Chronic pain/illness and friends.

It doesn’t take long for chronic pain/illness to effect your relationships with others. Pain changes you and every aspect of your life. Friends seem to disappear because they don’t know how to handle you being sick they don’t know what to say or do to help you. When really all they have to do is genuinely be there for you. Nothing they can say or do can take the pain away, but they can help by just being there. However they don’t seem to get this so instead a lot of the time they just disappear. Which in turn makes you think that they don’t care, because that is how they are acting. 

Over the years I have been in chronic pain I have lost many friends due to this, and it’s been quite upsetting. I’ve had one close friend tell me that I am pretending and another saying I have no right to be depressed because other people have it worse, which both infuriated me. My original group of friends ditched me shortly after it all started, I guess they were fed up with the girl in pain who was depressed. I was then on my own without any friends for over a year until I finally managed to make some new friends in my new year at school (I got moved down a year). These friends were a lot better they accepted me and we genuinely interested in what was going on with me and if I was okay. Two of my closest friends even visited me in hospital after I had attempted to kill myself. It was sometimes hard though because I just felt so different from them because I am in pain and they are ‘normal’. When I dropped out of school it became much harder, I no longer even had going to school in common with them. When I managed to go out with them on the weekends I felt so disconnected from them and would always leave early because I couldn’t stand how being around ‘normal’ healthy people made me feel. It made me feel even more alone and disconnected.

I then moved back to England mid April because of my health. Since then pretty much only two of my friends have been talking to me. I sent out a message to my friends explaining why I left; because I had only told a few people where I was going and why I wasn’t coming back. I got replies off a couple of the guys saying they hoped I was okay, which was nice and I appreciated it. But two people who I considered my closest friends didn’t even bother replying, which really upset and affected me. 

Getting sick really shows you who your true friends are, turns out I only have like two. 

 

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2 thoughts on “Chronic pain/illness and friends.

  1. Hi Sian, I have been reading your health story and a couple of other posts. So sorry to hear you have had such a tough time with ‘friends’. It does get better when you get older… I’m a bit more than 10 years older than you and have a network around me who I feel like I waited my whole life to meet; who stuck by me no matter what. It’s hard when you have the need for friends now though…

    I have cerebral palsy among a lot of medical things inc. chronic pain like you, so I often can’t go out to see my friends, but social networking is a lifeline. It’s also the reason I ‘know’ people in a similar situation to myself. I know a little of how tough it is to be on a laptop with a migraine though as mine as pretty bad, and can’t be medicated as I am on too many other meds… a GP said ‘you can take paracetamol’. erm… I didn’t bother even telling him how ineffective that is!!

    I too am used to even my closest friends not understanding, or being places and feeling overwhelmed sometimes knowing I am in constant pain and they are not. My pain isn’t always headaches, as I have Cerebral Palsy, and other medical conditions as well. If you think about your troubles maybe lasting forever, it is very overwhelming… try as much as you can to take one day at a time… it’s a cliche, I know, but can help, at least some of the time.

    My email is jackie [dot] davie [at] gmail [dot] com. If you just need someone to talk to or let off steam, feel free to email me. Jackie

    • Hi Jackie. Sorry to hear you suffer from chronic pain also. I have a few friends that have stuck around, but I can’t really meet up with them anymore cause they are all off to university in different parts of England. And I have like no friends where I now live cause I had to move back from Dubai to England cause of my health. Think I’m at a tricky stage of making friends because of my age most people my age are at university now and I’m not which makes it hard to make friends not to mention how it makes me feel that everyone I know is off to uni and I’m not.
      Hate it when doctors say that, I just want to shout at them because of course I’ve tried paracetamol, it was the first thing I ever tried and obviously didn’t work.
      Thanks Jackie, means a lot. Hope you’re having a low pain day!

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