What I Want You to Know When I’m Canceling Plans
Last updated: August 2023
Usually, chronically ill people struggle in making long-term commitments. This even includes or setting up appointments and making plans to catch up with friends. The reason behind it can spring from either a major flare-up, low energy, or maybe simply and painfully, having a bad day.
The impact of canceling plans
After a few years of dealing with chronic illness, I still feel guilty when I have to cancel plans with friends and family. In this article, I’d like to share what usually goes through my mind when I have to ditch my loved ones because I’m not feeling well.
I’m sorry. I didn't mean to bail on you
I know, I know. I said I was going to come. I know you asked me again a week before. I know I said yes again last night. I’m sorry I can’t show up today. I didn’t mean to. The truth is I really wanted to see you, but my body is holding me back.
The unpredictability of chronic illness
When I told you that it wasn’t my intention not to show up, I want you to know how I badly meant it. You see, one of the most difficult things in living a life with chronic illness is that you wake up not knowing what’s going to happen, not knowing what you’re going to feel, not knowing if it’s going to be a great day or not.
You might feel fine the night before, you might even be able to take a jog in the morning, but that doesn’t mean you’d feel fine the entire day. Sometimes, our pain levels differ throughout the day, and this is beyond our control.
If I said yes today, I would pay for it tomorrow
What I want you to understand is that I have to reserve my energy. I'm not saying that you're not important, or that you're no longer a priority. But if I push myself to go out today, I'd definitely pay for it tomorrow. I know my body, and I'm trying my best to respect its limits.
If going out means I'd be having a painful day after, or that I won’t be able to get up the next morning, then I’d just say no to save myself from further pain.
I still want to feel included
I want you to know that even if I rarely see you, it would be nice to still feel included. It would feel nice to be invited even if I can’t always say yes. Please still consider seeing me even if I always bail out on you at the last minute.
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