I keep a pretty tight circle, but generally have to say I know some pretty damn good people. Some better than others. I like having different layers to my friendship matrix. I know that sounds a bit off, but it works for me.
But those I let into my life that have stuck around really do have their qualities that I appreciate.
Sure I can talk until I am blue in my face about what life with failing lungs & waiting for transplant is like, but few can really wrap their heads around it. That’s ok. Not everyone’s meant to.
It’s true I do a lot of “healthspeak” in my blog here.
I do that partly to get people to care about things they might not otherwise care about. I use my situations as examples, to hopefully offer a nugget of truth so they can avoid a hang up themselves if something happens.
I also half do it as a venting “diary” of sorts since I have a harder time remembering things.
If something significant happens or something I feel would be worthwhile to reflect back on in the future I stick it in here, even if I know no one else cares.
While I do care to update my friends & family about the situation, I know not everyone reads my blog every day or they don’t understand certain things they read.
I try to speak at a general level, but it’s not always easy. Transplants have a lot of complex factors that do go into them. Some of them are not easily explained or understood.
Where I’ve set new boundaries & cut people off with my friendships are if they don’t bother to ask or communicate for a long time. Then when they do contact me out of the blue they get mad if I can’t answer right away or I say it’s not a good time. Or if I do respond & they minimize the importance of updates I give them or gloss over everything I tell them like they really aren’t interested, just fulfilling a duty.
If the friendship is no longer a two-way street, I can’t invest in it anymore. If someone resents me if I can’t talk or won’t talk about certain things or you give judgemental advice even after I ask you to stop doing so, or my life is one big joke to you, for now I have to give you the boot.
Some have dumped excess emotional weight on me when I’ve needed support or divulged how scared I’ve been at certain points. This added emotional weight is inappropriate because they aren’t in my life enough on a regular basis to see what I’m actively struggling with like the friends closest to me do. Those emotional weights I can bear because those are warranted & reciprocal weight, true confidence on both ends. Weight & fear for my situation from people I rarely see is another story. Sorry if I can’t give YOU strength to face MY situation.
Most of my friends realize this & respect this. I also don’t have to put on a brave face for them or pretend everything is fine.
If I admit I’m not in the space to feel up to much, they don’t force the issue or tell me how to feel or that I should just do it anyway or tell me to drink more herbal tea (or some crap like that).
Lately, some of these friends have reached out to me spontaneously at points to invite me to things & continue to even when they know I might not feel up to it. They understand but they would invite me just the same as they always did.
Now that cold & flu season is behind me, I might start coming out to a few things again & spend less time on social media.
I went to see “Miles Ahead” at the theatre with my friends on Friday night & I was so happy. My tank behaved this time (unlike around the holiday when it sprung a leak) but it felt like such a relief to feel like I wanted & had energy to do something.
Several of my buddies from my improv team & community (as well as others I know) have called or texted to check in or make a point to ask how I am with no strings attached because they are genuinely concerned.
I am hoping now to maybe go out to a few shows now that my seasonal sickness paranoia was past.
I was so scared of getting a bug or a bad infection this winter that my body couldn’t manage I purposely stayed home more.
It was so scary after the accident having my listing almost derailed that I felt I didn’t want to take any more chances than I needed to, even if my social life suffered as a result.
I also sometimes just got tired of worrying whether I’d have to scrounge for plugs, if my oxygen machine would be too loud (or if I’d run out of battery power) or if I had cell reception. It was at times easier to stay home than think about any of it.
But now I can say I am up for a little human contact again…so with what limited energy I have I’ll try to be more vested in making the rounds while I still can.