What happens when someone you know, an acquaintance, asks for your help with something that you shouldn’t necessarily be doing?
Let me give you a hypothetical: An acquaintance of yours is moving (or some other similar event that they would need help with). This is not your best friend, not even someone you’ve known for more than a year. You are asked, along with several other people, in an open invitation, to help them move. What do you do?
I posed this question to a friend of mine recently.
Leslie, why would you even consider it?
My response back?
Because I’m a nice person?
On the one hand, part of me wonders if I’m there, will they know the difference?
On the other hand, I guess part of me hopes that if I help others, they will help me in return. I know this is naïve thinking, something I’ve known to be untrue for a long time, long before my illness. But I hope that if I ever need help moving, which most surely will happen, people, my friends, would be willing to do that. And I would hope that people would do this for me because they want to, not because they feel bad for me because I am sick…
So, do I give a seemingly lame excuse for my absence?
Or do I get really blunt and say, “I have lupus. I’m not feeling up to it”?*
Again I ask, at what point do people see your illness as simply a convenient excuse for getting out of things?
These types of situations fill me with a ton of anxiety…
I guess we have to learn to pick our battles.
And I’m still having a hard time deciding which battles are worth fighting.
* While I’m getting better at disclosure, I’m fairly certain that there are still few people that know what has been going on. Sure, anyone could Google me and stumble upon my blog. Then they would know. But I don’t just walk around telling people without there being a reason to.