I never had a lot of friends, just a small circle of wonderful women. Whether it was a concert, sporting event, movie, or dinner and a few drinks, I loved hanging out with my gal pals.
Over the years, and as my health worsened, so did my ability to keep up with my friendships. I found it harder to go out for happy hour after work. Eventually, weekends became much-needed recovery time from the work week. Concerts and sporting events became something to almost dread. Will I be close enough to a bathroom? Is it a long walk to our seats? I didn’t think I would be worrying about this type of thing until I was much older.
Making plans became almost impossible. If it rained or was cold that day, I would have to cancel. I hated missing out on special events and fun times. I spent most of my time feeling awful about letting people down.
I beat myself up for being such a negligent friend and terrible person. Never once have I cancelled on someone without good reason. I never intentionally missed a birthday or anniversary. None of that mattered because I still felt horrible.
Fast forward 30 years and now all my wonderful friends are gone. I don’t know exactly what happened, but it might have something to do with me forgetting important dates. Maybe it has something to do with my tardiness in responding to emails and texts. It could be that I cancelled on them one too many times.
Whatever the reason for their disappearance, on the eve of my 52nd birthday I find myself pretty much alone. No one calls, emails or texts anymore. Everyone finally gave up on me. Not that I blame them. Who wants a friend who constantly cancels and ruins their plans?
I don’t want it to be this way, and I never thought it would come to this. Having fibromyalgia has destroyed the person I was. I am a shell of my former self. Fibro stole my happiness and my health.
There are days when it can really bring me down. I know there are support groups out there, but I have a hard time participating. I would love to get involved, but I have a difficulty being consistent. I’ll post something one day or make a quick comment, but then I disappear for awhile because I forget.
I tend to have a very difficult time with conversations. People who know me now would never believe that I used to talk non-stop. Now I never seem to know what to say. I feel awkward and shy. I become very frustrated with my lack of ability to find anything to say, even in the most mundane conversations. Why can’t I make simple small talk?
My brain seems to shut down, and I suffer from brain fog because of fibro. I can’t think of words or I can’t remember my phone number. I can’t keep anything straight. How annoying I must be to others! I’m the scatterbrained friend everyone would rather avoid.
Some people want to forget the life they had before, but not me. I need to remember who I was, because honestly, I am still that person. I just suffer from a chronic illness that doesn’t have a cure at this time. I still enjoy the same things; whether I can do them or not. I still love the same. I still want to be loved.
All I want is to enjoy life when I can, and have someone with whom to enjoy it. Someday I hope to find a few people who will understand and accept me for who I am.