I Always Feel Left Out

Inspired by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

Prompt 3.)  Describe a time when you felt left out.

When you suffer from chronic illness and pain, there are a lot of celebrations that either you can no longer attend, or, if you force yourself to, you will regret it, be miserable at the event, and maybe need up to a few days to recover to where you were before, which for me is “my usual level of crap”.

I am not left out by my family and friends who have chosen to believe that my illnesses are real and serious.  I am still invited to baby showers, weddings or birthday parties, but I choose to leave myself out because I just don’t feel well enough to attend.

A friend whom I have known since high school is having a 40th birthday party in a couple of weeks, starting at 6:30 at night.  A very reasonable hour, but if I don’t get a good nap, which is often the case, I usually go to bed between 8 and 9:00.  Going to the party would mean having to shower, dress up, do my hair and make-up, and accessorize. I would be exhausted before I even got there!

Do I have to do those things?  I guess I don’t and people would understand, but I would feel like a total schlub.  People who know me would know why I might look like that but the rest might think, “Emily used to be so attractive, what happened to her?”  Perhaps instead of a name-tag I could wear a tag saying, “I look like crap because I have Lupus, Chronic Fatigue…”, the name tag would take up a large part of my chest.

And so I mostly say no to invites.  I would just rather be home and comfortable rather than suffer the consequences.  The only things I do try to do is to take my son to birthday parties, play dates, a museum or zoo; or, once a summer, a trip to the beach or an amusement park. Those trips devastate me but I want my son to have some sort of a normal life.

If you are a person with chronic illness, you are nodding that you understand and probably are turning down a lot of invites yourself.

If you are a person who knows someone with chronic illness, I would ask that you do keep inviting them to your events.  Even though we might say no, being asked does make us feel like we are still in the loop of life.  Please don’t be angry if we have said yes and need to cancel at the last minute. And who knows, we might surprise you and actually show up!

RSVP by Wedding Paper Divas.

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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.
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11 Responses to I Always Feel Left Out

  1. Mariposa says:

    I can only imagine what living with a chronic illness would be like and how it makes you feel left out a lot. I appreciate your honest post. Blessings!

  2. Shannon says:

    Just checking out your blog from Mama Kat’s. I enjoyed reading this post a lot.

    I think it’s wonderful that you try to take your son to events even though it’s painful for you. Sounds like you are a really good mom. 🙂

  3. Sarafree says:

    Well said and something I need to consider and remember to do: include those who may not be at tip top health. It is nice to feel included, even if you have to say no.

  4. Ada says:

    Very nicely stated and a great reminder! I’m so sorry you have to miss so many events but glad people are considerate enough to keep you in the oop.

  5. Shannon says:

    I did write for Mama Kat’s this week if you want to take a look:


  6. Pam says:

    Of course I wrote on this particular prompt this week as well. Sadly, I suspect all of us with chronic illnesses probably wrote about this one as well. I hate this for all of us.

    Here is my post on it http://thejourneyleadshome.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/alone-and-left-out/



  7. KLo says:

    I was a “nodder” while reading this. I suffer from chronic pancreatitis, which means that my diet is rather limited, and, since most get-togethers are based around food …

    My options are basically to
    a) Not attend an event
    b) Attend the event but offend someone or make them feel uncomfortable because I’m not eating
    c) Attend the event, eat out of politeness, and end up in horrible physical agony for an extended period.

    I’d never thought about this quite that way before …

  8. Mrs4444 says:

    Good points. The next time we have a get-together, I’ll try to think of someone we might be leaving out because of past refusals…

  9. Michelle says:

    That is definitely hard – I hadn’t even though about the implications of dressing up and the like. We have friends who can’t make events sometimes for various reasons, but we do keep inviting them beause we want them to know we care. It would be nice for you to have people bring a “party” to you periodically, I suppose. Low key of course 😉

  10. Aviva says:

    Nodding along with you, and hoping the temporarily healthy will pick up on your last paragraph.Chronic illness is so isolating by itself, it’s a double whammy when our friends slowly drift away because even though we still have shared interests, our illnesses keep us from participating the way we’d like.

  11. Selena says:

    This is so true! Thanks for saying this.

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