Beliefnet
Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Second close-up of pictureIf a flare or excessive pain makes it difficult to reach out to friends (or post on any of the social media sites), we can become distanced very quickly. Beyond the walls of our home, life goes on. And when we emerge from our flare, it might seem as if we’re getting to know our friends or coworkers all over again!

Rebooting relationships isn’t easy, especially with people who don’t know us really, really well (and care about us really, really well). Looking at the situation from their side, it’s hard to get used to the fits and starts of friendship with someone whose health doesn’t allow them to be consistent in communication or physical presence. Looking at it from our side, when we’re in the trenches fighting to get out of a flare, we have precious little energy for much else besides that health-centered battle.

The main way that I stay emotionally and spiritually sanguine about life with lupus during the really bad, isolating times is through faith. No matter what the health situation is, as long as I remain in conversation with God and ask for His comfort and support, I feel at peace. This helps me reconnect with good friends who I know will be there even after a long time of disconnect, and it helps me not worry about the more fragmented relationships that probably were not strong enough anyway. The ups and downs of lupus or any other chronic health condition are stark facts of life, and will not be something everyone will be able to handle.  But God’s love, presence, and strength are ever present and ever active.

In a tangible way, if it is possible during a flare to just touch base briefly with good friends and other loved ones, this can help make rebooting swifter. If it is doable, asking for a weekly update from work can help keep you at least superficially in touch.

But the real connection happens when you emerge, feeling a bit better and hopeful for a time when you can enjoy the company of loved ones again. There’s nothing like a very heartfelt, “I’ve missed you! I love you! I’m so happy to be back. What’s been going on in your life?” to reboot and refresh all those relationships that make life a journey of joy.

Blessings,

Maureen

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