Guest Post by Candy Martin
1) Firstly get an illness/disease that no one has ever heard of. As everyone knows everything about every disease that exists, what you have can’t possibly be true or real as they have never heard of it.
2) Try to explain your illness to your friends. They still won’t believe you because they still haven’t heard of it, and frankly your explanation bores them.
3) Try to give a clearer explanation, because YOU REALLY WANT THEIR UNDERSTANDING. Now you will be accused of complaining or of being negative because you have talked about your illness for more than 1 minute.
4) Try to explain why their suggestions to get well aren’t feasible. Now you’re just being difficult and are not worth “helping” any more. Despite knowing nothing about your illness they “know’’ that exercise will help, getting out more will help, eating magic marshmallows will help etc etc. (Even if your Dr advises against it)
5) Smile and sound cheerful when they speak to you. Because if you can manage that for a few minutes you must be fine the rest of the time.
6) Don’t phone people for a while. You must be better and out having fun because they haven’t heard from you.
7) Make sure the skin on your face looks good. This is a dead giveaway that you are faking it and can’t possibly be ill as your facial skin reflects everything going on in your body (what – it doesn’t??)
8) Give them something to read on your illness. They won’t read it, and it will just annoy them to have received it.
9) Make some jokes. This just confirms you aren’t sick, and indeed probably have a mental illness.
10) Stay in bed because you are too dizzy to stand for long without feeling nauseous, and can’t walk in a straight line. This just proves you are lazy and are not trying.”
Thank you Candy.
I hope and pray that one day all people will have love in their hearts and be able to care for and be friends with those of us who have lost our health and many of our abilities.
In the meantime, if you had or still have a friend with a chronic illness, please check out
What Those With Chronic Pain or Illness DO Want to Hear
Here’s what the chronically ill wish you’d say to them.
by Toni Bernhard
She has excellent tips like these (that she also elaborates on):
“You look so good, but how are you really feeling?”
“I’m going to the hardware store. Do you need me to get anything for you there?”
See them all here:
Thank you for writing this! Very healing to read. Validating.
The thanks go to Candy for writing it and giving me permission to share it here with a wider audience after it resonated (more privately) with many people on facebook…
Thank you Linda, once again you are “right on” expressing our feelings by sharing this article. The question is were they really “friends” when they can be “lost” just because you are of no use to them anymore but on the contrary need their help or support? Not that we expect our friends to lend us their help and support (of course they have their own lives and problems to deal with) but it shouldn’t be a reason to be “ignored” either! Just a little compassion or a few kind words can make such a difference and this doesn’t “cost money” only a little time and consideration but everyone seems to think that when we say we need help we are asking for their “money” :(
A real friendship should not be based on “money” but on “caring” and “understanding” :)
Those we “loose” when we become disabled were not “real friends” anyway so we need not pine over these losses. What we have really lost is “being able” to do all the things we enjoyed doing with our real friends that we are NOT ABLE do or share with them anymore.
It can be a very frightening, sad and lonely process becoming disabled and having a true friend by your side makes it ever so much easier to bear. :)
God bless you all :)
Thank you Therese… we DO find out who our real friends are. Thank goodness there ARE true friends ♥ May we all share good friendship
Years ago I read a book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. As soon as I saw the title of this blog that book title came to me. This is a great post and I, too, thank Candy for sharing it. I am going to reblog this.
I never read that book because the title sounded manipulative. Maybe I should (if I can find a non-paper version of it), just to understand what most people think friendship is.
Reblogged this on allergictolifemybattle and commented:
Have any of you read the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People? I may be dating myself because this book was written over 20 years ago. The title of this post brought it back to my mind for whatever reason. I am not feeling well and am so thankful for the abundance of great posts today. I am so foggy headed that I don’t think I could write a good post if I had to. So….any additional things you can add on “How to lose all your friends”?
Reblogged this on sondasmcschatter and commented:
OMG—– TOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FUNNY—– BUT OH SO TRUE!!!!!!!!!
People say ” you look great or you don’t look sick”. I say I get that alot. And thank them for the compliment (which my not so paranoid mind knows is a thinly veiled way of saying “i think you’re faking this mold illness becuz you think you’ll be able to get workers comp or disability”. I smile & remind them it’s a long & boring story, never once has anyone pushed for more. It is a lonely road, with only my envir. dr that understands. Friends are scarce & I’ve learned not to mention my illness to new acquaintances.
People are so complicated and easily swayed to believing that making assumptions and being judgemental is a good quality, and that being nice and compassionate is a weakness (instead of the strength it really is). I think if we know ourselves well enough to be ourselves, our relationships will become based on each others truths, rather than assumptions which can be manipulated by mass media (and those who control/pay for it)
When I read the title I instantly thought, “well I already know how to lose all my friends”. I’ve nearly every one of those things. :)
((( hugs )))
I wish everyone who was reading this post would also read “What Those With Chronic Pain or Illness DO Want to Hear” that I linked to at the bottom… but only a very few are.
What I love is when someone thinks you look fine and then you have an exposure and you lose the ability to finish a sentence and yet you try valiantly and they make the hand motion to move it along, :D A
So many loveless assumptions and projections…
I still have a few people in my life (barely) who think they know my circumstances and thoughts better than I do
A news article about a related health condition from some recent research:
Stigma of chronic fatigue illness adds to suffering – survey
“Dr Baken says those most ill would not have been well enough to complete the survey and the results would have been even worse if the most severely affected were included.
“What’s particularly interesting about all these findings is that this group reported worse scores than those with other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis,” he says.
“Because of the nature of the condition and the stigma that many feel because of it, it’s difficult for this group to advocate for themselves,” he says. “More needs to be done to understand the impact of this condition and how society can support the people who suffer from it.”
Maintaining friendships with ME sufferers, even though they may feel too unwell to go out, was one way people can show their acceptance and give support, he says.”
I like the psychology today article.
Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
Losing friends is easy; it’s keeping them that’s hard
Reblogged this on escaping mycotoxins.
Sometimes the reason for the loss of friends is clear-cut and sometimes it is less so. I lost a lot of friends because we just had nothing in common anymore. They might not even have been judging me. I think they felt sorry for me and didn’t really know what to do, and being with me made them uncomfortable.
I also lost a couple of friends who WERE judgmental and just didn’t get it. They felt they were moving on in their lives and I wasn’t. There is a pervasive “blame the victim” attitude towards people with chronic illness. Being misdiagnosed for almost five years (depression, mystery autoimmune illness, etc.) increased my isolation. People take their bodies for granted, and they can’t imagine that what happens to you could happen to them.
And I hate to say this, but I think if I had cancer or another non-stigmatized illness I would not have lost a single friend.
People take so many things for granted, I used to too!
When what we had in common with people had to do with using healthy bodies, and our bodies are no longer able to do those things, it’s somewhat understandable when people go their different ways, but it can still be hard if we’ve cared about those people…
It is sadly astonishing the amount of judgement and assumption invisible illnesses and disabilities subject us to (even from those who claim to be on a more enlightened path)… thanks largely to industry propaganda… Nope, smoking doesn’t cause cancer… Our products (secretly containing formaldehyde, benzene and other toxic things) are completely safe, even for babies (2 examples would be Tide and Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo)…
They’ve poisoned too many of us… People are waking up…
There are so many environmentally linked health problems now, the epigenetic changes the pollution causes is damaging our abilities to withstand other stressors, which are also increasing due to human activities and policies.
But I digress… trying to rationalize… Maybe someday more people will have the courage to be open hearted and compassionate… it is so much easier to be mean and thoughtless…
So true! Also what you said before about people believing kind, compassionate people are weak and judgemental, superior-acting people are strong. That is my family to a T, unfortunately.
People who lack the courage to dig deep for truth or be compassionate in the face of adversity will grasp at whatever straws they can find, hoping to stay afloat somehow… It’s not a very happy or fulfilling life, and some of them realize this on their deathbeds, when it’s a bit late…
People would rather blame the victims of chemical poisoning than admit that there precious perfume might not be so good for them. It reminds me of the way that people who eat organic food are mocked, but no one mocks people who eat conventional food.
If I was the type to mock others (or had a great sense of humor and the language capabilities to put it together), that would be an interesting campaign to get started (or a blog post to write) ;-)
You do have a great sense of humor and the language capabilities to put it together, but I sense a hint. Hmmmm. Are you saying I am a mocking sort of person? Moi? I am so innocent, no? :-) My parents are moving out of their assisted-living home and getting an apartment with a caretaker, and I know this caretaker and she’s very against organic food. For anyone. So is my father. I don’t even eat when I’m with them, and they still give me all sorts of grief. Maybe I should memorize the Dirty Dozen list, so when they yell at me for not eating their fruit I can tell them how many pesticides are on each piece. You’re right though–there is a blog piece in there. It’s hard to find the right tone.
Go with how you really feel :D
I think you could pull it off ;-)
I’m remembering the “Love is” series :) A “Friends are”, even when you become disabled, would be nice :)
I wish I could make new friends without having to tell them about my illness or disability! I wish I could even see some of my old friends without having to explain why I have to wear a breathing mask or why I have to maintain a strict Environmental Control and even what that is and how it affects me :(
this just isn’t possible :( so if they do ask, or want to ‘see me’ I think they just get “scared off” (I don’t blame them I would run away from this, or ignore my disability if I could too, but we can’t ). When I’ve tried to explain
I’ve been told by “friends” that I’m being negative, I have a dark mantra, they’ve had those symptoms too, that really gets me! :) or they tell you how to “get yourself back on your feet”, they are not intending to be insensitive they just don’t really listen and/or my communicating faculties along with the cognitive function has become inefficient :( It’s always easier to blame the victim (for being a victim!), more so when they can no longer defend or fend for themselves.
A BIG Reiki Luv hug to you all :) wishing you all better days ahead :)
It can be so disheartening, disabling, and exhausting to be around people… and if we CAN pull it off for a little while on a better day (after doing nothing for several days beforehand in an effort to have that energy) then we can end up crashing and needing days to weeks to recover, but no-one sees us then, or calls to discover we are flat on our backs and unable to think coherently enough to utter a complete sentence…
Too many people who are living privileged (and healthy) lives think the reality of someone who is experiencing health challenges is “negative”, and would just go away if we were positive enough, and/or that we have somehow brought it on ourselves “it’s your karma, deal with it”, not realizing that those judgements and attitudes can set them up for some karmic no-fun times…
People aren’t taught how to be courageous, how to deal with fear… Some of this is very deliberate, as when people are afraid, the government (or those who pull the strings there) can inflict some seriously inhumane laws and regulations, taking away rights and responsibilities, and most importantly, manipulate people to fight each other instead of those in power…
Take the wars on welfare moms as an example – where’s the war on the men who impregnate the women? Why aren’t they held accountable for anything they do? Why aren’t pro-life advocates advocating for mothers to receive the support required to raise children?
Those and other blame-the-victim campaigns serve to deflect attention from some very serious issues. If enough people realized that, we would ALL be able to live much happier and healthier lives.
Thank YOU for your support and healing hugs. May we all experience better, healthier, happier days.
Maybe they weren’t friends to begin with