Yet another area of our lives chronic illness bulldozes. I blogged some months back, when I was still running around in a bathing suite and working on my tan, how we met a couple that seemed really nice. So we started hanging out with them. And quickly realized we had as much in common with them as Russell Brand has with the Pope. They worked hard all week to watch obsessive amounts of mixed martial arts sporting events and get black-out, pass-out drunk every weekend. It didn't take us long to figure out we were oil and they were water. We tried, we did. But after the third time hanging out with them my husband and I looked at each other, and the expensive bar tab we were hardly able to afford, and said enough. I have spent months trying to figure out why on earth we came off as compatible to die-hard partiers? Why would they just assume we were like that? I told the girl I was sick from the get-go. But she just did not get it. We told them we didn't go out very much but then decided we were fuddy duddy and joined them when invited. But it just did not work. On the bright side I was given a chance to confirm that at age 35 sitting in a bar and watching people get wasted is not only boring but actually extremely annoying.
When I first got sick my social life mainly consisted of work friends and party friends. Both dropped off quickly, for they were not friendships based on anything real or lasting, but more temporary circumstance. A handful of friends remained from my past but undoubtedly the day would come when they would expect or need something from me and I would let them down. Most of them eventually faded away, too. Then there were the stressful and high maintenance friends. Usually so self absorbed they didn't notice when I got sick, once I stopped doing what they wanted, giving them the attention their bad behavior usually illicited, they dropped me, too. That sucked, because I was the one that should have said, Get on outa here, you are too much for me! But my self-esteem took a big ding when I got sick and standing up for myself became hard.
I now have about five friends from my past. They are my true friends. The ones I will have for life. They know me and love me and accept me for who I am. But none of them live anywhere even remotely near me. It's lonely. But something happened, when I started this blog and The Fibromyalgia Fun House on Facebook. I made friends! True and real friends of my heart. They not only offer me compassion and sympathy when I so desperately need it, they understand firsthand that when I say my clothes hurt my skin, my clothes really do hurt my skin and I do NOT need to be checked into a psych hospital. At least not for that. It is amazing to not have to explain every little thing in so much detail I get sick of hearing myself talk and just want to go to bed. But none of them live near me, either. So the solution to the whole rigmarole of establishing future friendships hangs in the balance. But I have figured out what I am going to do. It is called my "Friendship Disclaimer". In summary it states I am a true and faithful friend to the end BUT you have to really want to be friends with me because I am way more focused on myself than I should be. I can't always go the extra mile, physically or emotionally. I disappear for days on end when I am absorbed in a particularly intriguing piece I am writing or in a bitch-from-hell flare. I expect you to come to me and put forth most of the effort, for I simply can't. And no drama, I just can't do drama. So anyone nuts enough to accept those conditions, who does not get falling down drunk every night, is welcome to apply. Just read my "Disclaimer" first so you can't say I didn't warn you!
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