The Worst Friend Ever?

friendsI am a bad friend.

I’ve been so busy adjusting to a new life with MS that I’ve completely forgotten my friends are also adjusting to having a friend with MS.

Now the dust has settled, I’ve crawled out from my hermit-like existence and surveyed the Friendship Damage. It’s not a pretty sight.

True, some of my friends have stuck by me through thick and thin, put up with my self-pitying monologues and wiped my tears. Others have disappeared, perhaps fed up with feeling they have to preface every conversation with, ‘I know it’s nothing like what you’re going through, but…..’

I rarely go out in the evenings, and if I plan to, I more often than not have to cancel – it’s impossible to know from one day to the next how high or low my energy levels will be. So I end up even lonelier, even angrier with myself, my world shriveled into a husk of its former self.

To make myself feel better, I stockpile books and trashy magazines, record TV programmes I really don’t need to watch (Big Brother?), cook comforting foods and hug the cat even tighter. Not the best recipe for getting back into polite society, it’s a damning vicious circle. So how can I rectify this situation?

Perhaps launch a Paris-type ‘salon’ – where I host scintillating evenings chez moi whilst I recline on my sofa, introducing my dwindling band of friends to each other? Start a book club? Chez moi? Or put out a ‘yoo hoo! I’ve got energy, who fancies going out?’ call whenever I can muster the strength to apply eye make-up without looking like Alice Cooper?

This is not how I envisaged my life at 40. My world should be opening up not shutting down.

So this is an apology to all those friends I have neglected and who have left.  I know there’s nothing I can say or do to bring you back into my life, but we had fun while it lasted? To the friends who are (thank goodness) still in my life, this is a Thank You. Your support has seen me through the very worst of times. The best of times are yet to come…

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12 thoughts on “The Worst Friend Ever?

  1. Laura Lane says:

    Another brilliant blog and how I can relate to it. Yes, you do find out who your friends are but I agree, they have to cone to terms with it too. We are lucky in having a core of friends who ‘get it’! All my meet ups now are lunch time or early evening, anything later is sadly not to be but thank heaven for modern technology where you can record you fave TV and watch in your PJs, that’s my idea of a good night now! Keep up the good work, you have a brilliant way with words
    and you’re doing so much for us MSers x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you so much Laura!
      It’s been a strange old time. I feel saddened that dear friends have ‘left the MS ship’, and eternally grateful to the ones who have stuck it out. They are truly amazing! You certainly find out who your friends are, lol.
      I must take your example as inspiration and plan meet ups early on. Just got to push myself out that door! Watch this space…it WILL happen!

  2. kt says:

    I too have found out who my friends are. I have cut out those who have shown they aren’t worth bothering with and have found that people who I thought were acquaintances are actually friends! Get yourself out there and make the most of albeit a crappy situation!

    I’ve just been swimming by myself for the first time since I lost my mobility so I’m feeling very proud and optimistic! A lovely lady called Sue helped me!!

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Sounds like you’re making the most of things – very inspiring!
      You’re absolutely right, it’s time to end the pity party and get out there. I found the same thing too – the friends I thought would stay close have scarpered and more casual acquaintances have been absolutely wonderful and are now firm friends.
      p.s. congrats on the swimming!!

  3. Excellent post, and you made me laugh with the image of your Paris-type salon.

    You’re not alone; I’m just so tired that I, too, end up canceling lots of dates. The trick for me is to suggest daytime events. (Except when it’s hot!) Even dinner can be a challenge.

    Too bad all us MS friends don’t live nearer to each other! We’d enjoy short daytime outings in cool weather or indoors in hot, always ensure there are plenty of bathrooms wherever we go, and NEVER get annoyed when someone is too tired to go out. 🙂

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you! Seems that the MS way to socialise is definitely to arrange daytime get togethers.
      Can kind of see why peeps with MS sometimes end up hanging out only with other peeps with MS. I adore my friends, but there’s something very special about getting together with someone else who just…..understands. Mind you, my non-MS friends pull my out my pity-parties brilliantly!

  4. Angela says:

    Another pertenant blog. You are not alone. I have been saddened by those friends who I thought would be there but have taken a huge step back despite my best efforts to make things as easy as possible. I guess I failed there ! On the other hand I have been very pleasantly surprised by ex work colleagues and aqua intended who have been a great support and stayed in touch. Of course I have my best friend from school who has always been there for me and I her …just a shame we now live so far apart 🙁
    My social life now consists mainly of lunches out with those friends who fully understand and have accepted the change in me despite the fact that I am still trying to come to terms with what has happened while wallowing around in Limboland.
    Take the hands of those that have stuck by you and move forwards … They are the true friends worth your precious energy xx

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Lovely comment, thank you! Seems to be a lot of us experiencing the same thing, so ‘good’ to hear I’m not alone with this.
      I’ve just been invited out for lunch by a true friend and although it’s tempting to stay in my pyjamas and mope around the house, I’m going out! Yay!

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