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Lucy's Blogs > View

An open letter to friends 

Posted on: 06/01/2014   Comments: 0   Views: 331  

At the moment I am not going to "send" this to my friends. As currently going through illness again and don't want them making an effort due to reading this. I have a handful of friends who don'f fall into the "shit when your health sucks again". But maybe one day in future ill post it to give them a friendly reminder that me and others who have struggles with ill health we need them most when we're ill and "not fun". 

Dear Friends, 

                I'm going through another hard time after falling ill again due to what I can only say as "unfairness". I had major surgery as many know in 2008, 4 minor operations between 2009-2012, suffering from a separate condition which also brings with it chronic pain which for 18 months effected my life so much that I lost alot of my personality and felt it was controlling and determining what I did each day. Here in 2014 I've had another major surgery and awaiting on another minor operation and feeling the same sort of "let down" from people I thought was good friends.  I NEVER ask for sympathy or want people to feel bad for me because its no-ones fault and there are people worst off than me and I am lucky in many ways. But I have realised some friends maybe don't know how to cope with having a friend who seems to spend alot of their recent years ill. Or "out of site out of mind". OR the novelty of having a "ill friend" wears off after a month or so. Or maybe just so getting on with their lives forget that little me is still in recovery. So i thought Id have a few categories of things that would help me and perhaps if I ever get unwell again will see what I need or have other friends with illness what would really help them. I hope if I have friends in a similar situation I would never make them feel let down the way I have from friends. 

With all my operations and especially the major operations for the first 2-3 weeks I am inundated with messages, support, cards, presents and visitors. THis is a really great feeling knowing so many people care about me. The full recovery for this was about 6-7months first time round and so far this time im nearly at 3months. After a month or so the messages get less and less, visitors less and less. This is really when I need people most as although the pain by this time is starting to subside I'm still struggling emotionally and BORED BORED BORED during the day. A simple message not even to see how I am but just to make contact like you do when I'm not on recovery. Often I'm the one out of the different groups of friends I have constantly getting texts seeing what the plans are for the weekend- which club going to, which bar, where we're eating that night, whose going! So then to receive no texts anymore when ill make me feel like a situational friend. From past experience I know as soon as I'm well enough to go out proper socialising with no constraints my phone constantly beeps again. With some friends i feel i'm a "hinderence" when on recovery or coming to see me is a "good deed" I'd rather you come see me for plain simple your my friend so like hanging out and can have fun just chilling staying in going at my pace rather than out boozing. Maybe your life is going great just dont seem to have time to message that "ill friend" who doesn't seem to be doing interesting. Well please just think what it would be like if the roles were reversed. 

One of things I am happy about it so many of my friends come to me for advice. I am glad that they trust me with their problems and see me as a good listener and someone who genuinely wants to help them. I would never wish no matter how shit i felt that friends felt they couldn't come to me with GENUNINE problems. What I would ask for in return that I could ask the same back from you'se. I do feel let down with some friends I am always there for them but now its my turn to need an ear but friends are too busy or just say "thats a shame" then move onto their problems. There are some friends who constantly moan to me about their lives but never yet ask how I am. From them a bit of perspective please don't complain to me about "problems" which aren't problems. Have a bit of sensitvity your shit day with getting 15 minutes less lunch than usual or have a cold and means you cant go out tonight or all friends busy and no-one to play with that day. Just try thinking more positive "all my friends might be busy but it is only one day I have plenty of other days with them". With colds yes its sucky but again WILL go away quickly there called common colds because everyone gets them- try having major illnesses. I DONT want people to feel bad for me so dont expect me to feel bad for your cold.. you will get over it soon enough. When you complain about your "life" just think what an alternative could be and you'll actually realise got a sweet life. One thing NEVER EVER EVER complain that me being ill means you've less people to socialise with. This year more than others people seem to use this- im flattered that you miss me going out but you still CAN talk to me, still visit me, thats also socialising. So don't make me feel sorry for you in this case. It might be a little sucky for you but a hella lot more sucky for me in this situation.


This ties in a bit with complaining. But again put things in perspective here. It is normal to have a little stress in work and university. University isn't easy its not meant to be easy its meant to be alot of work - Ive been there just like half population (or there abouts). THere will be tough times but this is all part of univeristy. Not to say that sometimes you need a break and gets to much but just remember you and me at university CHOSE to go to univeristy. Complaining about how stressful you are at uni having exams + essays yes it can be stressful but is reality of university. For me I can tell you it can get annoying people telling me how much work have to do so stressed- I would love to have that stress rather than stress of not working, losing jobs from ill health, knowing the conditions I have which meant operations could come back in 3 weeks or 3 years - no-one knows. Stress of knowing there are health issues which is going to effect me for forseeable future in which jobs i can have. STRESS of not knowing when I can work again. STRESS of knowing that the chance of me having children is slim. So im not saying dont feel stress as thats natural but please a bit of perspective and really positivity YES univeristy or work is a bit hard at moment but the outcome of working hard is a big positive.


REALLY??? REALLY??? REALLY?? im lucky!. I got this alot in 2008 from my friends at uni comparing me lucky having major operation and been forced due to ill health to drop out of uni - to doing a dissertation. No you are the lucky ones being able to be well enough to go to university. In 2008 2 of my other friends had to drop out of uni due to health reason- a bizarre coicidence. This was always our biggest gripes people telling us how lucky we were able to sit and do nothing all day. Let me tell you until your in that situation there is nothing more you want than to be well enough to go to that boring mundane work or sit in library all day studying for exams. We all agreed that it was the worst year of our life sometimes felt "nothing to get up for". When we all returned to uni in 4th year we all worked much harder than ever as knew how shit things were the yer before and appreciated being able to be at uni. This time round its been said less but still few time "lucky to have a lie in" and "everyday a weekend". Well no its really awful and boring- its not all fun and games. I have good days and bad days. Some days so tired can only lie on sofa and sleep on and off. Others watch tv to try and take mind off pains. Some good days I can head off into town or short walk. If i do anything too much it can take 2/3 days to recovery and make pains worse. Out of the last 6 years ive spent over 2 years of that in recovery from operations - I wouldnt say that makes me fortunate. 

This "open letter" might not sound like me as usually even through pain I try and smile and not let other people know how it effects me. SO much so that many friends dont even know about the chronic pains or the amount of operations I've had. I always try and be positive. THey're are so many things in my life which wouldnt of happened if hadn't been ill and had operations. Many of them positives which is why I live by "everything happens for a reason" and I have been so lucky in other ways. But My main message I'd like people to take from this is please be more supportive and dont forget about me while i am in recovery. 

Lots of Love xx

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