friendships and chronic illness

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This is a tough subject for me to write about as it brings up a big bag of mixed emotions.  Chronic illness makes relationships tough, very tough.  When you have been ill as long as I have, friendships tend to fall by the way side.  People in our society want a quick fix, “feel better soon” is on so many cards that I want to puke.  CI doesn’t work that way, sickness is forever, barring a miraculous healing……and……yes, I pray and continue to pray for healing and continue to learn about my illnesses and take what steps I can to heal, but our society doesn’t like to deal with things for the long haul.

When you don’t know how you are going to feel in a week, let alone the next hour, it is hard to plan ahead.  Your brain so wants to go out and have fun, see friends, explore the world, plan a vacation for next year, but your body may have a very different plan.

As you grow older with your illness(es) it is even harder to maintain friendships.  You have had to cancel too often, your energy to reach out to people starts to dwindle.  You have a hard enough time just getting through your day……….work (if that is even possible), laundry, dishes, cleaning, cooking, taking care of the kiddos (if that is in your life), medical appointments, the list goes on and on………………by the end of the day, there is little to no energy left – if you even made it to the end of the day without having to crawl back into bed or back to the sofa.

This post may be sounding a bit like a downer, but I don’t mean it to be so.  It is more of a realistic reflection by someone who has been living this life for more than two decades.  Only you can determine how to maintain friendships, but I have discovered that it was much easier when I was younger………but as people grow older, have families, careers, their lives become bigger and mine has become smaller.  Yes, I was blessed with kids before my CIs really took hold, so all of my energy went to trying to get through my day.  Maintaining friendships for me was sending emails and personal letters letting others know I was thinking about them.  So many outings and get-togethers had to be cancelled because I just couldn’t be there………..some people get it, others don’t, and you just have to let those that don’t go.  It’s not worth the effort or stress on your already struggling body.

You have to be strong enough to truly believe that this is not your fault.  You did nothing wrong and you are an amazing person, they are the ones who are missing out by not taking time to be around you.  I have come to realize in my years of interacting with people who suffer, most of them are the most compassionate, loving, strong, amazing, gentle, generous people around.  If someone can’t see that because you had to cancel dinner plans as a result of your illness…… is their loss.  Eventually the friendship will dissolve and that extra energy can be put in a place where someone will appreciate it and just maybe that someone is YOU!


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cs lewis quote on friendship 15 Famous Quotes on Friendship


83 thoughts on “friendships and chronic illness

  1. Oh my, Its like you take the words out of my mouth. I’m struggling with my only daughter now because she just doesn’t get it. This is our first real fight and I am hurt by her judging me and thinking that I have abandoned her and that I am just making excuses. I have even gone as far as showing her medical proof and she’s still not satisfied that I can’t come to see her every time she wants me to. It hurts me just as much to say, no, I can’t. She has my 2 grandchildren that I miss so much as well. I’ve been praying that our relationship heals over time and that she can be more understanding.
    Thank you so much for sharing. It does help me also to share!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I so understand, no one really understands, especially when you look normal and as if nothing is wrong with you..
    And yes, it is there Loss..

    Sending continued thoughts for strength in all you do and achieve,
    The Expert Patients Programme I was involved with for Chronic Illness taught me small steps, and goals within reach.. And try to keep positive..
    Its hard, very hard at times.. But I know you are doing everything to help that healing process..
    Much LOVE.. ❤

    Liked by 5 people

      • Hi Dear Wendi.. I spent most of yesterday morning picking peas and red-curants, and spent most of this morning preparing and cleaning them for the freezer. Both afternoons were Sleeping LOL..
        Just hopped on to catch comments from where i left them.
        To come back to a barrage of 39 bogus likes from a spammers on comments I left on other sites .. IF you get such problems Go to the Forum..
        Link here to save.

        Love and Hugs xx You dont need extra stress..

        Liked by 1 person

      • it sounds lovely………i wish i lived near you so i could help you in your garden!
        thank you SO MUCH for taking time to send this comment. i found the same thing this morning and i had no idea what to do about it. i had dozens and dozens of inappropriate stuff………….thank you again Sue, you are a blessing to me and so many others!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Just leave a comment on the forum, and they will know you are having a problem..
        Also if you have problems go to the bottom of your Dashboard page and you will see right at the bottom Help and Support, click that and you can follow instructions on how to report.. 🙂
        And would love you as a Neighbour.. ❤ HUGS xx ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes, yes and yes! The ‘ole get better soon or glad to see you’re doing better, gets old and annoying quick! This chronic illness has no timeline and no end in sight. When I tell people, my illness is forever, they look at me as if I instantly developed three heads and they now want to crawl out of my sight – they don’t know what to say. I hate making plans, especially getting invitations through the mail – as I’d like to put them through the shredder. It’s like you’ve said, I don’t know how I’m going to feel within the next hour, much less a month from now. Yes it sounds a little anti-socialish but hey, that’s my reality! We accept things as there are, not the way we hope things were. Take it or leave it! And no! You don’t sound like a Debby Downer, this post is as real and raw as they get! Thank you for expressing what’s in my heart – I appreciate it! 😊🙏🏽

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I cancel when I am drained too. I always remind myself, going exhausted doesn’t do them or me any good, so it is better that way. “They” usually understand. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love the quote by C.S. Lewis!… you know it’s kind of funny…I first learned about friends “bailing” when I got pregnant at 17 and was no longer the “party girl”. When I was diagnosed with MS 20 years ago, I already knew the ones that were not worth keeping would drift away… try to keep telling yourself that it just opens room for new friends and new adventures

    Liked by 3 people

  6. One of the most challenging aspects of chronic illness for sure. Forget that you are sick but then the people who you’ve likely been there for a million times over simply fall away. In some cases this is family too. It’s so incredibly lonely. Thank gosh for social media, honestly, it saved me from a yucky place. Hoping today is best as can be for you.🌸

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, it is so hard when people just want you to “get well soon!” Even when you know that they do care, and are weary themselves, it still hurts to realize they don’t understand. Thank you for expressing what most of us feel with CI. I am much “newer” on this journey than you are, and so I appreciate your sharing!! Blessings to you!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. For this post to be a downer, your name would be Debbie; but you’re simply Wendi. I hear courage and strength, coming from within your heart. It’s been over two decades that you’ve been facing this. To God, a thousand years is just a day! Continue to be strong, and Simply Wendi; continue to be amazing. Until you receive your miracle, your healing; I pray that for you too!

    Father, I pray for Wendi. You are the God of the miracles, of healing. I pray that this too will be Wendi’s portion. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

    I hope you didn’t mind, I felt led; Be blessed!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Warren………..I actually read your comment last night, but I was so moved by your response and prayer that tears poured out of my eyes and I just didn’t know what to write to thank you for your kindness. Thank you just isn’t enough, but I am truly at a loss for words………….God bless you.

      Liked by 2 people

      • God bless you, for having the courage to share your heart! Just like Jesus, my heart too is touched by your infirmity.

        My wife has 4 different medical illnesses that she’s been dealing with for the last 10 yrs. In and out of the hospital and doctors office like it’s a revolving door. The doctors are doing their best, but this is a God thing! She has similar frustrations as you, but you’re both rockstars in my eyes! We just celebrated our 30th anniversary. I’m her husband, best friend, and partner; for life!

        My words and love for others is all I have, so therefore I freely give! I pray you too can find joy and comfort from them, and from those closest to you! Blessings, you’re on my prayer list!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Warren for the willingness to share some of your wife’s story with me. I am so very sorry she is dealing with all this medical mess also. I will begin praying for her and her healing today and I am grateful for your prayers. Thank you again……

        Liked by 1 person

  9. The people who truely love you will understand and will continue to be your friends even when you have no energy to spend time with them. People don’t realize that we don’t get a break from our medical issues; whether we are at work or relaxing at home; we still are frustrated with the bodies we were given. I have an analogy for myself. Most people’s bodies are like a smartphone; portable; you can take it wherever you go; it makes your life better. My lbody is like an turntable; I can’t just go anywhere; I can’t just eat or drink anywhere and like you simply going to work or a social function takes alot out of me physically. I hope things improve for you; managing chronic health issues is never easy; i should know

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and comment on this post. I love your analogy and I am so sorry that you understand……… makes me so darn sad to know there are so many of us out there………may you find peace and joy and healing despite your circumstances.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is so honest. “What? Me Too…” Great post. I’m thinking I would like to reblog this on my Tuesday’s Today, post… I’m starting a series. Posting a blog of my own and promoting a blog that hits home with me… Can I promote your blog on Tuesday, July 17th? Terri from Reclaiming Hope will be my first attempt at this series on Tuesday the 10th of July. Let me know. You knocked it out of the park with this one, Wendi! ~Kim

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, I am so humbled Kim that I am not sure what to say except, thank YOU so very much. I am sad you understood the post so well, makes me sad that other people live this too.
      Thanks again for the honor and thank you for this gift today. It’s a really bad day so your kind words I am super duper grateful for!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I love that you shared this. It is so true. The only friends and family that have stuck by me this last six years have been the ones that are dealing with a medical issue themselves and they know first hand what it is like to have people not understand what they are going through. I have been blessed with some really great friends that allow me to call them at a moments notice and make plans because they know I don’t know if I can do anything with them until right before I can go. In return, they call me if they have plans to involve me at a moments notice and make me tell them honestly if I can join them.
    The friends and family members that don’t understand and talk behind my back and get angry with the last minute changes, I have taken out of my life. I learned it is not worth my time or theirs to try to be something I am not. If they don’t understand then they can try to learn what I’m going through or stay out of my life. Our lives are too short to worry about what others think of us. Being realistic it hurts to write them out of my life, that I’m not going to lie about but I know that what little energy I have I want to give it to the people that appreciate it.
    Gentle hugs
    Angie D.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angie……it sounds like you have dealt with this issue is such a great way, and you have been blessed with many great people in your life. Those we have to weed out, despite the pain, as you pointed out, gives us so much more energy for the people who care. blessings to you my friend………

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You’re so right, people really want to just drop off a card or send an edible arrangement and leave it at that. I’m so sorry your dealing with this. One day soon God will heal all of us of our sicknesses in Paradise (Isaiah 33:24; Revelation 21:4; Luke 23:43). Until then I pray you gain true friends as described in God’s word who will be there for you and be understanding of your circumstances. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A true friend shows love at all times And is a brother who is born for times of distress.”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You are an amazing person sweetheart as I can see from your words. Your soul reflects through your articles.
    Wish you a very happy friendship day.
    Stay strong and happy however tough it is. And those who judge just forgive and forget them. And always remember that true ones stay forever.
    I just wrote on the same line and stating that we need to be our own best friend first…
    Dropping here the link. Hope you will like it
    Love & Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

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