Making friends between Flares.
So you made it out of the house! After months or years of being basically house/bed bound and you are finally healthy enough for a social outing!
Great! Feels awesome. The smiles feel real despite the anxiety of having been a hermit for so long. But there you are doing it, making friends! Feeling alive again.
Most of us spoonies have been here, absorbing these “remission” moments, not having a clue how long they will last. Basking in life.
You are out doing life as much as you can. The chronic hotness isn’t gone but it’s manageable. You can smile through the pain. The outings are worth it. People wouldn’t even know you were a chronic hot mess if you didn’t tell them.
Your new friends know, they say they understand because chronic hotness is personal and in their lives too.
Seasons change, the weather aggravates your symptoms, the first big flare since the “remission” started. You don’t notice it at first; more down days, more pain and in that comes the moods of anger, depression, and fear. Yes fear of the good days disappearing, of going back to that dark world before remission.
You keep trying to smile through it, but the pain and “moods” start sleeping through the walls you’ve worked so hard to construct. You say you are okay.
Your friends know better, this is a side they haven’t seen.
And here is where things change.
Your phone stops ringing.
Outings are canceled.
Excuses are made.
It’s hard not to be angry. It’s hard not to be hurt.
You didn’t ask for this illness! You can’t help the moods! You can’t be the same person you were when the remission had you out laughing and living. But you don’t have a choice.
It’s hard not to be mad at them.
It’s hard not to be hurt by them.
They said they understood.
And here is where things change again.
You’ve been here before. This isn’t the first time friends go away.
Remember the life long friends who walked away? They knew you and your ups and downs well and where are they now?
But you expected new friends to stay?
Our truth is that not everyone can handle what we go through! That doesn’t make them a bad person and we are certainly not at fault either.
It just is what it is.
Thank them for the memories while the days were good. Thank them for the laughs. Be thankful for the friendship as it was. Don’t pick it apart and notice all the bad so it hurts less, just let it be.
Beating yourself up won’t change anything. Let the hurt go and move on.
Focus on you! Your health needs you.
I know this is a stark reality to face, just another aspect to our chronic hotness.
Be thankful for those still standing by your side. They may be a thousand miles or even oceans away, but be thankful to them.
Rather they are in your life for a season or forever, be thankful for the part they have held in your journey. Send them love.
*image found on Pinterest- origination left intact
As for if the flare is a month long or years, only time will tell.
So my chronic Warrior, prepare for battle. Only you can do what you need to do.