It’s Them, Not You
Sometimes friends just won’t get it. When there’s conflict in a friendship, adults with CF may tend to think their disease caused the tension. If a friend grows distant, it may or may not be due to your CF. Either way, it’s not your fault. Friends come in and out of everyone’s life.
You deserve healthy, supportive and loving friends who are there for you at every step of your life’s journey. Put the problem in the other person’s court. The unsupportive friend may need some time to figure things out, grow up and get some perspective before he or she can be the kind of friend you deserve.
Unfortunately, not all “friends” will understand your health needs, like when you have to say no to outings. Some will get irritated waiting for you to finish a treatment. These are normal human reactions to situations that they can’t control or don’t understand. But nobody wants to be judged or rejected.
Experiences with unsympathetic friends can be tremendously hurtful. You may want to figure out your own way to explain your CF limitations to them ahead of time. You can practice what you’d say in your mind, out loud in front of a mirror or by writing a letter.
Remember, your time and energy are very valuable. You deserve compassionate friends. Gradually move away from any unsupportive peers. Look instead for people who are caring, understanding and helpful. You won’t have to look far. You’ll find them at work, school, faith communities and music or art clubs — and in your neighborhood.
There are times when only people with CF can truly relate to what you are going through. Why not meet new CF friends online? There are numerous CF chatrooms and groups on Facebook, Yahoogroups and other websites. The Internet is a great resource and place to find support and understanding from other people with CF while avoiding cross-infection risks.
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