Saturday, November 11, 2017

Having a friend with chronic pain or illness is hard.
It's a challenge to hear and understand a reality that's so far removed from your own you can't recognize it.  And it's easy to misinterpret cancelled plans.  Whether they turn you down  a few times in a row, or cancel at the last minute, it's only logical to assume that one should "take the hint" and stop asking.  Most people never learn that the realization that you are no longer asking can trigger a spiral of depression.
It's not just that they cancelled.  Or even that they cancelled again.  It's the fact that they didn't call until the last minute.  They obviously aren't prioritizing you.  That's okay.  Whatever.  You have a life and other friends.  You don't see the cost that cancelling really had on them.  You have no idea what sort of energy saving practices they may have put into place to make this outing work, to save their energy so it wouldn't run out on you.  But somehow it ran out anyways.
You won't see them curse their bodies, or kick the wall.  You won't want to envision them lying at home, with a heating pad or a mug of tea and some saltines.  The reality is just too uncomfortable.  So you do the easy forgive them for letting you down and you go out and have a good time anyways.  And you stop calling, because isn't that what they want?
Having a friend with chronic pain is hard. 
Just don't forget that living with chronic pain is just as hard, if not harder (whether you're the sufferer or just a family member)

This thanksgiving season I'm grateful for all of those who accept what doesn't make sense and haven't given up on us.  I'm grateful for all of those who come in and out of our lives, believe it or not, you make our lives richer.  Even if we don't spend every waking moment together.  Or even the third saturday of each month.

I'm grateful for those who understand food allergies, or work with anxiety and depression, or just maintain flexibility without understanding the why and how.
And I'm grateful for those who don't...the ones who help remind me what reality is supposed to look like without being confrontational about it.

As much as I wish we could be "normal", I'm aware there is no such state of being.  We are who we are, our limits are what they are, and the only thing we can control is our reactions. 

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