The Consequences of Being Unreliable
There are a great many attributes that I admire in people: trustworthiness, loyalty, and honesty for example. Some of these are things that I’ve always strived to be and try my best to see in other people. But the one thing that I am no longer, because of psoriatic arthritis, is reliable. Because of the nature of the unpredictability of psoriatic arthritis, I am probably the most unreliable person I know, and I hate it.
I make plans and commitments with the best of intentions, only have to turn around days, weeks, or months later, and cancel them. I know that when someone asks me to do something, there will always be a voice in the back of their minds, reminding them that last time I canceled. Last time, I wasn’t feeling well and didn’t make it to the movie, to dinner, or to the party.
I’m not the same
Until psoriatic arthritis entered my life, I always thought of myself as that friend that would always be there. The one people could call, at any hour, and I would be there. Now, it feels like those days are long gone. Of course, my friends and family can still call me, at any hour, and I will do my best to be there, but because I’ve had to cancel so many times, it just isn’t the same. I’m not the same.
I feel a great deal of guilt because of this. I know in my heart that it isn’t technically my fault, and life is too short to carry that type of guilt with me. But that doesn’t make the feeling stop. It may not be rational, or right, but it is definitely there. Lingering in the back of my mind, the knowledge that I wasn’t able to be the person that I wanted to be.
Just don’t do anything at all
I even find myself not agreeing to do anything at all, fearing that when the time comes, I won’t feel well, then end up carrying the guilt of the canceled plans around with me. If I don’t commit to go in the first place, no one will be disappointed if I can’t go, right? For a while this seemed like a good idea, and perhaps the best solution. The reality, not so much.
What I wanted, or was it?
But it soon became clear that if you say no often enough, people eventually stop asking. Which honestly, I thought that was what I wanted. If no one asked me to commit to anything, then I wouldn’t let anyone down, and in turn, wouldn’t feel guilty. But all that really happened was that I felt more alone than ever.
Learn from me folks
I still struggle with the guilt of canceled plans. I hate that I’m not as reliable as I want to be. And I hope that it won’t be this way forever. But for now, I have to know that my friends and family, those that truly love and support me understand that this isn’t my choice. Being unreliable isn’t who I am in my heart. And while I would love to change it, for now, it is just a part of life with psoriatic arthritis.