Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Good News and the Bad News

Something has been eating and eating at me for a little over a week now.  But at the same time I've come to some conclusions about my life and the relationships therein.  Essentially, I have good news and bad news.  And they are definitely on each end of the good vs bad spectrum.  Which one would you like first?  The good or the bad?  Well, I really don't want to wait for a response, especially since who knows how many people actually read my posts.  I could be waiting a long time.  Hmmmm....

Let's end on a high note and start with the thing that's been eating and eating away at me.  It has, unfortunately, taken a lot out of me in fact.  I'm trying to not let it.  In fact, this blog is one of the ways that I get rid of stuff in my brain.  If something is eating away at me I can post it on here and get rid of it.  It's almost as if by writing it down I take it out of my brain and put it on "paper".

As I've discussed in recent posts, I had a fundraiser party a little over 3 weeks ago.  That was followed by 2 weeks of being very ill.  At the end of the 2 weeks I was in the hospital for 4 days and 3 nights.  I had a week to recuperate and catch up on work that needed to be done before the Energy for Life walk on Sept. 15th (a week after I was discharged from the hospital).  I have sent tons of emails about the walk, posted on my blog, posted on facebook, and discussed it in person over the course of the last 3 months.  In regards to being sick for a week and a half at home, I posted on facebook about that numerous times.  Then, when I went in to the hospital, I did the same thing.  There are people who want to be updated so I used FB to do so.

I have mentioned numerous times over the course of my illness how hard it is for me when I'm real sick and I don't hear from anyone.  My "real sick" is when I'm having a mito crash.  That's always at home and usually only lasts from 2-3 days... 4 at the most.  However, this last time I was sick, I was sick for 11 days before I was finally admitted to the hospital.  During those 11 days I got one phone call from ONE friend... and that was after 7 days of being miserable and barely able to move from my bed.

I always feel that it's better to have a handful of true friends than 50 friends who wouldn't be there for you when you need someone.  Well, I have a handful of friends who aren't there for me when I really need someone.

Last winter/spring I was feeling very alone.  I had had multiple mito crashes in a row over the course of a little over a month during which I hardly heard from anyone.  So I ended up exchanging a few emails and phone calls with that handful of friends regarding the fact that I was feeling very lonely and bothered that no one was reaching out to me.  I was told by a few people that I needed to reach out to them.  They said that they don't call when I'm sick because they don't want to "bother" me.  I explained that it would be nice to get an email, text, facebook message, anything from them just to let me know that they care and I'm in their thoughts.  At first I was upset that they wanted me to call them when I'm sick.  I thought that that's what friends do... they reach out to each other during difficult times. (like when I'm sick over and over again for over a month)  However, I took their advice and tried to reach out to them more often.  Well, that didn't work either.  So much for that.  At least for one friend, that is.  I reached out and reached out and reached out, but to no avail.

The 2 weeks I was really sick and in the hospital were really hard on me, physically (obviously) and emotionally.  This is what's been eating at me... I was thrilled that all of my friends (except one who had to work) were able to make it to the fundraiser party.  But my happiness ends there.  I haven't talked to a few of my friends since then.  When I say I haven't talked to them, I mean everything.  No replies to my status updates on facebook where I was keeping everyone updated on my condition (sick!).  No texts. No facebook messages.  No emails. No phone calls.  And, last but not least, definitely no visits in the hospital.

I just couldn't believe it.  Two full weeks of being sick and not one word from my "friends".  Not a single friend came to visit me in the hospital.  Not one.   No offers to help my husband and the girls while I was sick for a week and a half or during my hospital stay.  No phone calls to check on me once I got home.  (I'm only talking about friends here.  My family was a huge support for me while I was sick.)

Then there's the Energy for Life walk.  Everyone knows how important this event is to me.  If they haven't heard me say it one of the millions of times on facebook or via email, they should be able to figure it out considering the number of times I mention it to people and/or the number of emails I sent out over the course of the last 3 months.  This event was important to me last year.  This year it is 100 times more important since I am the chair planning the event.

However, only half of my handful of friends came to the walk and of those not all of them donated and/or raised money.  I never heard from the ones who didn't come as to why they couldn't come.  They were able to attend the fundraiser party and spend money there when they get something in return, but couldn't donate to the walk itself, volunteer for the walk, or come walk with us.

So, during the last 3 weeks I have spent 11 days really sick in bed, 4 days in the hospital, and one beautiful Saturday morning at the most important event I will attend all year.... and half of my friends were non-existent for all of it.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying they've never been there for me, because they have.  And from time to time I feel like I have friends that care.  However, within a period of one week I had my lowest (hopefully) and highest moments of the year.... being hospitalized for 4 days and watching the event I've been planning for months go off without a hitch while raising over $32,000 for research for a cure for Mitochondrial Disease.

And when that happens without the support of  my "friends"...
It hurts.  It breaks my heart.

I can't do it anymore.  I'm done.  I keep holding on with all of my might and I just can't keep doing it.  I'm not young and healthy anymore.  I can't and don't want to have friends who are just there for the good times and when it's convenient for them.  I need friends who are willing and able to understand me.

Other people may be able to have one or two good/true friends and a bunch of friends who are only there when you're in a good mood and ready to have fun.  I can't do that.  I don't go out very often, and when I do, I need some friends who will understand when I need to leave early or cancel at the last minute because I'm too sick.  I need friends who will comfort me when I'm so sick I have to be in the hospital.  I need friends who want to support my efforts to raise money for research for the disease that is changing my life more and more everyday.  I need a friend who will be here for me now, instead of wishing they were there for me while attending my funeral.

Now for more bad news....     it looks like you will have to wait until tomorrow for the good news as this is enough typing for me for the day.

A true friend is someone who is there for you when he'd rather be anywhere else. - Len Wein


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