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Effect of POTS on friendship


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A lot of people have posted about POTS and the effects it's had on their relationships. I am really hurt by someone who was one of my best friends for the past 10 years.

Before I got sick, we spoke a few times a week, and I have heard from her only 3 times in the last 9 months. She actually came with me to the ER when I first got sick and stayed over my apt, and after that I didn't hear from her for 2 months (and then it was only to tell me about her vacation!). I just don't think there is any justification for not emailing or calling me at all during this time. The weird thing is that both of her parents passed away within the past few years, and her other friends kept telling me what a comfort I was to her during this period....

I just got an email from her out of the blue asking if I would be going to an event next week (which of course I can't go to because I am sick). Part of me wants to confront her and ask her why I haven't heard from her, but the other part of me just thinks I shouldn't waste my energy. I hate to thow away what was once such a great friendship. Also, I am wondering whether I'm just being too emotional about the whole thing. I would appreciate any advice!



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This is so hard, I know. Friendships changed for me too as a result of my illness. It's especially hard when you discover that someone you thought was very close, distances him or herself, instead of providing support to you when you need it.

I think you have every reason to let her know, gently, how it makes you feel. This will probably also involve trying to explain your illness to her, which is not easy, since it is such a strange and seemingly unusual problem. I hope she listens and becomes more thoughtful. If not, sad as it is, she is not a good friend.

I discovered how few good friends I truly have, during my illness. It's not a bad thing though, to know who your true friends really are, and to realize yourself, how priceless those friendships are.


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It is difficult to accept that your illness could be holding back friendships. It's unfortunately a very common problem for people with chronic illness or those who lose the use of limbs or senses. It does change the way you used to interact with someone because you are no longer the person you used to be according to the outside world.

I had a similar situation with a friend this year, though for non-illness reasons. I hadn't heard from her for 7 months after a particular situation developed, and she was the ONLY friend I hadn't heard from during that time. Out of the blue, she called me on my birthday and wanted to take me to lunch a couple of days later. I told her I couldn't then but how about the following Friday, and she said she would call me that morning to set the time. Well, she never called that Friday (and I had to scramble to get some food, since I thought I was going out and therefore hadn't taken anything to work). And I have not heard another word from her since then, which was nearly 4 months ago.

I was upset and disappointed that she just completely dumped our friendship, but somehow I had come to realize that whatever was going on was about her, not me. Once I could really understand and accept that, I was able to forgive her and not worry about it. And I no longer dread the possibility of running into her somewhere, because I'm cool with where I am today without her friendship.

There is an e-mail floating around the waves that says something like "Some people come into your life for a short time to teach you something, some people come into your life for a short time to learn something from you, and some people stay in your life forever to share. No matter which one you are, I cherish the times we have enjoyed each other's company."

I hope that you will be able to reach that point with your friend. I can't tell you how much easier it is once you embrace the idea that it's not about you. We all have our demons to deal with - we don't need to take on somebody else's as well. But we can always hold dear the memories of what was shared and be glad for the interaction.

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rgt9191, I understand where you are at.......my best friend from college has turned out to be a HUGE disappointment. I am godmother to her daughter and she is getting married this month.

I look at it this way: life happens.

POTS is only the context (for you.)

For me, it is an egomaniac who is all about herself, her degrees, her third husband (who greatly helped her advance her career).

A real friend is one who carries your Foley bag and pushes your IV pole. I am blessed with one of those too. Funny, she has just as many degrees as the egomaniac..... and got them after she was disabled. Two Masters and a Doctorate.

All things come round in their time. Be thankful you've outgrown her and you can now know who your true friends are. Lip service from a poser isn't worth squat.......or as our parent's used to say: talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words.

God bless.

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