When Friends Can't See Past the Limitations of Your Illness


I reached out to an old friend of mine in the hope of rekindling our friendship and connection that we had a long time ago. I thought that sharing positivity and the same outlook towards life would help me in these troubled times.

In an extreme emotional distress I called her and said, “I really need a friend like you in my life right now,” she asked in a disinterested voice “What happened?” I said that few of my family members are really rude and insensitive towards my condition and its really hurtful to deal with. A few seconds of monotonous questions later she crudely replied that “it’s all karma!” Yes, this was her reply to me when I was in tears and struggling to even speak properly. She told me to come over to her house anytime and gave me a particular time that she’s available in the morning. I tried to explain that mornings are really difficult for me due to my illness. In the mornings, I struggle with pain, dizziness and it takes me a while to feel normal, but she said “very frankly” that this is the only time that she’s free.

She had her own valid reasons, but I was quite heartbroken as I wasn’t really expecting this. It took a lot of courage to be vulnerable about my struggles and emotions at that time – and I was not ready for another disappointment from a friend.

After this heartbreaking incident, a couple of months later I tried to reach out to one of my cousins. She called me a few times, but apparently me explaining my sound sensitivity and ear pain that makes me unable to speak on phone wasn’t taken so seriously. I tried to explain again why I couldn’t speak to her on phone and made myself enter the vulnerable gates again when I explained, “I said that I would love to meet you and explain my condition in person.” She very humbly replied, “I understand,” but neither did she receive my calls after that conversation, nor did she call or message me back.

So, yet another fall from the friendship arena for me. This time I just got to a point where I said to myself, “It’s high time. I have to accept this truth and reality that not everyone would like to rekindle a friendship – especially when I have so many limitations.” I believe this doesn’t have anything to do with my personality, but their lack of kindness and understanding.

This is nothing new that I have experienced. Many of my friends stopped making plans with me a long time ago. Some shifted to different countries and some didn’t want to make an effort to meet. Or, they are probably too busy with their own lives and struggles.

There was a time in my life when the behavior of these friends would’ve had a big emotional impact on me. However, one thing that my illness has taught me is to continue to keep moving forward with strength and courage, because that’s the only way to survive.

This friendship that I’ve been looking for all my life is already there. I have a strong friendship and bond with Almighty God, and how can I forget the amazing friends that I’ve made through online support groups? They have really make an effort to understand and truly listen to the battles that one is fighting due to a chronic illness So, no matter what form a beautiful friendship enters in your life, give it a warm and lovely welcome. Be thankful for it.

In this journey of constant revelations, the friendships and relationships that you lose are like those old clothes which no longer fit you. You’ve outgrown them – but this makes way to a new exciting and colorful wardrobe full of love, acceptance and support.

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