One of the most frustrating thing with chronic illness is making plans. For me, I know I need to make plans or else I will never leave my room but I also know there’s a good chance those plans will have to be modified or cancelled.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not because I don’t want to hang out or go out, it’s because I physically or mentally CAN’T.
I can’t get myself out of bed, I can’t get dressed, I can’t leave the house….whatever it may be my body and brain simply CAN’T.
It’s not a matter of you persuading me to stick to the plan. Believe me, I would rather stick to the plans we made then deal with the unexpected body pains, nausea, panic attacks, insomnia, etc. It’s a matter of you understanding that being a friend to me (someone with chronic illnesses and pain) is difficult. Just imagine how hard it is to be the one living with the illnesses and pain.
Having chronic illnesses and pain have made me well aware of my body. I am more in-tune with my body and brain than most people. I know when to push myself, I know what I can fight through, I know when to take my extra medications, I know when to shut myself off from the world for a day or two. I know this because I was forced to learn it. If I didn’t learn how to listen to my own body and brain, I would be suffering waaayyy more than I am now. Therefore I have adapted to the pain and illnesses in order to keep living life as best as I can.
That being said, don’t leave all the planning up to me. I know when to say, “no,” because it will be too much. I know what I can and can’t do. I know how to stand up for myself.
Also leaving the planning on me means that’s another thing I have to deal with on a daily basis. I’m sorry, but it’s too much! I can’t handle always making the plans. Having to make all the plans AND go through with them, that is impossible.
I want you to know I am trying my hardest and I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings when I change or cancel plans. (And although you may not understand it, I have thought out and made good reason for every decision I make!)
So when I tell you, “I’m sorry, I can’t,” please know I truly am sorry and that I truly can’t.
I wish I didn’t always have to cancel plans and mess things up. I wish I could see you and hang out with you. I wish my body and brain would be with me, not against me. I wish I didn’t need to take my extra meds and sleep the whole day.
Unfortunately that’s how it is for me though, not only am I fighting to spend time with you, I am fighting against my own brain and body.
“I’m sorry, I can’t.”