Monday, March 17, 2014

On Friendship

Tapping this out on my Kindle, hoping it doesn't crash again, but it's been a while, and there are some special things I hope to write about soon, but I am just too exhausted.


But I do want to make a comment about friendship.


I don't have a lot of close friends.  I know a lot of people online (and I think a lot of the time, you can really know who is real online and who is blowing smoke, although we've all been fooled at some point, I'm sure).  But as to people I go out with, talk to weekly, have coffee with, just sit with....well.  THAT is a different story.


I think back to when I had tangible friends, and I realize since I no longer have a corporate job, no longer teach fitness classes, and live in a small town, it may not be, as I've often considered, all my fault.  And I am, I firmly believe, "socially awkward ".


It's not catching, but it IS uncomfortable.

I have this, from fishcakesoboy on Etsy



I am very lonely as I try to get better.  I used to be called a workaholic, the Energizer Bunny. Now, largely because I don't see an end in sight to the Lyme disease and liver toxicity and weight loss and brain freezes and nausea, I've gone beyond Socially Awkward to Socially Invisible.


And yet.  That is not entirely true.  I learned that a couple days ago.  The experience totally changed my outlook on what a friend is.  A friend doesn't always have to be someone who's been in your life since grade school.  A friend just needs empathy for a person when they need it, and gives that empathy (or humor, or whatever the situation calls for) without hesitation.  No pettiness, no eye rolls, but kindness.






The other day I was in a very bad place, worse than usual, and I needed someone to talk to me, about ANYTHING, until my husband got home (an hour's drive off).  I bared my soul and posted on Facebook.  I was afraid to try and call anyone from my small list of numbers because if I got an answering machine, it would have wrecked me....that's how crappy I felt. I didn't want to call Rick and have him drive the entire hour on hands free, worrying.


So I posted a call for help.


And people came.


People I've met at shows.  People I've emailed a few times about beads.  People who I didn't recognize.  In the time it took for Rick to get home, these people, these FRIENDS, let me be weak and held me up.  I know it's a risk every time I put my soul out there, but the good from doing that far outweighs the bad for me.  It's not for everyone, and when Rick got home, I thanked everyone and deleted the post.




I don't delete posts because I'm afraid, as some have scornfully said in the past. I deleted that post because it had other people's personal things on it, and in the rush to help, maybe they didn't want all that out there.  Plus, I'd internalized everything and didn't want to revisit that particular hour of my life.


 (By the way, empathy and scorn don't even exist in the same stratosphere, so to the few comments or emails I get from some who feel it's OK to hurt me, you should really evaluate life and where we all fit in it.  You don't have to like everything I say or do, but manners and tact and empathy are how I hope you deal with people you find "lesser".)


I don't particularly enjoy writing about The Sads, but it's part of my life.  It is not my ENTIRE life, but it certainly has changed it, and I have to believe (HAVE to believe) that whenever I come out of this, I'm going to be healthier than I've ever been and ready to take on the world again.


But this time, I'll know what's worth my time, and what (and who) is not.


I hope my readers, who I love and respect so much, hang with me.  If you hate these posts, I hope you come back for the fun stuff.  And there IS fun stuff.


Love to all, and thank you.




40 comments:

  1. One day this period in your life will be a distant memory…the pain and misery part…but you'll always have the memories of those who gave your comfort, a smile, a laugh, and hope.

    It can't be too soon for those of us who wish you nothing but the best.

    For the others, use this time to detox from them as well…you don't need them in your world.

    Hugs.

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  2. One day this period in your life will be a distant memory…the pain and misery part…but you'll always have the memories of those who gave your comfort, a smile, a laugh, and hope.

    It can't be too soon for those of us who wish you nothing but the best.

    For the others, use this time to detox from them as well…you don't need them in your world.

    Hugs.

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  3. Sometimes I want to Rage FOR you and take your pain for an hour or a day just to give you rest. I can't. So what I can...is to be there if you need to rant, to (((HUG))) you when you are sad to just be there!!! And I am and We are!!! Love you lot Lori you are NEVER ALONE in this no matter how dark or bleak you might feel. We are the bricks at your back and the sunshine in the sky and the soft breezes in the night time. Sent to back you up and brighten your day and sooth your pain!!! WE are your friends! We BELIEVE IN YOU!!! Period. End Of STORY!

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  4. I'm sorry I missed your post Lori, I would have gladly listened to anything you have to say and I would have been happy to help you in any way I can. I also understand the loneliness aspect. I live alone in a very small close knit town that I don't fit into. Moving here almost 7 years ago now I have only 1 person in this town of almost 9,000 that I can call. I live like a hermit 99% of the time, only going out to the post office, grab some groceries or to walk my dogs. I know, it's not that same as what you are going through, still I am alone 99% of the time and I do get lonely a lot of the time. Anyway, I think I am going to go over to FB and msg you my phone number right now. xoxoxo to you. You do know you are fabulous, right??? You are.

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  5. oh my dear. i'm glad you found some uplifting moments in your trying times. i didn't see your post, but i'm glad others did. i suffer a life threatening illness and just wanna say to the those evils, give 'em hell when you can, lay low when you can't. save the energy for giving them hell again.

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  6. glad people who were available where there and available to you! take care and keep your faith!

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  7. Hang in there, Lori! Your true friends are the ones that stand in the sand storm with you and are still holding your hand when the dust settles. They're rare but they're out there.

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  8. Oh Lori, I am sad I didn't see your post! You can feel free to call me ANY time you need to talk. I will message you with my number. I have been praying for your recovery. Hang in there, my friend. You are just being rebuilt into the most amazing woman you could ever be. These times in the fire are the hardest, but we come out on the other side. Love xoxoxoxo Genea

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  9. It's so devastating to have something that is so chronic enter your life. Some people can not understand how that can permeate your every fiber so that, at times, just breathing can be difficult.

    I often wonder why the heavens have seen fit to leave some people with "charmed lives" and no issues. But maybe those are the people who couldn't survive the anguish you've dealt with.

    It's a good thing not all people are un-empathetic and I'm glad you found the support you needed for a painful moment in time.

    Hang in there Lori - there are lots of us who wear that same badge for our lack of socialization. We should probably start a club!

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  10. I am sorry I didn't see your cry for help. I would stand beside you and offer my shoulder any time you called.

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  11. Today's a better day I see. We'll worry about tomorrow then. Hugs to you! Pretty soon the good days will outnumber the bad again. You ARE getting better! I have a friend who is also dealing with Lyme and I think you just gave me a little insight into how she must be feeling these days. Thank you Lori!

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  12. I am glad you made it through another hour. One hour at a time.

    My health issue is not nearly as severe as what you're going through, but I've had one hip replaced and need the other replaced now. Because I'm not very mobile, and generally really uncomfortable most of the time, I've kind of fallen out of "in real life" socializing. (I'm still working full time and have a 13 year old kid, and that uses up my available energy.) I have, however, found some very good friends through blogging, and I'm really grateful for their presence in my life.

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  13. I love your posts. You are a wonderful writer and have things to say. I'm here for the duration.

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  14. Lori Dear I may not always be "on" and did not see your FB post but I constantly think of you and Zack and pray for total health for you. Sometimes friends are silently here for you to lean upon. Blessings and Love my friend...

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  15. Wow.. I couldn't have been this open and honest to the world on my worst day. Excellent post. And you may not realize this.. but even in your pain.. posts like this help other people.

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  16. You are awesome. I have another friend dealing with similar stuff, and she's awesome too. Sending you love and hugs and happy. I so wish I could help more. Be well, or at least as well as can be at that moment.

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  17. Lori I am very glad that you found the support that you needed. I don't do facebook so I did not see your post. I have not commented lately because I did not want you to feel you needed to reply. I wanted you to save your energy for getting better. I too am socially awkward. My husband and I restored classic cars so the only person I saw at work was him. He was the most socially closed person that I ever knew so we rarely went anywhere. When you announced that you would be doing the BSBP this year I worried that the pressure of it might make your condition worst. I would hope that you would consider me a friend. If you need someone to talk to feel free to call me anytime day or night. Please don't feel that you would be bothering me. I would welcome anything that I could do to help you. The best thing that I could wish for you is that you get better and feel less pain very soon. I wish I lived closer so that I could be there to hold your hand on your bad days. You have helped so many with your BSBP it is only fair that we help you when you need it. Your health needs to come first please don't let this party worry you and make your conditions worse. I know that you are a survivor and you will get through this.

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  18. I've had some dark moments in my life. I have a good friend (one of my few real life ones) tell me "it's all good in the end, if it's not good, it's not the end". It sucked to hear such a cliche at the time and I know it's not her original phrase. But it resonated deeply after the fact and it helped me out of the shadow I was in.

    I wish you well and please know you are sincerely in my thoughts and prayers.

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  19. Lori, I can tell you are doing better already---there is definitely a more positive feeling coming through from you. All those wonderful thoughts and prayers definitely are working. Take care and continue your healing. Lynn xoxo

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  20. I've been thinking about you suffering while we're having fun on your BSBP FB page, and have felt several things: Sadness, guilt, and yet gratefulness for what you have created to bring us all together for a party. It's great fun Lori, and I thank you. Sending thoughts of healing and comfort.

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  21. Anonymous2:20 AM

    Lori I wish that I had seen it I really like talking to you and since I have quit smoking there are times that I am really down and miss not smoking and it will be a year April 1, 2014 Unbelievable and quit on April Fools Day. I am also not the social person that I had been and have been hurt deeply buy what I considered my friends that were not and only wanted to use me. I no longer have those people in my life and I am better off without them. Hugs Deb Wiess

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  22. It is wonderful to meet fellow creatives online and share in their lives. And sometimes you get to meet them in real life. I've been lucky enough to meet Lucie of LucieTales who came over to the UK on holiday and she and her husband enjoyed it so much they're coming over again this year. : )

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  23. wishing you well -- always. hugs and love -----

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  24. Lori, I'm glad someone was there for you when you needed help. I wasn't online since I'm aware I spend too much time online when I should be out in the world, I have tried lately to reduce time spent surfing. Wishing you good health and peace. May your real life and online friends uplift you.

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  25. What a brave, courageous, wonderful person you are. Hugs and smooches!

    Angi Mullis dj2isme@aol.com

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  26. I try to understand why some people feel it's okay to send you or anyone negative messages. Is their life worse off? Do they have a past issue with someone living with illness? I want to understand so my response isn't anger but that oh-so-important word - empathy. I'm sorry people would do this, but ultimately the love and kindness and hope for your wellness you receive from others must simply outshine them. I feel emotional when I read all of the wonderful things people write to you, and I too think about you and your family every day. I'm wishing you the best, always. And if you do make a club for the socially awkward, count me in!

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  27. What a beautiful post, I have read it through twice...it has such deepe heartfelt meaning. I am so glad people we there for you, I hope I was one of them. I consider you to be my friend and talk of you as if we have met face to face. I hope everyday that you will heal (and you will) soon. Love you Lori, keep up the strong fight, I am in for the good times and the not so good times. Thinking of you.

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  28. I am sorry I missed your post. It is those friends whom we hardly 'know' in person who are the ones we need the most sometimes and I'm glad you were able to get the support and help you needed at the time. Sometimes life isn't always roses and champagne and it's okay to speak up when you need lifting up or cheering up. A kind word doesn't always have to be heard, it can me seen and help just as much. Love and hugs to you Lori!!

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  29. Anonymous9:10 AM

    Lori, hope you feel even a little better today. Any of us that have gone thru health issues that are even halfway human understand. We have good, bad and really bad. After going thru cancer twice, I hate when people ask me how I feel. Is it real or just nosey or just asking to ask. I came up with a canned reply as I did not want to tell the truth about how I felt as mostly it was not good and made me feel worse. Truly hope you feel even a little better. Go create and it will help you. jerseydevil1974@yahoo.com

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  30. I've posted and messaged you privately.. and I was with you that day. I wish I could have just come to your house to hold your hand thru that pain.. You know why and you know where I've walked.. I will walk beside you thru the fire.. and it will get better. Love you

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  31. We love posts about friendship but we believe that there will be a post, followed by many others, saying you're feeling good :) This post was very emotional, very touching, very personal - and we appreciate it, because you don't just tell things like this just to anyone, I believe all of us felt your trust.

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  32. Jackie10:35 AM

    Lori, my best friend has MS, and she is going through a particularly bad patch right now. She lives right downstairs from me, so I can be there when she needs me. She, like you, bravely struggles through her fatigue to reach out to other people. She had to give up teaching a Bible class at the local college. We have put the Art Studio we run together on hiatus until June. But she still teaches the Wed. night Bible class, and she still preaches once a month. (She is our Deaconess, and our Pastor is on a health Sabbatical right now.) I think of you often when I watch her struggle, and I hope and pray people can BE there for you. Feeling alone is the PITS! We pray for you often. You are a light in this dark world, no matter how feeble it seems. Have you ever seen the movie Godspell? That alwasy cheers me up when I'm feeling down. Such silly and profound words! Love you!

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  33. Phyllis12:12 PM

    Well, I don't know what to say except that I've been down a road similar to yours and I understand what it means to be chronically ill. Let's just say, its not a place that everyone understands. But there are those of us who do. I would love to talk with you whenever you need to talk. Hugs from one Lyme disease sufferer to another.

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  34. Count me in for the socially awkward club! And, as someone who suffers from periodic bouts of moderate to (not as frequent any more thank goodness) severe depression, I understand how an illness of any kind can really impact your life and your ability to maintain what friendships you do have. Hang in there and I'm proud of you for reaching out for help in the moment you needed it!

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  35. I for one will come back again and again for your posts. All your posts! I hope you can enjoy a few good hours soon! ~~T

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  36. I am so sorry that I missed your post as I would have loved to have talked to you. I know what you mean by being lonely. I work from home and rarely see anyone except my husband especially since his disability has gotten worse. My window to the world is definitely on Facebook and blogging.

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  37. Um, Hello? blessinll ANYTIME, middle of the night (I'm probably up, anyway!), during the Zombie Apocalypse, Christmas Morning, Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall... all you have to do is call (or text). I'm not on Facebook much recently (more on that, but you probably can guess). And if I don't answer, (my phone is crazier than me) I'll call you back Right Away! I know you have a huge network of friends, and what a blessing! Please, don't hesitate to call/text. You know I sleep with my phone ;-) Loves & Hugs

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