Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When a Facebook 'like' is all your health can manage.

(Dear blog readers - I could have written this as just a Facebook post. But I wanted it to be a) easily found for future reference and b) even if you aren't one of my friends, maybe you have a chronically ill friend and reading this will let you know how much a single 'like' from them on Facebook might really mean.)

Hi Friends, it's me, Elizabeth.

Right now, for most of us, our relationship consists mostly of us "liking" each other's stuff on Facebook. I wanted to tell you that often when I'm liking your stuff, what I really want to do is write you a message, find out everything that is going on in your life, and make plans to meet for coffee.

But my health is so bad, both physically and emotionally, that even a Facebook conversation is stressful right now. I literally have one non-family non-medical person that I keep any sort of regular communication with, and there are a lot of circumstances behind that.

I feel like a bad friend. I have to remind myself that if you care about me, then you understand and you'll be waiting for me at the other end of this tunnel. You'll know that I have so little to give right now and you won't forget me or think that I don't care about you.

Facebook is something I can choose to browse when I am feeling up to it. I don't have to wait for responses, which may come at times I can't respond. I don't have to expend mental energy composing thoughts, or sharing the same depressing health news over and over. I can smile at your children's cuteness, rejoice in your graduations/engagements/etc, laugh at your jokes and follow links to your shared articles of mutual interest. I can see what your new house looks like, even though I may not be able to visit for a long time. I can hear your perspective on books or movies or tv shows. I can lift up a prayer when you ask for it (and sometimes when you don't). In other words, I can be there in the little moments I have. It's not the way I want to always be there, but it is the only way I have for now and I appreciate the chance.

Friends, I miss you. Thanks for waiting. I look forwards to the day when we can catch up in person again.

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