Nobody can be in an joyous mood all of the time, it just not physically possible. Moods are sort of like a roller coaster. One day you could be the happiest person alive, the next devastated. Somethings can make you lean one way more or less. When your faced with a challenge at first (depending on your personality) you may be really pessimistic or optimistic. It’s easier to get stuck in your ways, and harder to change them. I’m going to tell you what I’ve learned and its not all rainbows and butterflies.
The First Few Months
The first few months of getting sick were the most confusing ones. Nobody knew what was going on and why I was in so much pain. People were asking me all of these questions I couldn’t answer and some of them started to drift away me. Occasionally I felt well enough to have visitors come to my house and it was so great getting to see my friends. Being with people that love you can be some of the best medicine. But, those people usually have a limit.
Yes, you could be thinking “oh that friend would be there for me in a heartbeat” or “they’ll never leave my side no matter what” but guess what lots of people are all talk and no show. When I commit and say to my friend “I will always be there for you” I will. No matter how awful things get in their life, or in our relationship, I’ll be there. But, thats not always a good trait to have. It can result in abuse and manipulation. Friends that have grown up with me, or gone to school with me have stopped being my friend when I got sick. Yes, that is a very very crappy thing to do, and that’s not how friends work but it can be how people work. In your teen and twenties you tend to be all about yourself and nothing else. I have witnessed people so caught up in theirselves-that they just can’t handle anyone else. The great thing that comes out of this situation is you get to see who is really your friend and who isn’t. AND THAT CAN SUCK. Personally, I believe that loosing your friends can be more painful then the actual illness. When you look back and have so many memories, you think to the present and think “wow, how could this happen? why would this happen?”. And thats really hard, but as time goes on, it gets easier.
I lost touch with most of my friends from grade school after getting sick. When you have less support, it gets harder to heal but YOU get STRONGER as an INDEPENDENT individual. I stopped depending on my friends for help, and starting pushing myself to do most things on my own. In my last post, I suggested outlets of coping and these are all I’ve learned on my own these past 2 or 3 years.
Nobody wants to hear your complaining
At first, anyone will listen to you, After a while, it gets old. People get fed up. I taught myself a concept I like to call “Fake it ’til you make it”. Yes, yes I know I didn’t come up with the phrase, but I did come up with concept. When someone you know (aka a friend, a co-worker, a customer, a boss, a family member) asks how you feel, or what’s going on, tell them the most positive thing and force a smile. If people I know ask me how I am I will tell them I’ve never been better, I feel awesome. Yes, that’s a lie most of the time. Yes, it can be a BIG LIE. And yes, I’m asking you to lie as well. But this is the only lie I’m asking you to do, because it can benefit you more than hurt you. If you’re a positive person, more people will want to be around you. Obviously don’t lie to your doctor because they need to know what’s happening, but lie to your friends and that annoying cousin that will try to compete with you in any situation. I’m not a good actress but fake it ’til you make it has defiantly made me a mediocre one at best. After a while, you won’t have to force that smile and positivity, rather it will come more naturally.
Stop relying on help and push yourself. Yes, in certain situations it’s not a good idea to push yourself but in some it can benefit you. Learning to push myself to do things while I’m in pain was an extremely hard task and it will never come easy. But, it has benefitted me. I’ll tell you how much it has benefitted me in fact. I went from not being able to function to minimally functioning. 12th grade, I could barely look at a tv without an immense amount of pain. I would sleep all day and all night because it was the only escape from the physical pain I was feeling. Now, even when my face swells up so big I look like a different person, I can write a 12-page analysis for college. Yes, I do have to take medicine and alter certain ways of doing things, but I still can do it. I can do it and not complain, rather impress people.
Pity parties aren’t popular
Nobody wants to hear “I’m so sorry” 24/7. For the sick person, it gets annoying and over used. When you’re chronically ill, you can tell when someone is being genuine and when its forced and its SO annoying. If you’re a person who pity’s people STOP IT-its not a way to get people to like you, rather ask how you can help. Once you learn to do that, your outlook can change so much.
People will mature
As months, and years goes on people will end up feeling bad for ending a friendship over something stupid. If you have a sick friend who always complain, don’t end a friendship because of that. It’s really hard to cope especially when you are in a seclusive repetitive environment with minimal answers. What they go through is normally not a very normal common thing. Try to put yourself in their shoes, even if it gets annoying (don’t pity, just understand). If you’re the sick person, and a friend never comes back around then clearly they are missing out. I’m someone who fully believes in karma and don’t you worry, one day they maybe in a similar situation and learn their lesson. The important thing in life is DON’T HOLD GRUDGES, you’re seriously just wasting your life if you do that.
The whole point of this article was convey this message of being able to let go and adapt. After all, that’s all you can do in most challenges. If you do this, then you will find the results very rewarding.