We fall into the negative and groundless trap of saying we make terrible friends because of our illnesses. We say we’re not dateable. We post this nonsense on social media and we say it out loud. So, of course, it manifests.
I’m over it. I’m tired of apologizing for my illness. I’m tired of avoiding romance just because certain people (who weren’t worth it anyway) had issues with my illness.
The truth is, fibromyalgia actually makes us pretty awesome. We are indeed great friends, not in spite of our illness but actually because of it. And just like everyone else, we deserve to be loved and we are totally worthy. Let’s be frank: I’m a catch!
Why? Well, here are 16 reasons.
1. We’re easy to please.
Life can be tough. There are a lot of things that most people find easy to do for themselves that we might find quite difficult some days. So, if you do something as simple as bringing us chicken nuggets or washing our dishes, it’s a huge deal.
2. We can do cozy days like a boss.
Do you want to avoid those chores and that to-do list, to just take a day off and do nothing whatsoever? Hang out with your fibro pal! We have these days often, and while it’s not by choice, we’ve learned to make great choices within these days, like finding the snuggliest blanket and the most binge-able new TV series. We got skills!
3. We’re your reason to bail early.
Not feeling up to three more hours at the museum? Like the party but don’t love it? Well, lucky for you, you’ve got your fibro pal with you, and we feel the same! Let’s get out of there, and feel free to say you have to go because your friend has a chronic illness. That actually spreads awareness. Win-win.
4. We have genius self-care ideas.
Self-care is our thing, man. We’ve got so much icky stuff happening to our bodies that we’re always looking for ways to feel less icky, whether physically or mentally. So, we’re experts at aromatherapy lotions, herbal teas and knowing how to joyfully spend an entire evening playing with Legos.
5. We don’t judge.
Fibromyalgia comes with a lot of stigma: the condition itself, some of our treatment choices, even our actions because of how we’re feeling. We totally know what it’s like to be judged, and it’s the last thing we’re going to do to you.
6. We don’t doubt.
People have a hard time believing what they can’t see and what they’ve never experienced, which piles a lot of undeserved doubt on people with fibromyalgia. Whatever you’re going through, don’t worry. All you have to do is tell us and we’ll believe you. We get it.
7. We’re great listeners.
Because of numbers five and six above, and also because sometimes we’re too tired or brain foggy to carry on conversation, so you go right on ahead and take the floor! Please!
8. You know how much you matter.
We tend to be less social than people without fibromyalgia. We’re tired a lot, and we often don’t want to sacrifice two days for one day of fun (the exertion requires recovery time or may trigger a flare). So if we’re actually hanging out with you, know that you made our shortlist of people we make time and risk a flare for.
9. You can dress down.
We’ve got enough discomfort in our lives. We’re not going to add to that with coarse or pinching clothes. For many of us, clothing can be very painful. So don’t dress up. We sure as heck aren’t going to.
10. Flexibility is our language.
We like you to be flexible with us. Because we usually can’t predict when our good days or when our bad days are going to be, we often have to cancel, move plans or amend plans to something a little more low-key. If we expect you to be flexible, it’s only fair that we be flexible, too. If we choose dinner and a movie as the activity because that’s all we can handle, we’ll let you choose the where and the what. And if you ever have to cancel or change plans, we’re totally cool with it. We get it better than anyone.
11. We’re great at spontaneity.
Because it’s hard for us to make plans knowing we might not keep them, we’ve learned to be spontaneous. When we’re having our best days and you invite us out for coffee, we’re so happy to be feeling good and have an opportunity to actually do something, we’ll be suited up in our comfy pants and out the door in a flash! Also, we’re quite likely to send you a text out of nowhere asking if you want to go on a mini-adventure. When we’re good, we’re great!
12. We are culinary masterminds.
For two reasons: First, we do a lot of research on nutrition and food, trying to find ways to feel better via our guts. This gives us unique knowledge and also unique creativity in coming up with delicious concoctions that align with dietary restrictions. Second, we’re often too tired to even mess with cooking, so we’re brilliant at getting something good onto a plate fast. It’s called an “emergency pizza.”
13. We’re super in touch with our emotions.
Plain and simple, we feel more. We feel more pain, and we feel our pain more. We feel more emotions, and we feel our emotions more. We are sweet, sensitive goo-balls.
14. We see good everywhere.
Fibro sucks. It affects all aspects of our lives. We live and thrive with it because we learn to accept the negative and look for the positive. We’re the people who celebrate just taking a shower because a shower is not an easy thing for us. So we celebrate all kinds of little things, and we are always on the lookout for those little things to celebrate. That’s a better life.
15. We are weather forecast experts.
I call it the “fibrocast.” You can go ahead and check your weather app, but then ask us what we think. The messages from our body weirdnesses are more accurate than Doppler.
16. We’re inspiring.
Look at all we do despite what we have! Now doesn’t that remind you of all you can do, too? So get out there and do it!