Coping, Friends & Family

Friends, Balance, Guilt

I wrote yesterday’s post hoping that the friends we’re going to visit this weekend wouldn’t get a chance to read it. No such luck. C called this morning to say she’d just read the blog and they were worried about me.

Fortunately, I felt great when she called, so I was able to assuage some of their fears. But she told me that they plan to pamper me this weekend. I’m supposed to sit still and not lift a finger. Trouble is, we’re going there to pamper them! I hope I can sneak something in here and there. At least I can hold babies even if I’m attached to the couch.

C called a couple months ago and asked if I was up to talking. When I said no, she said, “Well, we can talk later, but I wanted to let you know that we adopted twins.” That was it. She wouldn’t tell me anything else because she didn’t want to keep me on the phone.

I feel so cared for, but have to remember that the world doesn’t revolve around me, even when I have an entrenched migraine. I’m embarrassed to say that I often feel like it does. I get so deep in my hole that I forget to look around. Then again, sometimes I try so hard to take care of other people that I don’t let myself hide out when I need to.

Does my life come down to seeking the ever-elusive happy medium and trying to minimize my guilt? If so, is it a product of my illness or a fundamental characteristic?

6 thoughts on “Friends, Balance, Guilt”

  1. I’m days late on this as I’m crawling out of a four day migraine and just finding your blog for the first time. I’ve got the migraines and I’m bipolar (no, I don’t live in Mom’s basement … happily married and Mom of 2) and I frequently feel like it must really be hard to be my friend. I have a sense that my friends must think I have a myopic view of the world, at least 1/2 the time. When I get into a dark or even manic hole, or down with a 3-5 day migraine, I’m lucky to recognize my kids. And yet I have these amazing people around me who hang in there, year after year, and keep coming back for more. When I am well, I do all that I can for them and hope that it balances the karmic scale in some small way. It is hard to be my friend … hard to be the friend of someone who lives in chronic pain, be it physical, psychic or both. But we do it for each other and other people do it for us. Such is the power of the human spirit. At least that’s the view from where I sit today.

  2. Your final question is a really provocative one. How do you, if you do, draw a line between your illness and your self? And if you do, what does that differentiation offer you? I often think that my illness has drawn me to places and people that I would never have discovered otherwise – and has made me bigger more than it has made me smaller. However, if I could have chosen another way, I’d have done so, in a second. In fact, I just wrote a post on this topic:

  3. I have a ps too.
    Mostly it is to ditto both Vicki’s first comment and especially her ps comment too.
    How does it feel to know that some of us people out here look to your website most everyday, to just feel someone’s else’s life that is somewhat like ours. And maybe learn something new that my help us on our path to heal ourselves.
    No pressure really :-). We count on you.
    I can never post thank you enough.
    God bless.

  4. P.S. Have I mentioned recently how much I appreciate (and, at times, cling to) your website? Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  5. I think it’s both the illness and being a human being. No one I’ve met, even the most spiritual folks, can maintain a perfect balance. It’s always some form of that balance that seems to be the human struggle. We have a basic need to protect ourselves…survive. I think it’s no accident that migraines tend to occur in people who are very sensitive, which includes sensitivity to others’ needs. I know I keep trying to remember to take care of myself first. If someone around me has a need and I think I can offer something, I try to help. I have to keep reminding myself that I can’t give what I don’t have. And often I don’t have enough stamina to meet my most basic needs.

    So, I guess, I don’t believe it is any kind of lack of character or selfishness. I think we’ve pretty much always been very giving people, and it’s hard to let other people give to us.


  6. Whoa, not to be silly but this is really deep for me.
    It touches on the essence of what I dwell on every moment of my life right now.
    I don’t have answers to those questions, I just keep asking them…
    You are definitely not alone, maybe that means there are more of us.
    It helps to know I am not totally crazy.
    I wish I had answers to share with you.

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