I will warn you up front that this is not going to be one of my more lighthearted posts. I try as best as I can to stay upbeat about Gastroparesis and all of the curveballs in life that it throws you. However, sometimes it is hard to move past the hurt. In fact, it is beyond hard to move past the hurt of people that stems from finding out people’s true colors.
I have been extremely fortunate to be having success with my new plan to take on Gastroparesis. My new eating plan (gluten-free, refined sugar-free, & caffeine-free), acupuncture, supplements, etc have given me a tremendous amount of relief. I have been able to exercise again and have also switched to a job that saves me upwards of 10 hours in my car per week in addition to being much less stressful. (Driving & heat are the two things that can still tank me faster than anything!) Having all of this success in kicking Gastroparesis’s butt should have me in a happy place. For the most part it does.
However, the one piece of Gastroparesis that I am still having an extremely hard time coping with is the hurt that comes to my heart. The hurt that comes from being stabbed in the heart (and sometimes the back) by people that you thought cared about you. The hurt that comes from people abandoning you when you become sick. The hurt that comes from people not understanding how sick you are because you’ve become so good at hiding it. The hurt that comes from them bad mouthing you to other people in your friend network. The hurt that comes from losing those additional “friends” because you don’t have the energy to fight the bad mouthing. The hurt from realizing that apparently none of them were your friends to begin with. This is what I am dealing with today.
Today I am dealing with staring into the face of a splintered friend network all due to someone who can’t come to grips with how sick I actually am. All due to someone who feels the need to be the loudest voice in the room. All due to someone who apparently never had to struggle or never gotten his/her way. It is excruciatingly painful to know that you have lost “friends” all because someone doesn’t understand, doesn’t take the time to understand, and feels the need to tell people how “selfish” you are.
I didn’t realize that grasping at straws to survive, try to have some semblance of normalcy, and to try to be able to hold down a job to keep insurance to pay your medical bills was being selfish. If someone had cancer, do you think that they would be cut some slack? Not so for those of us with Gastroparesis. No slack is cut for us because people don’t understand what we go through. They can’t fathom a life without the ability to eat so they like to pretend that it doesn’t exist. They like to pretend that you can continue on with the same plans in life. They like to act as though everything must not be that bad because “you don’t look sick”.
It still stings and baffles my mind at how hurtful some people can be. You wouldn’t treat someone with cancer like this. You wouldn’t treat someone waiting for a transplant like this. You wouldn’t treat an amputee like this. Just because we “don’t look sick” doesn’t mean that we aren’t sick. In fact, I had no idea how sick I really was for almost 2 years until just recently. I’m staring to come out of the Gastroparesis pit and am absolutely baffled by how I still functioned. Looking back, I should have done a spell in the hospital but was able to keep going and keep trying to hold everything together. Mainly due to this being what all GPers have a tendency to do. We fight to live, so excuse us if we don’t have time to fight with you over things that have now become petty to us.
Fighting for the ability to eat makes fighting over anything else trivial, so excuse us while we don’t waste the precious bit of energy that we have fighting with you. If that means losing you, then you were never a friend to begin with! Just stop acting like you have been so horribly wronged. Once you have lived a week dealing with this horrific condition, then you have earned the right to judge and bad mouth!
Needless to say, I have a looooong way to go in working through letting go of this issue with several people.
I am sorry you are going through this, I think it is something most of us have gone through. In fact, up until last week, not one of my “friends” has initiated a conversation with me in the last 2 yrs. But then again, what do you say when they ask how things are going? Do you tell them the truth that you just spent that last few hours puking your brains out or spent the night in the bathroom? No, you put on a brave face and tell them things are fine. But in the off chance you do feel the need to vent, your considered selfish and seeking attention. You find out who your true friends are. Granted, I do feel selfish, needy, and guilty at times because I am constantly thinking of myself and how I am going to survive the day and to be prepared for whatever comes my way whether it be a puke bag in the pocket or seeking out a bathroom location as soon as I get somewhere, whether or not I attempt to eat solid food, or making a friend drive farther to meet you because you can’t handle the heat and driving. Lost in my own problems and trying not to puke or pass out, I forget that sometimes our friends have problems and needs and I feel guilty because I often times don’t take them into consideration. Even though their problems may seem trivial to us, it may be important to them and I need to learn how to be a better friend. But they also need to be better friends by acknowledging our problems and to be considerate of our needs. That is what friends are for to be there through the good and bad times, and if they can’t, then they were not friends to begin with. When you lose a friend, you feel hurt, angry and frustrated and the closer the friend, the worse you feel. This is the time to be with the friends and family that do understand and can offer the support you need. One thing we don’t need, is more drama. Just hold the ones who do understand a little closer. I am glad you mentioned the heat and driving, if finally dawned on me, that is why I get so sick after a good day. I try to get too much done in one day and this Texas heat is terrible. But if you can’t get stuff done on a good day and you can’t even leave the bathroom on a bad, when do you get stuff done? My hats off to you, I wish I had your strength, will, and mindset. Keep your chin up. Hugs
I think that finding out people’s true colors is the hardest part of GP. It is so saddening at times and you are correct the closer the friend was the harder it is.
Millie, I have Gastroparesis Really bad! Have had it since 1985 and have actually asked God whatever is in store for me, Please don’t let me suffer anymore!! So, people like your so called friend(s) should Not even enter your mind! You worry about yourself and the ability to get up in the morning!! There’s Noone that knows what We go through until they even spend one day w/this! Those people couldn’t handle it! We fight and we are strong so please DON’T Stress over these people. Move on, many more out there who would want to be your friend! Take care of yourself! And Good Luck w/ all that you are doing to feel some normalcy!!
Once I conquer this, I think I will be well on my way to a semi-“normal” life!
I really feel you with this one. I wake up and put on makeup to cover the dark circles and broken vessels under my eyes from violently throwing up, but they see a fresh face and think I’m faking it. Or hear about a time I went to a party and think I can’t possibly be so sick because I left the house, but don’t realize I haven’t seen those friends in almost 6 months from my illness. If you get a chance, read my blog Day 73. It’s so much like this it’s not even funny. I’ve been struggling with the exact same thing lately. But know that I’ve been in your shoes, I could borrow your shoes right now and they’d fit! You’re sick, and you’re doing a fantastic job dealing with your situation. I’m 98% positive the people judging wouldn’t even come close to doing as well in our situation. So lets keep our GP heads high and see it as a blessing that we are getting rid of the true disease, the bad seeds in our lives, when they show us their true colors 🙂 ❤
It is interesting how the one time that we make it out gets treated like it is something that we do all the time.
And you’d think the people who “love” is would be happy we got to enjoy our lives at least once every six months!
I recently had a situation that made me think of this posting (about being rejected). Perfect timing! I met a person for the first time last week and was telling them about my GP. Of course, they looked at me like I was nuts and actually acted uncomfortable and unresponsive during the 2 hours we had met. I thought that if this was a potential, future friendship that I should be up front and honest. Since I couldn’t eat much (and we were out to lunch to meet), I actually paid for her meal (it wasn’t that expensive) since it has just been her birthday a few days before. I’m usually a generous person and don’t expect anything in return, but I have not heard back from this person for awhile now (if this person had any class they could have at least “thanked” me for treating at lunch, but what do I know?)! I was raised with class and manners. So, again, I am frustrated with how ignorant people can be! When I give so many new people chances, they turn out to be disappointments! I guess I will have to keep my circle of friends “very small” for the time being!
Hope everyone has a good July 4th with family and friends that matter and care!
I agree completely, I give people too many chances hoping that they will show some class and some basic human compassion.
I’ve never understood people who run away from others in need, especially those who profess to be your friends. Everyone suffering from GP needs a strong support system to get them through their days. I know it’s hard for people to understand the nature of the illness, but being there for a friend is the same no matter what. So build strong support walls around you, and don’t allow any cracks. Go ahead and vent. It helps. But don’t worry about those cracks. They are formed by those that can’t see beyond themselves, have never suffered, have never lost anything they hold dear. So let them go on their way, and know that you are becoming stronger and more precious every day, and that they will never be anything more than a crack in the wall.
This is something that we all need to remember!
This post was very insightful. I noticed that you wrote this about a month or more ago, but I feel like I am in the same position. Friends that just don’t get it no matter how much you explain, or try to hide. When you are someone that wears everything on your sleeves it’s hard to hide the pain and agony of this disease.
Thank you for posting this.
Thank you! I’m glad that the post was able to help you. 🙂
I have felt leaps and bounds better since I cut ties with the friends who didn’t get it. It was hard at first but definitely better now.
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