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  • Struggling to Keep up with Friends

    Posted by brianna-albers on December 31, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Hi everyone! I had friends visiting a few weekends ago, and it was really hard to be around them sometimes, largely because I felt like I had to keep up. I struggle a lot with fatigue and, lately, chronic pain, which has really affected my energy levels. If we’re just hanging out, I can usually hold my own, but it gets difficult when we’re out and about.

    My therapist has challenged me to communicate my needs to my friends. She often tells me they wouldn’t hang out with me if they were bothered by what I can’t do, but I still struggle with telling them outright. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m embarrassed about it—for the most part, I’ve accepted my limits. I think I just feel guilty for holding people back. In a very real way, I’d rather be left behind so I don’t have to feel like people are “settling” by spending time with me.

    Have you talked with your friends about what you can do realistically? If so, was it a difficult conversation to have? If not, how have you dealt with not being able to do all the things your friends can? Let us know in the comments below!

    deann-r replied 5 years, 1 month ago 6 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • kevin-schaefer

    Member
    January 1, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    I can relate to this in terms of fatigue. There are times when I really prefer not to go out, and would rather just chill with my friends at my house and order take-out. These times are rare, because I enjoy going out. But I have close friends who are understanding when stuff like this happens, and a lot of my friends are more than willing to help me out with my daily needs.

    I agree with your therapist in that your friends seem really understanding. If you just keep communicating with them, they’ll understand if you need a break or need to slow down. But I hear you.

    • brianna-albers

      Member
      January 4, 2019 at 2:15 pm

      I’ve definitely gotten better at communicating my needs. Some of my friends even go so far as to predict what might or might not work for me – I reconnected with an old friend from college and was pleasantly surprised when she asked what would work best for me in terms of hanging out. It was such a small thing, but it went a long way.

  • ryan-berhar-2

    Member
    January 2, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    The friends I typically hangout with are extremely close, long-time friends/family members. They even help take care of me, so they have intimate knowledge about my limitations. It’s much different, however, hanging out with newer friends who don’t have that knowledge. I could also see this being problematic with a larger group. In fact, I do go through it with family get togethers. For example, everyone will go hiking or sledding or what not. It’s tough being left out of those activities, and if they do something else to include me, then I feel bad for ruining the fun. That’s why I prefer spending quality time with a close friend or two, rather than some huge get together where I’ll just get left out.

    • brianna-albers

      Member
      January 4, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      I also feel bad for ruining the fun! A few years ago, I went to the Renaissance Festival with a few friends and had to bow out (gracelessly) because I just couldn’t handle the terrain. I felt awful and was anxious about it for quite a while, even though I’ve known these friends for years.

      • deann-r

        Member
        January 4, 2019 at 5:58 pm

        Good to know about the Renaissance Festival. I’ve debated going, but always hesitant.

  • deann-r

    Member
    January 2, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    I don’t know if I’ve ever actually brought up the topic. Usually if I know it’s something I’ll struggle with I usually just opt out.

    • brianna-albers

      Member
      January 4, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      Same here! It’s hard to bring up because it feels like an admission of abnormality on my part.

  • halsey-blocher

    Member
    January 2, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    I understand not wanting to hold them back, but I’m sure they aren’t the least bit bothered by your needs. I’m sure it’s much more important to them that you are healthy and comfortable. I’ve never liked having to tell people that I can’t do something with them, but they’ve always been very understanding and accepting.

    • brianna-albers

      Member
      January 4, 2019 at 2:19 pm

      Thank you for saying this! Sometimes you just need people in the same boat as you to set you straight. I appreciate it 😊

  • adnan-hafizovic

    Member
    January 3, 2019 at 10:00 am

    We have same thoughts about these topic.We usually don’t want to bother our friends,maybe because we always unintentionally think that we are lower human beings.But in fact we must be sincere with all friends,if we can’t lift something,we should not be ashamed to tell them to help us and most of them will help us.

    • brianna-albers

      Member
      January 4, 2019 at 2:21 pm

      That’s a huge part of it for me. Logically, I know that my friends would never look down on me because I’m disabled, but it’s hard to feel and live out that knowledge.

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