Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!


Quick Start Forum Video Tutorial

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

When friends tell you it's too hard

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.


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    ...experience, esp for you being so young.

    There are many posts on here about relationships and the many difficulties. To know you're not alone may help.

    My situation very similar, but I'm much older.
    The disappointment can become overwhelming, if we let it.
    For me, I tried to find a way to let them know what I needed and wanted. The few that have tried to understand my situation, and I cherish them.

    For ex...I would ask for short email or phone call, just to talk about the kids, or what is happening in their life.
    It gave them the freedom to not have to ask about me, and fear I'd tell them. :), but I just wanted connection.
    That has benefited me greatly! I feel more involved in life through them.

    I, also, will occasionally text a little uplifting, "thinking of you", or some sort of note, joke, and not expecting any response in return.
    Or I'd ask for a time for them to take me for car ride, or a drive through for ice cream...something short, gets me out and I connect with another, for whatever length of time.

    Those couple of ex: ...to say, I tried to show I cared about them, despite the neglect I felt.
    In time, a few became more comfortable in my more limited lifestyle.
    But not all respond, and that pain comes and goes.
    But the few who do respond, are priceless.

    I sought help with psychiatrist and therapist to try to make sense of it all. And that helped and helps me to this day.
    There are specialists to talk with people in chronic pain and depression.
    That was very helpful in learning how to change some of my thinking to best take care of myself!

    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Dont learn fear,from pain.
    Dont fear..the pain.
    We win
    We lose..we

    Dont learn to fear living
    It is a cold and lonely existence.
    I value my friends who are left from the culling,ruthless and hard
    They fell away because they wanted to
    I didnt force them to go
    They wanted to.
    I idnt stop them.
    Peope who want you..want all of you.
    Every lovely part and piece that makes you..you.

    Everyone left in your life is now more precious..let them know..from a position of strength..not of a beggar.

    You shine
    And will.
    Your future mate will only see who, not what you are,, or will become.
    We are all.."becoming"
    Love yourself and love will find its way to you.
    Never fear who and what you are
    Because you are wondrous and ffearfully made
    A sonnet yet spoken
    A,song yet sung...

    Who you are
    Is not who you will be.
    What you are
    Is ...

    We are all
    Broken together.
    All the pieces dont quit fit
    And it is beautiful

    Look at all the flowers in the fields
    None,are perfect
    But as a whole..beautiful.

    Find the beauty in broken ness
    All the crags and cranny
    Rags and wreckage...

    You will find yourself held in awe by those who count..who..matter.

    Shine,like the diamond you are, will become.!
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • advertisement
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,778
    Take a lump of coal - expose it to extreme heat and pressure and it will become a diamond.
    Take that same lump of coal and simply light it on fire .... it will only become ash
    But you'll be ready to grill in about 15 minutes.

  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 646
    Very nice William.
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,778
    and Sheri .... I don't think I've heard the word "Beauteous"
    for/in like 30 years !!

  • advertisement
  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 646
    Caught my grammar/typo, not sure now how I've always used it....and probably dates me back to a certain place in time, but even that at this moment escapes me.
  • I watched my youngest daughter become chronically ill at 14 years of age. Not one school friend bothered to see or speak to her even though they passed our door. At times she has been totally bedridden unable to watch tv or read that went on for 2 years solid. But she is a feisty woman of 39 now still chronically ill but people flock to her. To people outside of the home (she uses an electric wheelchair) she never mentions her illness. She has friends she met in hospital from way back, and internet friends who know of her illness and they too are ill with these she talks about each others conditions. It seems to be part of the human makeup that some people are afraid of illness almost like they might catch it! My eldest daughter became ill 8 years ago with the same genetic illness she left a job she loved and over 130 staff she looked after. There are a handful of friends who have stuck by her through thick and thin from those days. The same has happened to my husband and I as we were so limited due to caring for our daughter to socialise. Life is hard. i don't know what the answer is except that you are better off without negative people in your life. Even if it means being lonely.
  • SpineyKD23SSpineyKD23 IllinoisPosts: 97
    edited 11/03/2015 - 6:17 AM
    Thank you everyone for your replies. William Garza- what a lovely poem. I think I will print it out and read it to myself each day as a reminder.

    I think the key is learning that not everyone can understand or handle my situation, but I can still love them for who they are and it doesn't always mean that they don't care about me. That being said I don't need negative or flakey people either.

    I can always come here to talk and that really helps :) I also have my counselor who I have been seeing for 6 years, she has truly changed my life. And my mother- she has Cystic Fibrosis. A rare gene type that wasn't diagnosed until 24. She faced many challenges at my age and I always know I can turn to her, although I don't like to show how hard things are for me because I know it saddens her that her child has to go through something similar to what she did.

    Metalneck- that diamond is hiding behind my condition, but I know it will shine again if I put in the effort!
    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.
  • Why not give in to the smile that comes from the deepness of soul.
    That quiettude of the knowing smile.
    Mona Lisa had hers
    That mystery?
    Was her inner fire.

    Ashes and Dust
    That is what life has become..
    Until enough has gathered and the rose blooms from the fertile ground.

    Gather the light to you
    And like flowers turn toward the sun
    So will the promise of a future smile.

    The rain will fall
    The windows will weep
    And the spring will surely follow this winters chill.

    It is for you to believe when no one else will
    It is for you to be a light in this day of rain.
    The skys come down
    The same old song
    Bide your tears in the pain...
    They will surely fly away

    If you grow tired
    If you lose that fire
    Tie on your flying shoes
    Summer was a sign
    Fall came and you did
    And winters waters fill your cup.

    But in the midnite moon
    Being alone and thin..
    Silver...sails agiin
    Toward the dawn
    Tied on to the sun by love
    To be confused by the separation
    Of the lights
    By the journeys in the nite...
    But silver sails fill with light
    And create the wondrous site

    We are not alone...
    The sun still shines
    The moon reminds
    In the deeps of the cups
    In the needs of the nite.

    Close your eyes
    The light will surely fly to greet your morning sight
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    edited 11/08/2015 - 8:05 AM
    ...is something to that smiling!
    One of the helpful things I learned from my thousands of dollars worth of theraphy ....was to become aware of my face and to smile more! :)

    I think pain can look like anger on the face. So, I try to be smiling when with others and then realized I should treat myself the same way....during my aloneness.

    Sometimes I have to force the smile, then at times it's more automatic. Just smiling and for no particular reason!
    Somehow the smiling changes my feelings. I'm more content and enjoy my own company.

    I love when I catch myself laughing out loud!....sometimes at the tv...sometimes at my own thoughts and memories!
    When I think of comforting a child I think of smiling, humming, singing...
    Why not comfort myself and this pain within me?

    I kind of think of my pain as a being. It can't help itself. It just is. So I take care of it as best I can!
    And sometimes that means I comfort it, like, ...there, there....and I smile!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.