When you’re allergic to crying and broken friendships

“You’ll lose many of your friends,” other spoonies warned.

“NO, I was a Girl Scout!” I insisted.

You know the camp song? “Make new friends, but keep the old ones; one is silver and the other’s gold…”

But the spoonies were right. One is silver and the other’s gold, until you earn the Chronic Illness Badge. Suddenly, no one wants to be your playdate.

The first few times you just feel let down. Months pass, and you wondering why you’re still crawling through hell alone. And why won’t anyone bring you a rotisserie chicken? So you tell them how you feel, because they are your friends. But instead of receiving the companionship you deserve, they offer excuses that further insult your struggle.

This results in a lot of crying. Which is especially problematic if you are allergic to your own tears. Yes, my tears burn and blister my skin. I have to wear skin protectant around my eyes just to tolerate every day eye watering. I tell myself the rash below my brow is a sassy ombre eyeshadow.

So now I understand why friendships rarely withstand chronic illness. Because you can’t cry anymore. Because your energy is limited and your survival is more important than any friend who is unwilling to accommodate a life you didn’t sign up for. Because there are spoonies everywhere that will soothe your loneliness with memes and animal videos.

In sum, some friends are gold, and others are silver (the spoonies, obviously), but others are plutonium and you better bury those friendships before you have no skin left on your face.

P.S. I truly did not anticipate this Girl Scout metaphor. This post may possibly be the result of misplaced anger about my allergy to Girl Scout cookies.

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