Friday Feedback: Dear Eve
I have been battling a severe debilitating illness that baffles doctors. I have had to go through many surgeries, tests, biopsies, numerous chemo medications and experimental drugs. I would get better for a while and then my health would fail. Needless to say this has been an extremely emotional, physical, mental life changing time. I have been unable to work and struggle daily with symptoms and side effects from medication.
I am writing about friends. When you are sick, isolation and loneliness is very common, or so I am told. No one really understands the struggle and don’t seem to ‘get it’. I have lost friends over my illness. Some pulled away right away, while others as my daily struggle continues, day, month, year, people are avoiding me, pulling away and leaving my life.
This hurts so much as I have already lost so much. What do I do?
Dear Disappearing Friends,
I am so sorry that you are going through all of this. The mental ability to make it through each day is a testament to how strong you are. To continue fighting and putting your body through all of the medical treatments, shows how strong your spirit is.
When someone is sick, people often react in a variety of ways. Concern of course, sympathy, perhaps empathy and want to be there for you or say, ‘let me know if there is anything I can do’. Others don’t know what to say or how to react so they play ‘Mission Impossible’ with you and avoid you, when coming face to face with you will nod with sympathy and then leave as soon as possible. Even the first group of people can pull away as they become unsure of how to react. We expect people to get sick, offer our support and than they get better, everyone feels good, and we all move on.
However, this is not a fairy tale this is your life. There is no ignoring or moving on when you continue to strongly and bravely fight to live your life. Please remember how strong you are. Every day, you are choosing to live, celebrate you, be proud of you.
For those who have disappeared from your life, you can mull over their reasons, try to justify their actions, however it will not change things. People are who they are.
Take care of you first. Love and appreciate those who are still standing by you. Those who can’t or won’t be there for you as a friend wish them well when you think of them and later in the future if you choose, reach out to them. But perhaps you will find that the saying, ‘people come into our lives for various reasons and leave when needed’ is true in your case.
Remember it is not about you, even though it feels that way. It is about them. Find things you love, people, places, things that make you happy. Wish them well when you think of how hurt you are and release them. You have better things to do.
Stay strong and keep welcoming the sun each day. Keeping you in my prayers.
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