I have always been a pretty energetic person. Any one of my friends can tell you I get bored easily and crave variety. Before I got sick I packed the gaps in my busy schedule with social activities. I would rest when I needed to, but I would pick making memories with friends over sitting in bed watching Hulu any day.
Chronic illness has transformed my daily life in many ways, but its impact on my social life is something I could not have predicted. Dealing with physical pain, rising medical costs and fatigue on a daily basis is very taxing, but engaging in my social life despite all these things is an entirely different challenge.
As a young professional moving to another city and starting a new job, one of my priorities has been to make friends in my area. I have connected with some great people already, but it’s hard to invest the time needed to cultivate friendships when one has a very finite amount of stamina. While I used to be filled with boundless energy after a long day, now I basically crash on the couch as soon as I get home. Sometimes I don’t even have enough energy to make myself dinner, so driving 30+ minutes to hang out with friends is usually not possible for me.
Another strain that chronic illness has put on my social life is that I’m always cancelling plans. I hate feeling like I’m being a flake, but I now find...