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When Lupus Makes You 'That Bad Friend'


I used to be the fun one. I would go to concerts all the time. I would go out with my friends on a regular basis, even after having my son I always made time for my friends. I was the one that you could put a few drinks into and I would make everyone laugh. I really didn’t care what people thought of me, nor did I feel the need to criticize or judge on my part either.

There were a few times that my friends had something going on with their health and I was always there with understanding. I am the one that people open up to. I seem to have a gravitational pull to people with a need to talk about what’s bothering them. Sometimes to a fault.

So when I was showing symptoms of lupus, I didn’t quite catch on to the reality that I was going to have a great change in my life. I went to a concert during my diagnosis, and paid terribly for two days afterwards. I figured it was isolated and carried on.

I would be invited to gatherings and I would show up to one, and again paid the consequences. I kept telling myself that I can handle it, but always proved myself wrong. My husband would warn me that I would end up hurting myself, and the stubborn independent person I am would hurt myself to try and prove him wrong.

I am now losing friends because I am that “bad friend.” I have pushed away people because I am afraid of hurting them by not following through. One friend deleted me entirely out of her life because I was too sick to follow up with her daily when she was going through a health scare. I know it was quite selfish of her, but if I was well enough, I probably could have been that friend she needed.

I have a hard time telling people no. I have a hard time not being involved. I have a hard time coming to the reality that I am not capable of being who I was before lupus. People don’t see me as dependable, they see me as a dropout. Lately I made a new friend and had to back out of her wedding. Not because I wanted to, but because my body decided to attack itself the week of and I couldn’t shake it. Now this new friend might not invite me to another get-together.

I am sensing that even my best friend is beginning to linger away from me too. Not harshly, but in a subtle “not going to bother even asking” kinda way. I keep reaching out though to make her see that I’m still me. I’m just a new, less dependable me. Not because I want to be, but because I am now made to be.

So I will carry on, continue to keep in touch with the people I love, and hope that they see that I’m really not that “bad friend,” I just have a bad disease that makes me not dependable.

Getty Image by Juliia Tochilina