I have noticed a change in friendship dynamics since diagnosisexperienced thi

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I was, prior to RA,very dynamic and a go to person and now I excuse myself from social events and some work events to save my energy levels for work and family. I now find that some friends have found this very disappointing and I find that they do not understand how complicated this disease is. Has anyone found this and I welcome any ideas to resolve this?

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  • Posted

    Hi Meg. Someone on this forum told me that my life as I knew it was over and how true that was. People don't understand, I didn't understand but things are different now. This is my life now.

    I have no idea how to resolve it except to say, this is it. This is life now and we have to make the best of it. Starting with what works for you. You could be the go to person for a different crowd.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much yes your right I guess this is all new to me. I also read in one of these post to "just get on with it" and that's what I'll do I just need to verbalize! Thanks to all who responded
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  • Posted

    People who do not suffer the same problems as you will never understand your problems.   Nothing wrong with that and quite understandable after all other people's problems will never interest you as much as your own.   With a disease as all consuming as RA life for you, like it not or not, has changed dramatically and you need to get on with 'your' life, stop thinking about what was before and who was before!  You will worry about it and I suppose that is normal, the person who doesn't worry what other's think is a very unusual person indeed.   RA or not, life changes, you'r circumstances change, your circle of friends change, move with the tide as everyone does.   very few people have the same circle of friends and aquaintances at 70 as they did at 17, the world will keep spinning regardless of your efforts to stop it.   Now if I could just take my own advice I'd be home and hose!
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  • Posted

    I think there is always the fear that something your friend has is catching.

    I have had to reassure some of my workmates, that it is not something you can catch like a cold, and even then they look at you differently, or is it the horror that you may develop something similar.

    Rheumatoid used to be an old persons disease, or thats the way i saw it, and also the crippling results which don't happen today, due to the new drugs and possibility of surgery if and when you need it, my own grandmother's hands were completly twisted up, not very pretty I'm afraid.

    I have always found being very open with friends and family and telling them what is going on and why it is going on, from my understanding in my case my body has decided that my joints are the enemy, after a dose of flu is when it all started for me, and my antibodies instead of attacking the flu, have got mixed messages somewhere.

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  • Posted

    Yes. It's a life-changer... several people here have said good things....

    I'd just like to add that if you have dear and close friends there's no harm in actually sitting down and talking to them about exactly this question. Make an occasion of it so they understand its gravity.

    Explain how you feel and how it affects you and what your limitations are and in what way you'd love to relate to them differently...

    Be sure not to sound self-pitying or beggar-like in any way whatever. Just be matter-of-fact.

    Let them know, and then let them make their own decisions about whatever new way they can relate to you. And if they can't, let it be. No need to resent them for it. That's their loss and their limitation, just as you have yours.

    You'll know who your real friends are and you'll also start making new friends who can understand.

    Be aware than no one can truly understand or intuit what you are going through. They can only know what you tell them. So be always matter-of-fact and not self-pitying about your pain and/or your limitations. That way you'll find your good friends will simply accommodate you.

    Also... remember, this isn't forever. There'll be pain but not all the time....There'll be downs but there'll also be ups. After medication your life will kick into an even keel.

    You might even find out that you don't need to be very dynamic or the go-to person. It is enough just to be you!

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    • Posted

      Thank you light. I guess that's just it when I m bad no one see me, when I'm good I look good and they don't get it. But your right I shouldn't expect them too. There are a lot of adjustments I have to make as well not just them!
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  • Posted

    Hi Meg,

    Yes this dreadful disease is debilitating and worrying and not enough people are aware/informed of it.  You can always refer to forums like this one and "healthunlocked" for information and support.  The main thing is to keep on top of your meds, appointments and light excercise. Try to stay positive and keep your friendships for support.  Try not to dwell on the disease and keep yourself busy with activities/distractions.  There are new treatments/medicines being developed which may help you in the future.

     Good Luck!

     

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    • Posted

      Daily housework is actually a very good form of exercise, especaily when you combine it with choosing stairs over lifts and walking wherver you're going rather than talking transport.

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  • Posted

    I understand where you are coming from. I have a very dear friend who deals with the major family stressor so in her life by working out and hiking and going out with friends. Prior to RA, I enjoyed meeting with her to do outdoor walking of several miles. Now I am doing well to meet up for anot occasional girl's night out. She calls or texts when she needs someone to vent to and I don't vent myself very often because I am tired of being tired and don't want to hear myself dwell on it. I have had to learn to be a different me and I am hoping that with my Rheumatologist's help and then the additional plus of bilateral hip replacement in December that in the future my new version of me that I can continue new versions of old friendships and move onto new friends and experiences as well. Sorry for the rambling but mostly wanted to say hang in there and keep talking to those like the great people on here who do understand.
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