So...we hurt, we have friends, we have family, and we want to spend time with them...BUT! the pain we feel can make it difficult. We know it's true (we're living it) but sometimes though...it can be hard for others to understand our socializing limits. We look "fine", we seem like we're "able"...yet socializing, making and keeping plans...it's not always so easy.
Have you ever made plans and then needed to cancel them? Have you ever been worried about making plans cause you didn't know what you would feel like on that day? How often do you see and socialize with your friends? What do you do for you to help you socialize more?
I asked a question on the Facebook page...what do you need from those you know and love to help you spend time with them...here are some of your answers...
- don't come to my home and tell me all the things you think I'm doing wrong in my life...chances are I'm telling myself that enough and I need someone to remind me of the good of who I am
- don't come over and start nit picking about my house keeping skills or telling me I need to get dressed...ask me if I need help but know I'm doing my best
- don't tell me I'm losing out on life when I don't go to the club with you
- do call ahead to see if I am up for the visit...it gives me a chance to change my clothes or to tidy up a bit if I am able
- hug me gently...I miss the hugs
- if I need to cancel the plans...please don't tell me I'm missing out (I already know that and I'm beating myself up for it as we speak)
- if I need to rest and take a break while we're out...be patient with me (I need these breaks so I can keep doing what we're doing) or I may even have to go home if I've pushed myself too far (I'm just as upset as you are when plans have to end...don't forget that okay? please?)
- if you see me struggling to keep up...slow down (I may not walk as fast as I used to)
- keep the visits brief (one hour or less)...I want to spend time with you! but sometimes an hour is all I can manage.
- if I say "no" please understand I want to but I'm hurting...I'm afraid of feeling more pain or I don't see how I can. If you have any suggestions or a way to help me...please share that with me (I was once asked to go camping and before I could even say no...my friend told me all things he was doing and bringing for me so I could say yes...sometimes we need that help in planning)
Please remember that....
- I don't have the money to do things like I used to and that can make me say "no" to plans
- I value you and I love that you are in my life! I want to spend time with you
- I am trying my best (just like you are)
And then there are things we need to do and to remember too sometimes...
- we can't stop living because we hurt!
- there are things we can do to help ourselves socialize more (bring along your portable coping skills, keep visits brief, take breaks, do things that are within your physical limits without causing more pain...just a few ideas)
- how we talk to ourselves before, during, and after our plans is HUGE! keep your talk positive... you're out of the house! yes you're hurting...but you hurt anyway right? and you're doing something that makes you feel good so enjoy that (let those thoughts rule over the negative thoughts of your pain)
- don't wait for friends to call you...call them instead! if you're always saying "no" on the days you can't...be the first to call them on the "yes" days
- we can't keep saying "no" and still expect others to keep asking us out...no one likes to be rejected
- sometimes we may not feel up to going anywhere but let me ask you something? have you ever gone anyway and actually had a good time? (it happens more often than we think it can) and sometimes we just need to say yes and give it a chance and a try
- get out of your head and fear and into your life...we only have this one life...live yours to the best of your abilities
Truth is...we can't change that we hurt and there will be days when we just can't...BUT! there are things we can do to help us socialize more and spend time with those we love and enjoy in our lives...we can turn "I can't" into "I can" and "I will" or even a "I'll give it a shot". Open the lines of communication with those in your life and let them know what you need to help you be more social and active with them.
take good care of you and each other please