and meet new people, or go and talk to your old friends and be really honest about how you feel. I met a lady with your condition earlier this year, who was very open about the conditions and her needs, and she had also gone on a retreat for people with fibromyalgia and even got together with her boyfriend through it.

It is so easy to isolate and withdraw - and I am not saying at all that is what you have done - more reflecting on my own life and situation, and it is hard to pick up with friends afterwards as they move on with their lives. But I do think that if they are good friends and you have an honest chat with them, they may at least understand you better and you might feel less like you can't bother them. And if not they are not good friends.

Nubbler Wed 17-Oct-12 15:02:42

Thanks, yes I prob expect too much, and should continue aiming for quality not quantity of contacts. I'm not on benefits nor do I need a blue badge so far as I don't drive, but the climate has changed so that otherwise sensible people are ranting about disabled people in general, forgetting who they're talking to. Anyway, I have set up two meets next week with friends and we'll see if I get further, although I reserve the right to avoid ghastly sexist and racist shouty boors who have married people I know. Didn't have any patience with these when I was well. I posted here to strangers as I don't like to moan during social times, but by definition friends only seem me when I am well enough to go out, which gives over positive impression.

nonkybonk Wed 17-Oct-12 17:16:17

Most of my friends have moved etc. This is normal but to some extent making good friends gets harder as you get older, even if you are out and about. You are right to avoid ghastly friends' partners, they are a drain (I know ...) you clearly don't need. Some people who find it hard to make new friends put up with all sorts, as better than nothing. Don't. Give yourself a year, try something new every week, even talking to strangers. Don 't rush, be choosy in the long term (twits can introduce you to non-twits). Works for me.

Latara Wed 17-Oct-12 18:10:52

I think that you will eventually meet new friends because there are some really decent people around; it's just not so easy to find them when you aren't well or feel negative.

You could even try to be friendly again with a couple of the friends you have, but see them separately from the partners you dislike.

I do have chronic health problems myself but i try to remember this: your illnesses & disabilities are just a small part of you; you are made up of many parts - try to separate 'the ill part' of you from 'the rest' then it may seem not so much of a problem (even though it is, obviously).

It's hard for me to explain that properly, sorry, but what i'm trying to do in order to keep my friends & normal life is to compartmentalise the health problems i have - it's not easy to ignore the illness as i'm quite paranoid & irrational or very depressed on & off (MH problems) - but i'm trying my hardest to make it seem smaller in my life.

Sorry i really don't think i've explained that well but it helps a bit anyway.

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