Loss of friends

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Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
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   Posted 3/29/2011 10:34 AM (GMT -6)   
CP has caused so much isolation for me in the past 3 years. I lost a job and the friends there. I lost the friends I had for years as I was less and less able to participate in the activities that we had enjoyed for a long time. I made new friends here, at our church, and through the illnesses. Now some of the new friends begin to fade away. A close one I thought I would be friends with for years has just begun the downward spiral of disbelief in the pain. Like I am choosing to be this way.
My psychiatrist thinks if I go to outpatient therapy that I will be healed from pain. Everyday for 9 hours a day with an hour long lunch break, 5 days a week, if I can't do an inpatient program. He doesn't see the physical reasons for the pain. I feel like I am killing time with him until the other doc in his practice can see me. I stupidly told her what he said and how I felt about it. She feels that it will help me, 45 hours a week of therapy, up and down each day, driving back and forth, and if nothing else will improve my "stamina" so that I am not in so much pain after one or 2 days of activity.

Yeah, and maybe laziness is my real issue and my pain is just my ruse to never have to do anything?

It is time to step back from this friendship, and not tell anyone close to me who doesn't have to live with me anything. I took a chance by letting 2 close ladies at the church understand why my fiance always picked things up, why I had to have surgery, and look what it got me. Another narrow-minded person telling me that I am not helping myself by caring for my body in the way I have to do it.

Stupid of me. I thought I had another friend who understood. I could doubt my fiance's feelings at this point if I let myself, but if I do that then all I have built up will fall apart. Is there anyone out there who isnt suffering from CP who really understands that this isn't me being lazy or not willing to improve?

I am tired of being alone and losing friends this way. Tired of trying to help a world around me understand, when they ultimately just want me to be normal.

Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
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   Posted 3/29/2011 10:49 AM (GMT -6)   


      Morning Mother! smilewinkgrin

            I sent you an article that I ran across this morning about pain and the effects of relationships it has on it, so I emailed it to you. Check you're inbox please! smilewinkgrin

       Hope it helps,

            SE wink

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16804
   Posted 3/29/2011 12:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Loss of friends is just another part of CP that we have to learn how to deal with. Sad but true, when an illness hits, you really do find out who your true real friends are and most of the time the person is shocked to learn they did not have that many real friends after all. They had a lot of acquaintenances instead. There is a big difference between the two. They stop calling and coming by when we turn down the invites for whatever reason. We had a group that we vacationed and traveled with for many years, they dropped like flies when my husband got sick many years ago. We did something nearly every weekend with this group of people for years. One by one they just dropped off. The same happened with me when I got down. And we did find out who our true friends were after all. I would rather have one good true friend over 50 of the other ones, as it turns out when looking back the true friend has been there nearly 30 years, been thru every major event in our lives, good and bad and hung in there with us like a trooper.

This is the person who for 3 & a half yrs took me to the hospital every 4 weeks for Remicade infusions. I was picked up at 6:00am and back home by 4:00pm a very long day, sat at my side the entire time. A lot of these times I was very sick and we had to pull to the side of the road for me to get out and throw up, stood by my side thru it and never batted an eye. This is the same person that went to many dr appts with me and had so much input and remembered so many times I was ill that I could not remember. This person shows up at the hospital whenever one of the family members go, whether its ER or inpatient and sits there with us, has been there when I buried both parents, took me to the hospital and spent 36 hours in an ER when my brother had a car accident and never one time said I am tired and need some sleep or I need to go home. I could go on all day long the things this friend has been thru with me, this person is more like family than friend could ever be. If you ever are lucky enough to have someone like this in your life cherish the time spent with them.

MM don't give up on finding some friends. Even if its just someone to visit with on the phone from time to time. Being out and around people is is a must for someone suffering with CP. Burying ourselves in our homes is not the healthy approach and will only lead to further problems. I hope you get to feeling better.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Mrs. Dani
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Date Joined Jun 2009
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   Posted 3/29/2011 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Mindy,

     Good morning *hugg* How is your pain level today? Are you able to carve out some time to rest and relax? I sure hope so. You have had a lot on your plate. I think you deserve some "me time".

     Oh how I wish this didn't happen to us!!! I will tell you my point of view on this. I want you to know it is just my point of view. I do not know if others feel the same way.

     I have never met anyone that truly understand my pain other than other chronic pain patients. I know it sounds bad. So far, that has been my experience. You can be honest about how you feel to others. Maybe that is the right way to go about it.... I am not one to tell others how I am truly feeling. It is obvious as my body deforms that things are getting worse. As it becomes more and more difficult to walk and stay mobile it is obvious. In all reality watching me decline is very hard on the people around me. I am usually being supportive to them about how I look and what is happening to me. It sounds a bit confusing but I will try to explain....

    Watching me decline is very hard. Remember just 3 years ago I was young, strong, mother and wife who was very active in the community. People have watched my body twist, watched my mobility being stripped away, my vision, my hearing, even my teeth. Things that other can plainly "see" and it is hard for them. I think if they knew the truth beyond what they can plainly see, it would be too much for them. I find myself being supportive to the people who see me on a regular basis. It isn't the other way around. They need to know I am okay. That things will work out one way or another. Being around me is over whelming and people often compare their lives to mine. It is hard to dispel those feelings and thoughts with the people around me.

    Then I come here. Thank god. Or I talk with my doctors, gosh I am blessed. Or my therapist, what a wonderful outlet. You truly understand. I can tell you the "no bones about it" raw "reality" of what is happening. I can do the same with medical professionals. I cannot do it with friends and family. It is too overwhelming. They just cannot handle it. I know they mean well. I know many feel like they have to ask "How are you feeling?". In all reality they cannot comprehend or fully absorb the reality of our lives. I say a few things that are true, that are not overwhelming. "I am tired, have had a hard time sleep, but otherwise okay. How are you doing? Hows the new mommy doing?". I have come to find out that I am also an outlet for friends to speak frank and truthful about their own life. LIke I live through so much they can tell me anything. Its odd how the universe works sometimes.

     I leave the "real" the "raw reality" to the people in my life that I know can handle it and that truly need or want to know. Those that can truly understand. It probably isn't healthy practice. It is, what it is though. I care for the people around me and that I interact with on a daily basis just as much as they care about me. There are limits though. SOmetimes I envy those limits, sometimes I thank god they do not have those understandings about life.

    Here is a good article...
Chronic Pain and Relationships


TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

Chronic Pain Moderator

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 373
   Posted 3/29/2011 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   
You know Monty's mom I understand your frustration, and am sorry you are feeling so alone, it is a lonely desease, and you are not lazy you just have limitations, try not to be so hard on yourself, although I should talk..I beat myself up alll the time for not being able to do the things I used to be able to do. I miss it as I am sure you do to. If the friends you have are sucking the energy out of you then move on..Just know someone understands what ALL you are saying.. Leslie
Crohns desease
Pelvic ashesions
Chronic pelvic pain
interstitial cystitis
severe scolosis
recent hystorectomy

Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 3/29/2011 12:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank, ljb, straydog, Dani, and SE for replying.

Straydog, you are right all the way. The true friends stay through it all. You are blessed to have that person with you all the way.

SE, very good article.

Dani, I have to read yours next. I am carving out some me time that has nothing to do with shawls, school, friends, or pain. I am going to sit in the sun while it lasts with a good book. It is cold today, but the sun always helps. I tend to retreat in to myself. You know how I have struggled with being a burden. If I face her feelings about me right now, I will end up feeling like a burden again, that I am not doing enough for her, my family, and drive myself into a hole I can't get out of. I know I will do this. I have done it before. I will face her issues, just not today. I have learned that there is no reason share with anyone besides my fiance.

Leslie, thank you for showing that you understand. We have so many physical things in common as well as this!

It makes me think about complete disclosure to someone. Dani, you have your doctors and support team medically. Others have friends. Where do you go if you have neither? I have my psychologist to help, and have an appointment with him tomorrow now.

Thank you for showing me I am not alone.
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw

Pelvic adhesive disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, SI joint pain, arthritis, kidney stones, depression, 9 pelvic surgeries for pain, ovarian cysts, adhesions. Fentanyl patch, Vicodin, remeron, trazodone, dicyclomine, Miralax, Colace, Multivitamin.

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Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 617
   Posted 3/30/2011 4:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Monty's Mom,
Chronic Pain sufferers are at a great disadvantage because it's a hidden condition, depending on what malady or affliction is at the root of our discomfort.  People have a hard time acknowledging what they can't see, what isn't tangible to them.  Thus, when we tell someone else we are in pain, they just have to take our word for it, and since they aren't experiencing it themselves, it tends to quickly fade from their consciousness.  Basically, out of sight, out of mind.  Friends who have never had chronic pain issues can't relate, and often end up shying away because they no longer feel like they share common ground.  Unfortunately, they don't realize that a little loyalty and a dependable presence can make dealing with CP more tolerable than having to suffer all alone.
I've been on SSDI(Disability) for about five years at this point(with multiple CP issues), but due to the strong work ethic that was drilled into me by my parents growing up, I still feel like I am somehow "playing hookie" because I don't (actually can't) hold down fulltime employment anymore.  The guilt I feel is ridiculous under the circumstances, yet it's there all the same.
I spent the first four years on disability at home alone, with only one or two friends that I would occasionally talk to, but almost never left my house, much less have anything resembling a "social life."  I tried making friends in a group therapy environment for people that were suffering from depression and anxiety disorders, but I even failed to find any kindred spirits there.  The answer for me came when I finally ended up joining a social club that does a lot of various charity work.  In my case, I joined my local Parrot Head Club, which are fans of Jimmy Buffett's music and the laid-back tropical lifestyle.  The club's motto is that they "party with a purpose", basically doing good deeds for others as we are able (which in itself is quite rewarding), and then partying together as a reward for our hard work.  This club has members from all walks of life, and many of them have there own personal challenges with pain issues and other health problems, including cancer, MS, and other serious maladies.  We support each other, and take up the slack for one member or the other when someone is having a particularly difficult time.  By doing our different charity projects, it reminds us that no matter how bad our own situation might be, there is always someone else with a more rotten lot in life.  The Parrot Heads have each other's backs, and I would be lost without them.
The other thing I started doing was making myself go out to the local bar/watering hole that's right down the road from my house.  My best friend(from childhood) plays in a band, and they play at the bar on a fairly regular basis.  I decided that he could use my support, just as much as I needed to get out and be around people.  Over the last six months, the bar has pretty much become my own personal "CHEERS", where I've got my own barstool, and everybody knows my name.  People actually applaud when I come in through the door, and several come running to give me a friendly hello and a big hug.  Heck, I can't even leave anymore without hugging and saying goodbye to a dozen or more friends now.  
I can't tell you how much making new friends has impacted and improved my quality of life.  My chronic pain is still there, just as strong, but my new friends care about how I am doing, and if I don't put in an appearance when I am expected, they track me down ASAP to check on me and see if I need anything or if there is anything they can do for me.  It really is worth the effort to put yourself out there and let the good people find you, cuz they will.  If your current or longtime friends fade away because they can't handle or don't want to make the effort to relate to you with your medical issues, then find yourself some good people that will care about you through thick and thin.  I didn't think it was possible a couple of years ago, but I am so happy to say that I was TOTALLY WRONG!
Leigh Ann  

•On Disability for: Chronic Migraines, serious Back and Knee problems (will need surgery eventually), moderate Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder, TMJ, stomach problems
•Divorced, 45, spawn-free


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 3/30/2011 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry for everyone who has lost friends due to chronic pain.

It's good to know you are not alone though.... I lost two of my very best girlfriends... they just stopped calling.... days turned into months and now, months into two years.

I found out they were going out and having a great time without me.... they even posted photos on FB.

I'll never understand how people just turn their backs on those who are hurting...

I went to talk to someone about it because it caused me tremendous pain... it still does.... my therapist told me I was in actual stages of mourning.

Do go talk to someone... it did help me!

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16804
   Posted 3/30/2011 4:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Draka hit upon a very important subject. I too ended up seeking professional care because of my emotional state. I found an excellent psychologist and as Draka stated, we do mourn our losses when we have a life altering experience occur such as a medical illness that prevents us from working and carrying on our normal life. We may mourn from the loss of our ability to work, loss of income, ability to contribute to family, the list goes on.

CRANKY 1 has been through this process and was able to move on with her life. It can be done as she says and it takes a lot of hard work. I was always told life is what you make it and that is so true.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

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   Posted 3/31/2011 9:37 AM (GMT -6)   
 .I can understand to Montysmom, how u feel this is re: 3/29/11  When in 1999, i finally could not work anymore, and i had a great job with great benefits and was (and still am) the single parent of 2 elementary age girls. i fought so hard to stay working but part of the problem was my job i was an construction inspector 1 my job required me to among other things climb in and out of new and existing sewers, overlook the installation of new water and sewer pipe.  i was not performing well at all, so i threw in the towel, went on disability from my job and 2 years later i started receiving ssi, for anyone thinking great i get paid and dont have to work, the monies received from ssi does not even cover rent.  i live with my youngest daughter, who bless her keeps me very comfortable.  but prior to going on disability my mother would say things like "nothing can hurt that bad, get up and move around you are just lazy" it took my sister who can read my mri to have my mother even believe a little bit.  i cant tell you how this hurt my feelings, yes i am lazy, was lazy as a child the injuries i sustained had no part in lazy.  When ever i spoke to i tried hard not to even mention my lower back, because i knew what the response would be..all i could think was thats my mother and she does not believe me what chance of any one else.  But i didnt need to drs records, mris, ct scan, bone density test etc. was all i needed.  My mom passed in 2004, till the end i was just lazy. its sad but we never had such a great relationship so, i am always sorry it ended before i could make her believe me but i really doubt if i ever could have. she was a person who was always right. thats a tough fight

Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
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   Posted 4/1/2011 5:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I do have a counselor who has his own chronic pain issues and has worked through this before. He helped me through things before and I am working with him on this now.

It is like mourning. We mourn the "friends", loss of the people we were before, mourn the dreams we may have lost, and mourn the people we may have been. It is normal for illness or pain, but hard to go through. So we bumped up the counseling to every week again for a while. When I handle this better, we slow it down again. That is one of the things so many "friends" can't understand. I am not mentally ill. Depression comes with illness. I am not schizophrenic or crazy, just sad.

I can say I know my friends now. Thank you all!
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw

Pelvic adhesive disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, SI joint pain, arthritis, kidney stones, depression, 9 pelvic surgeries for pain, ovarian cysts, adhesions. Fentanyl patch, Vicodin, remeron, trazodone, dicyclomine, Miralax, Colace, Multivitamin.

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Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 373
   Posted 4/1/2011 8:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Monty's Mom, all of your "chats" hit me where it counts because I understand so well and yes you are right, you are mourning the loss of people you thought were your friends. I am truly sorry for that, You have to live the way you can and YOU and nobody else knowes your limitations or your pain! I know you are sad right now and wish I had some suggestions like, meet at church etc etc, but I think you already tried that, I went to an outpatient program for depression associated with my illness and met prople there. They are strange people but loyal. It is all I have got. I miss my old friends, miss being able to do things with them. But it is the way it is..isn't it? unfortunatly people just have such a hard time understanding. We all do and are here for ya. Leslie

crohns dx,arthritis,severe scoliosis,pelvic adhesions,interstitial cystitis, 6 reconstructive surgeries after childbirth, colostomy,recent hystorectomy,appendix and gallbladder,chronic pain, PTSD, depression and anxiety

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 4/3/2011 2:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I think StrayDog and Draka nailed it perfectly.
I recently checked out a book from the library about living with chronic pain; as you know Mindy I have yet to find a psycologist I am comfortable with. You also know I am blessed to live with a mother who also suffers CP. She does, and she doesn't know what I deal with on a day to day basis, but has told me frankly that there are days when even after having lived with me since the start of this life altering moment she still can not fathom what I deal with day in and day out.
They talk about, in this book I read, about who support from those with CP, especially emotional support is so critical for us. Then it goes on to talk about stress and how it affects our bodies on a biological level, and how for those with CP emotional stress is so detremental to our well beings. It's like if we could cut emotional stress out from our lives from here on out, while we would not be pain free, it'd be a big help.
You are aware of my story, and what emotional support I have lost; not just friends who feel I'm either whining or just using it as a means for attention, but also from those who said that they would be there for me ... in sickness and in health. Those words are so hollow to me now, that even the slightest of back slides makes me want to throw up my emotional walls and seal myself away from those that supposedly care about me. When I need someone and they are not there, it's devistating, but to then be told that they weren't there because they just thought it was no different from any other time when I would say "I wish you were here" (though how you can confuse that with I /need/ you!.....) and figured "It was no big deal." Then to try and explain things, to explain why I'm hurt, why if they think it might be different to ask for clarification if I fail to explain properly... to go through all of that to try and keep it from happening again and get told those dreaded words all of us hate to hear, "You're making a big deal out of nothing".
So I feel for you, my dear friend, I do. I know how recently you were hurt by all your sacrafice and giving, to have those you help and care for not even acknowledge what you did, much less what it means for you to do so much. You do it out of the goodness and love in your heart, because you are a better person then most, and an excellent mother! I can say "do not be discouraged" but we both know the truth in that statement.
I know it especially hurts when it's people who have said they understand, that they consider what we deal with not a big issue, that it doesn't bother them, that they'll be there for us, and then suddenly.... silence.
"It makes me think about complete disclosure to someone. Dani, you have your doctors and support team medically. Others have friends. Where do you go if you have neither?" You know you always have me. *hug* and I'm sure there are others here too. Aside from my Mom I don't really have anyone other then the folks here. No one seems to know unless they suffer just as you do. I know my BF tries to understand, but has admitted he doesn't, that there are times when he wonders if I'm just whining as he, especially having known me 10 years ago when I was a completely different woman, can not fathom this knew life I live with. For most "normal" people the concept of what burden we bear and suffer in silence with is so foreign to them that they simply can not comprehend what we deal with.
Like right now. Four months ago driving over an hour one way to spend some time with my BF was no big deal; so long as I didn't attempt to drive back the same day. Now even just doing the drive one way is getting to difficult on me, and I can not do it every other weekend like I did. He's trying to be understanding, but it's also hard not to feel resentful given it means he does most of the driving when we want to see each other now. It's part of what spurred that whole blow up three weeks back when I /needed/ him and he just didn't feel like making the drive because he didn't understand at all just how much I truely needed him. I can honestly say I do not think our relationship will work much longer simply because he is having so much difficulty understanding my situation and how rappidly it changes at time, especially with the dramatic increase in heat lately.
Just remember you're not alone, there are always those here who will understand you, and will welcome you to talk and cry to them as you need. We will not judge you, we will not shun you, and we will certainly be able to recognize what you're dealing with. Never forget wonderful Tim or your beautiful boys, but especially Tim. *hugs* I hope you feel better soon. You know you're always welcome to cry on my shoulder.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/3/2011 4:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh wow, do I relate! Everyone I know thinks I'm just lazy and using pain as an excuse not to live. They don't get it. Yet when they have a little tension headache or the sniffles, they end up in bed.
i've been discovering that depression is one of the worst illnesses to face, and even doctors will make you feel like you just need to pull yourself up from your own boot straps. In patient therapy is something I crave but can't get because I'm not bipolar, I'm "JUST" depressed.
I hope things get better for you. This seems like a good way to talk with people who understand. These issues cause bad problems in opposite sex relationships, too, don't you think?
what's the answer? For one thing, getting doctors to LISTEN.
If it weren't for this CONSTANT Chronic pain, the depression would ease up.

left forum.
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Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 4/3/2011 6:20 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm so sorry you are feeling so alone and feeling this way, but do know its not only you having this problem! I am 15 years old and being chronically ill in high school does not do a great thing for your friendships.. yes people care but only for the first few weeks that they find out, after that it gets too much for them and seems as though i'm just doing it to get out of things etc etc.. all the things you said!! Hopefully you will find a few people that will stick by you, maybe people that have the same sort of problems or just a genuinly nice person, my best friend has crohns disease so she's always stuck by me and there for me, i do have a large group of friends, but when it comes to the ones that will stick by me when i am really sick, thats only a few of them.

Hope you start to feel better and remember you are not alone :)
15 years old,
Chronic stomach pain with no diagnosis yet and lots of other things.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 4/3/2011 6:26 AM (GMT -6)   
I did not read all the responses. Just in too much pain but wanted to respond cause I can relate. Not only to the loss of friends but also loss of family. I think this issue makes it hard to trust people too and open up. I have also done day program and outpatient therapy. I took part of a pain program as well that was a combo of therapy and help with pain. I think outside support groups for depression etc can help as well. Many local hospitals have free support groups or there is this site meet up that does too.
I try to focus on the people who do care and support in life. A true friend is one who sticks by you through good and bad. Hang in there and if you want an email buddy or anyone else I am here.

Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 4/3/2011 9:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Good morning Speechless!

I see that you are a new member, and will ask you to please start a new post and introduce your self on it. I think you will get a much better welcome if you do this please.

We love to have new members here and look forward to meeting you. Just go to the main CP forum page and click "Post new topic"

Please tell us as much as you feel comfortable doing so and what brought you here to the CP forum.

See you there! smilewinkgrin

SE wink
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