Friends of ours in Phoenix got married on April 4th. The date sticks out in my mind because it was the 16th anniversary of the day I started dating my husband. I got their wedding invitation the standard 6-8 weeks out, although I knew about the occasion well in advance. Since I started my job at the end of March, and immediately went right into a big three-week-long promotion, it was all I could do to scribble my fondest regrets on the back of the RSVP card and send it back a week before the wedding. In a pen that was running out of ink. Classy, I'm well aware.
Resuming employment threw me into such a tailspin (although far less of one than in the past), it took two months for me to catch my breath. Just a couple weeks ago I finally started sleeping at night again, which allowed me to get through a workout at the gym without cursing my compromised immune system, delve deeply into finishing my book, and catch mostly up on the laundry. Also, when I was buying Mother's Day cards, I got around to buying the newlyweds a really adorable greeting to convey our well wishes.
Said correspondence still sits in my stack of incoming mail. In the bag. And it probably will for the next few weeks. In the interest of full disclosure, I can't find the invitation. This means I have to call the bride's sister to procure the happy couple's address. In and of itself not an overwhelmingly big deal, but yet one more step to encourage my dereliction in an already embarrassingly delayed, outrageously delinquent, all-together negligent effort to say congratu-flippin-lations to our friends who got married. Which is kind of a big deal.
And that, precisely, is why the majority of my friends have faded away. After ten years of this illness yanking me around like life's yo-yo, I'm playing a desperate game of catch-up and can barely do me. There isn't enough to offer any consistency to anyone else. I don't attend birthday parties, Memorial Day barbecues, retirement celebrations, or, clearly, anything wedding related. After so many years of behaving like the world's biggest flake, or continuously taking without giving, or not being there for a person who has been there for me, I've kinda given up. I've thrown friends into a mythical pile of fantasy nice-to-haves, along with a doctor who helps me more than I've helped myself, or a boss who doesn't require much work for a paycheck. Maybe one day I'll be so fortunate to have a thriving social life again, but I don't see it happening any time soon.
Thanks for joining,
#fibromyalgia #chronicillness #chronicpain #invisibleillness #friendship