Cutting Out Toxic People From My Life After Becoming Chronically Ill

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By Shannon Marie in The Mighty.

 

I can count my friends on one hand, and I spend a fair amount of time alone. I prefer it this way. I’m often fatigued or otherwise symptomatic of Hashimoto’s with joint pain, brain fog, mood swings or back pain. So a day or two completely alone in a week is OK with me. I have one-person hobbies and pets, so I can keep myself entertained without exertion. But to be honest, I probably sleep half the day away.

This is a pretty dramatic change for me. I used to be really social. I had more friends than I could keep up with or be a good friend to. I was out doing something almost every night of the week. Everything was a social activity, even working out.

When I started getting sick, these “friends” started dropping like flies. I could deal with the ones I wasn’t particularly close to. But when the ones I considered close started treating me differently, I was genuinely sad. I wondered what I had done wrong. Then after I was (finally) diagnosed, I had to change my diet and so many thought that the way I eat now was a phase or a temporary diet. They didn’t realize that food is both my medicine and my poison. Same with alcohol. I completely cut out alcohol and I get treated with such surprise. “Why don’t you drink?” or “I don’t know how you do life without a drink here and there!” I’ve been left out of parties because they “didn’t want to be judged” and some of my former friends immediately stopped socializing with me. They seem to think Facebook is a real friendship

 

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Link to Chronic Illness story

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