I realize this post will not win me any friends but this needs to be said. I have hesitated putting this into words for a while but at the end of the day, those who stop talking to me after today are probably doing a crappy job of it to begin with.
Being diagnosed with cancer has made me realize how many truly great people there are out there–both people I’ve always considered friends and others who’ve come out of the woodwork to support us. I’ve been amazed by friends who flew across the country to visit; family members who’ve cooked for me and cleaned my house when I was unable to do so; co-workers who’ve covered for me while I recovered from chemo; and the list goes on. At the same time, this diagnosis has made me realize that some people may have only been there for the “party”, to share the good times and disappear once the going got rough.
I know that not everyone is comfortable being around me these days. You don’t know what to say or what to do; I no longer fit into your social plans because I can’t drink and I don’t feel like partying, etc. And God forbid my illness places some bad vibes over your own life (yes, that has actually been said to me). I know all these things. I have lost contact with some people I’ve considered to be friends since my diagnosis and I’ve come to terms with it. I have my husband and my family and the few friends that have stood the test of time and hardship and that’s more than enough.
What I can’t come to terms with are people who continue to half-ass reach out just to feel better about themselves, to feel like they’ve done their good deed for the week or the month. Let me be clear–I am not nor do I wish to be your charity project. Don’t ask me to get together, have me spend my energy making suggestions on what we can do and then disappear. That’s NOT reaching out. Don’t make plans with me and then make up some excuse to cancel when in reality you’d made other plans. I have Facebook. I see the photos too. And that’s NOT reaching out. Don’t tell me you want to stop by if you have no intention to do so. That’s NOT reaching out. Don’t offer to help and then bail when I actually ask for help. That’s NOT reaching out.
I’m happy to forgive and forget and start fresh but if you plan on doing any of the things above – or anything else along these lines – don’t bother. It’s not helping anyone – except you – feel better. And I have better things to do than make plans that will never materialize, answer meaningless text messages, or wait around for you to show up.
P.S. Please don’t ask me if this post is about you. It’s probably not. The fortunate reality is that this post applies to a very small handful of people. But if it does make you wonder, just start fresh…or move on. I have said what I need to say and I won’t hold grudges either way.
P.P.S. If you didn’t get the title of this post, it refers to the song “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber. Yes, I like Justin Bieber.