Fibromyalgia and Friends
There are friends in life, and there are friends. Mostly there are acquaintances. And indeed we need all of the acquaintances that we can obtain. However, friends, where you can bare your soul, well, they are few and far between.
Friends online are awesome. Still there are parameters to be observed. It is most difficult to truly bare your soul. Although some websites are indeed secure, still most of the information that you post is fairly public. Not that there is anything to be ashamed of. It’s a matter of privacy (you know - my dirty laundry is mine) J
Well, I’m a fairly positive person who deals with a host of limitations in my physical life. I had pretty much resigned myself to finish life in this condition. Accept and move on.
Lately, my whole idea of what I will and will not live with has changed. A new neighbor has been my turning point. We have become fast friends and suddenly, although it is not good, my pain is much more manageable and I find I am seeking help to curb that pain and live life more fully.
How does this happen? I think it has to do with close proximity of the human race. Until I developed a relationship with another woman, strictly for friendship (for all my kinky followers out there… strictly a straight relationship), giggle, I had not a clue how deeply my lack of friends was affecting me.
As it turns out just having a sounding board (even for the good times) is an awesome gift! Yes, I can call one or more of my children and sound off, but even that is not the same as a friend who cares for you just because you are you. Caring for your mother or wife is not quite the same.
With girl friends (isn’t that word awesome, at my age “girl”), you can let your hair down and share your innermost thoughts and dreams and not feel really stupid. I’m not being judged, simply accepted for being who I am. That is a truly wonderful feeling. It makes you smile and it makes your day so much nicer.
I had mostly missed that growing up. I had one friend, but I could never share my feelings with her - she lived the perfect life. And she was happy to allow me to be a small part of it. I found out as an adult that I was a charity case. However, I did learn more about family life in her home than I did in my own. It was fun! They played music, sat by the fireplace and sang songs and they did stuff together. It was really cool.
I guess the catch is, if there has to be a catch, that you must be a good friend to have a good friend. It is my practice to treat others how I would want to be treated. So to see me angry is a truly rare occasion. (However, I am human, ya know!)
My advice on how to be a really good friend:
Be positive whenever you can. Not sickening positive, like they portray bimbo’s on TV. But try to always find the good in everything. It will not always be possible, but if you are trying from the get-go it will be a lot easier than you might think.
Pass on your happiness. Don’t keep it all to yourself, share. When something good happens, make sure you tell others who will be interested. Show your enthusiasm, your joy and pleasure at whatever it is.
Appreciate others and let them know you are appreciative. Don’t accept a gift without verbally or writing them a thank you note. It takes very little time and it reaps mountains of good feelings on both sides. No one has to guess how you feel or that you actually did notice the kindness you received.
Not only should you have compassion, you should be willing to open up and show that compassion. I’m not talking about being gushy or even verbal about it. Just sitting there and being - is often enough. It is very lonely when you lose a loved one or even a friend; and it is very lonely when other tragedies happen in your life, like losing a job or a house or any number of things that can dampen your glow for a while. Being a good friend means just being there. No words of advice, simply being there.
Always be honest, no matter what, with your friends. The best way to lose a friend is to lie to them or cause them to become a part of your lies. Honesty is the best policy. I don’t mean tell them, when they are down, that they look like a mess. J But never lie to them. If they are your true friend, they will already know the truth. How embarrassing for you!
Always do your best in all of your activities. Don’t compete with them (except in a fun way), but be the best you that you can possibly be. They will love and respect you for that, and often they will start holding themselves up to higher standards. And if they don’t - no biggie, you are not judging them, just loving them for who they are.
Be extremely true to your “word.” If you tell someone that you will do something… do it. It does not matter if you don’t want to when the time comes; you gave your word. Your word is your character and what you will be known by.
Side note: The other day I was with my new friend (who, after only 4 weeks or so I am very close to) and I said something and her jaw dropped and she asked me to repeat what I had just said. I did. Apparently I was not speaking clearly enough. She thought I had used a truly bad word and the shock on her face was amazing. She apologized and told me what she thought I had said and she could never imagine those words coming out of my mouth. She has come to know my character as I have hers. (Used to be I was not so nice of a person… I have changed).
When things go wrong, and they will, do not take it personal. Most likely it is not in the least personal. It is easier to remain somewhat detached to fairly assess the situation.
Never, never, make assumptions. Like the word above. If my friend has not asked me about what I said, she might have assumed I said the wrong thing. My character would have dropped a notch in her eyes, and she would not even know it happened.
When I was blessed with this friend, I found that I began feeling better. I was walking across the street to chat and smiling. I look forward to her popping in and visiting me. And, my pain level is much reduced on the days I interact with her. It certainly does not go away, but it is manageable, as I have other, more important things on my mind - like my friend.
Friendships are so important
that if you have one, you should treasure it and find ways to make it go on
forever. For Fibromyalgia people friends are especially important. I suppose this is true no matter what you have or don't have. Have and cultivate friendships. It's not hard work. It is fun!!
True friends are God’s way of saying “Here, my child, you need not be alone in this world.”