How Chronic Illness Changes Friendships

Friendships and Rheumatoid Arthritis

I used to enjoy having people over, going out, helping out friends and loved ones when asked, and getting involved in school functions at my kids’ school. That was before I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) nearly nine years ago.

And from that day forward, my relationships were significantly transformed. Mostly because I came to the realization I was physically unable to do more than work a full-time job and care for my two young children.

Socializing also became nearly impossible as my health declined. While I didn’t know it at the time, this experience turned out to be a blessing a disguise. The circumstance of being sick showed me what true friends look like and that there wasn’t any room in my life for anything less.

When Friends Walk Away

There were friends who never made a huge effort to be a part of my life previously and my being sick just made me see them for who they were. When my health failed me, they, too failed me.

They stopped coming over or even picking up the phone to ask how I was doing. It was a painful process of losing people and those losses lasted for several years.

The sicker I got, the more people I lost but I also chose to end some friendships.

Some of the friendships I ended were with people I wasn’t close with in the first place. Another reason I ended some friendships was because I was seeing my life in a whole different way.

I was too busy trying to create a calm and positive home life for my children while focusing on my health. I didn’t have room in my life for people who only showed when it suited them or who judged me because my home wasn’t as clean as it used to be or I was too tired to help them out.

Read the rest at New Life Outlook.


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