I think I welcomed you to the board in another thread. But so glad to meet you, and offer some of that lost friendship. I know it's not quite the same as a friend you can call on the phone, or meet for coffee.....(mm-mm-mmmmmmm, coffee!)(maybe if we both kind of meditate on coffee....LOL!). But it IS better than none ;-)
What you have experienced with the disappearance of friends, and even family, is sadly, tragically, very common. It's a test of even the best of friendships / relationships. I've attended several support groups over the years I've been sick (for more on support groups, read on). Sometimes I've found groups specifically for CFS, and other times I've participated in groups for disability by any cause. And it seems that any serious, long-term illness can cause friends and family to "drift" away. I've even heard people with cancer report that friends have withdrawn from the friednship. But I think with CFS and related illness, it IS more severe, and my guess would be because it is not recognized by the community as a serious illness.
This phenomenon is something I have pondered deeply and seriously, because it is so contrary to everything one might expect or believe, or to how one might describe as or even define friendship and/or love. To me, it just doesn't make sense! It's illogical, it's unbelievable! But in all my attention to the matter, I still haven't come to any really satisfying explanations or conclusions. [slowly shaking head] It is certainly a sad commentary on modern humanity. ....unless....well...nah, I don't know...
Well, it sounds like linc has covered just about everything else I would want to say, so I won't repeat it. But just a question. One thing that has been popular here in the US, is "support groups", more specifically "self-help support groups", which are essentially meetings for people who have whatever specific type of problem, health or otherwise, where they go to discuss the problem, and to offer each other support in living with whatever the problem is. If you have anything like that (in your community), it would be a good place to meet others who have CFS (ME), and to begin making friendships of those who know what's it like, and can be flexible with planning, and etc. But I've never had a clear understanding whether there exists such a thing in the UK.
Oh btw, there is someone on the Fibromyalgia (FMS) board here at HW, username "siofra" who is looking for others in UK who have FMS. Some research indicates FMS and CFS (ME) may actually be the same illness. They are very similar. Anyway, just thought I'd mention it in case you you might find it helpful.
Well, good luck. Remember we are here for you, just as close as the internet! Take good care.
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