Dear Friend, Psoriatic Arthritis Changed Who I Am

To my dear friend, I'm sorry if our friendship changed when I received my diagnosis or when my arthritis became more severe...

Chronic pain takes a toll on every aspect of my life, especially my relationships. Getting through the day and doing the bare necessities is a challenge. I'm finding it difficult to get out and be social. Brain fog can even make it difficult to carry a conversation or process my emotions.

I'm sorry, I'm not a fun friend anymore

I'm not a spontaneous, energetic friend who is always up for an adventure. And I'm less outgoing than I once was. But even though I'm not those things anymore, I'm still your friend. But now, I'm...

A listening friend...

I admit that I'm an awful texter: sometimes, I'm not feeling up to checking my phone. Or the brain fog makes me forget to respond. But if you need me to support you, you better believe I'll pick up the phone. I  know the most powerful gift is a listening ear.

An empathetic friend...

I'm going through a lot, and I know you are too. I might not always know the right thing to say, and that's okay. And won't pretend to know what's going on and will try to refrain from giving advice. Hard times can be isolating, and I want you to know you have someone here who will try to understand and support you regardless.

A responsible friend...

While I wouldn't say I'm a killjoy, I know I have boundaries that are a little stricter than most to preserve my spoons. My body imposed a strict curfew for me. While I am okay with pushing myself for special occasions like birthdays, I need to put my health first most of the time. At least you'll be home in time to catch your stories!

A Mary Poppins Carpet Bag friend...

Ibuprofen? Band-aids? Moleskin? You know I've got it all in my purse. I have to be ready for anything my disease sends my way, be it a flare-out of nowhere or just blisters from swollen feet rubbing the wrong way on my shoes. And if I don't have something you need in my bag, I probably have a coupon for it on my CVS app.

A friend with a plan...

I hope you don't mind, but I need to plan my outings. Not down to the moment, but just enough to know where the benches or a rest area is. I might even suggest we have a lunch or coffee break in the middle of our outing, so I know I can have a short rest.

A low-maintenance friend...

My mum always said true friends can go weeks or months between visits or phone calls but pick back up as if no time has passed at all. I'm the friend who understands life happens and is happy to pick up when you're ready, and hopes you would do the same for me.

And always a friend who loves you...

There are times when I might get very quiet, like when I'm in a flare. I'm going through a lot, but I'm still your friend. I still cherish our friendship, even if it's changed a bit - or a lot. I know that this is very hard on you. But I want you to know that I appreciate all you do to accommodate me, and I hope you know I'm trying my best to be the best friend I can be.

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