This is something that has happened to me a couple times over the years. It hurts the most when it is a really close friend, but it also hurts when I have any friend lose interest in spending time with me. It seems the really close friends who are no longer in my life or those who are, but say that they need a break, can't handle being around someone who has a health condition.
A lot of friends don't stay in touch with me anymore because I can't take part in the activities we used to do together- those activities were often how we met in the first place. They are not unkind to me, but simply lose touch because we can't do the things we used to.
The more serious friends who spend more time with me become burdened with my condition, my depression, my constant limitations. Yes, I do share things with them, but it is not as if I am pouring my guts out. I am just talking about my life the same way I would if I had no health problems- it is just what's going on. For example prior to my surgery 2 weeks ago I was trying to figure out if my boss was going to cut my pay during recovery (if he did I might not be able to pay bills), if my health insurance would cover the surgery (state of IL temporarily stopped funding my insurance company), the fact that my surgeon would only fix my worst disc, meaning I could be back for a fusion in the near future, etc.
Hearing that my life is too hard for them to deal with crushes me, not because I expect them to be invincible, but because they don't see that I don't need grand advice, but just company- friendship. I limit how much I tell them, but my overall demeanor is different when I'm in pain and they don't want to see that either.
I've lost so many friends, lost my trust in those who have to "take a break" ( I wish I could take a break too), and I haven't been able to meet many new people while dealing with all this. I am afraid to be rejected by new people, and even more by a potential significant other. At the age of 24, I don't have as many things for people to relate to. And I am afraid this trend will continue.
I've learned not to take everything personally, but it still hurts.
25 years old: Herniated L4-L5, L5-S1 December 2008. L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2010. L5-S1 microdiscectomy March 2012. Redo L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2013. Redo microdiscectomy Oct 2015.