Maintaining Relationships with Chronic Illness

Friendships and other relationships drastically change once you have been diagnosed with a chronic illness.  You probably are no longer physically able to spend as much time with friends as you used to, especially when most of the activities you participated in before were tiring. As a results, friends that never made a huge effort in your life before quickly stopping keeping in touch. This is because those friendships suddenly required more effort and for those people to actually be proactive, by picking up the phone or coming over, for example.

It is a painful process of losing people but the more your health worsens, the more people you lose.   But you also get to choose which relationships to end as well.  Some people weren’t the greatest friends to start with and being sick has allowed you to see your life through a new and different perspective.

You now choose a calm, positive and healthy environment where stress is at a minimum rather than dealing with trivial events, petty concerns and fake people. You are trying to create a healthy lifestyle despite the suffering that chronic illness and pain has brought to your life.  And that means being proactive about who you surround yourself with.

Remember this is your life.  You are the one is who is sick and it is up to you to shape relationships in the way that works for your health and to control the factors that you can control.  Cherish the people that stick around and stop by to help out and who keep inviting you even though you decline their invites.

For the people who stick around, it definitely isn’t easy and there are expectations of all parties involved.  And chronic illness means continuous change so loved ones need our help in how to best help and what expectations we have.

Read more about taking the responsibility to stay connected with chronic illness at: http://www.arthritisconnect.com/arthritis-articles/478-staying-connected-with-arthritis#L6Z8DA25CrkYr4Rx.97

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