Here’s a for instance:
I’ve had several friends get engaged or married over the past year.
If I told any of them that I couldn’t share their joy because I hadn’t had the experience myself, I would be considered a pretty crappy friend.
I hate to beat a dead horse, but my illness is part of my life. It’s part of who I am now.
Maybe one day I’ll be able to say:
I have lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Ha, ha. It doesn’t control my life.
Whether it’s too new and I haven’t fully dealt with the meaning of it yet, or this is the way I am always going to feel, I’m not ready to say that. Despite feeling better, some part of everyday has to do with not being completely well.
Maybe it’s the fact that I take medication 3 times a day or that I have to get up extra early to take the first dose. My entire routine has changed. It’s hard to act like things are like they used to be pre-illness.
I get the fact that all of this may be hard for others to understand. It’s hard for me to understand, too. But in this case, ignorance isn’t bliss, for me or those around me. And a lack of empathy is, in my opinion, inexcusable.
I’m learning to purge from my life the things that aren’t useful and only seek to hold me back or put me down, and this includes people, as well. As hard as that is to say and do, I’ve really learned a lot about myself and others over the past several months.
One-sided relationships don’t work for me anymore. I think there was a time in my life when I was so eager for acceptance, that I really let people take advantage of me.
Well, no more.
Anyone that knows me at all knows that I’m not the type of person that likes to ask for help. And I wouldn’t ask unless I truly needed it. They also know that I’m the type of person who reciprocates, sometimes above and beyond what was done for me.
So, while the people around me have to understand that some aspects of my life have changed, in other ways, I still am and always will be, the same person I was before.