Living a life that goes beyond having lupus control your life means choosing your relationships carefully.
You do not have the energy to expend on people who do not enrich your life.
I am not saying that one should be cruel, but, living with lupus means setting very clear boundaries in regards to whom you allow into your life.
Listed below are the 5 best types of friendship qualities that draw a path towards well being.
Going through a health crisis teaches you who your true friends really are.
There are painful lessons, because those whom you trusted to be with you through your life may abandon you.
Some people "nice" you out of their lives. They are polite, but the warmth no longer is there.
Some people stop contacting you because you are no longer of use to them. You can no longer volunteer for this, you can not promise to show up for that. They don't comprehend and don't want to bother to try.
Some people simply vanish. They don't know how to cope with illness, and they certainly do not know how to cope with you trying to cope with the illness.
Once in awhile you may actually be gifted with the blunt truth, "I'm sorry, but, I can't deal with you having lupus." (I actually had someone say that to me and end the friendship.) Well... that one hurt big time, but at least I knew the reason for the relationship ending.
Loyalty is a person's ability to make a commitment.
When you live with a chronic illness, you may want to consider looking towards people who can maintain a lasting friendship.
Observe how a potential friend treats other relationships in her life. Does she gossip? Does she create "drama"? Does she enjoy the game of "frienemies"; being best friends with a woman one day, fighting the next and back to besties a week later?
You do not need that energy.
Find people who are willing to stay in friendships, this will serve you best in the long run because you will have a friendship that may stick with you when you need friendship the most.
I am not talking about college degrees and book smarts.
Find people who are intellectually curious. More often than not, they are terrific conversationalists.
They are the friendships that can take your mind away from your daily woes with the art of bringing new knowledge to you.
Intelligence also means having the ability to be really good at something. There are people who are emotionally intelligent or socially intelligent. There are those who have intelligence about certain hobbies or skills.
One of my favorite telephone friends has the wonderful intelligence of simplicity. She is an uncomplicated soul who always brings me back to a deeper appreciation of what is already present in my life.
And in turn, find the friends who share the same intelligence that you hold. This type of friendship will give you the joy of sharing and appreciating your gifts together.
Compassionate people have the ability and willingness to love saints and sinners equally.
You don't have to have lupus to need a compassionate friend. They are rare and truly a blessing if you ever find one.
You will know you have a compassionate friend when the only thing you ever need to be when you are with her...
is to simply be yourself.
Life needs its eccentrics and so do you. You may not have the most intimate of friendships with your interesting friends, but they have the talent to make you completely lose yourself and forget your troubles. The interesting friends are the ones who challenge you to let loose you inner weirdness and who allow you to live vicariously through their own adventures.
Interesting friends add the spice to life.
Make sure that your friends come from a cross section of ages. Older friends bring you the wisdom of their own life experiences. And having friendships with older people with lupus gives you the opportunity to meet your own challenges. By learning from those elder than you, you will learn to not only survive, but to triumph.
Have friends who are also younger than you. They will keep you young, but the greater benefit is that younger friendships create an opportunity for you to give back. Befriend younger lupus patients and mentor them if you are able.
The best way to live beyond lupus is to take the lessons you have received and to share those lessons with the next generation.
One of the best things to occur once you regain your footing after diagnosis is to realize that you have friends in places you never realized. You will also learn that you have the potential to make lasting friendships with people you never would have met if not for the lupus.