Several months ago, I received a thoughtful email from a reader of this blog who asked me to write a blog post that helped people like her-- people who have chronic pain or illness-- to figure out how to make and keep friends when their energy and health often feels limited, challenged, or uncertain. Not entirely sure I felt qualified to give tips to this heroic population, I asked her if first she'd be willing to share, from her perspective, what she wishes the rest of us understood about our friends (or potential friends) whose health issues might impact how we befriend each other. With nearly 1 in 2 of us suffering from some form of chronic (often invisible) illness, we all want to become far more sensitive and thoughtful in how we interact with one another.
Thank you Lucy Smith (pseudonym) for taking the time and energy to share with us what you've learned since being diagnosed a couple of years ago with a debilitating neurological condition. Her ability to participate in the activities she used to do with friends became very limited and the challenge of maintaining and making friends while also dealing with major illness has been difficult. She knows she's not alone as she's found some connection with others in similar situations and I'm so grateful she's excited to get a conversation started with this blog post.Read More