Life with a disability and chronic pain in particular, makes running and keeping a social calendar extremely difficult, as you never know when pain will prevent you from doing things. Therefore, my quest to be organised and have important presents bought and wrapped and under the consol table, ( the nearest fit until there is a tree to put them under!), is in the hope that I can restrict the amount of times that I have to take a rain check/ bail out / or give my apologies for having to let down my friends and family in whatever activity we had planned as I will have hopefully paced myself adequately by starting Christmas preparations in mid-November..
Whichever of the above phrases you want to use- they all mean the same thing- that I am disappointed that I can not attend the event in question, as well as being devastated that I am living in a perpetual cycle of letting those around me down!
With my therapist/shrink/ counsellor lady, I am currently working on the art of pacing, in the hope that I will find that equilibrium of living, that will enable me to get the most from life, in order that I can give the most back.
Each time I let down my Mum, best friend, God daughter, brother, cousin, old colleague or aunt- it always feels like there's a knot tightening in my stomach. I HATE letting people down.
People are wonderful creatures and they have an amazing capacity for empathy and understanding, but I have been hurt incredibly once before by an extremely close friend of mine, who at one of my most poorly times, when I was attached to my bed by catheters, nebuliser tubes and a month old spinal surgery scar- stated that she felt our friendship was- '..a little one sided', at that point in time.
The sad thing was that at the time, all of my relationships were one sided.
I couldn't go and see people- as I was imprisoned in my bed;
I couldn't talk to people- as I was suffering with pneumonia and could barely breathe,
and I could barely confer or interact in any way with those at my bedside- as my morphine levels were crippling any cognitive function.
My marriage, family relations and friendships were all one sided at the time as that was all I could give and the last few years have seen at times only a little improvement on the described scene at my bedside.
Ever since this one simple sentence scarred itself upon my heart, I have feared a repeat episode of it from another friend every time that I have had to cancel an appointment with friends or family.