We have all heard this phrase. Most of us have even used it, probably more than once in our lifetime, and never questioned the meaning. Do you know what it really means? I bet you don’t. Let me ask you a question…. what “water”? Some lake out there… the ocean… a river? Why water? It has to have a meaning for the expression to make any sense. It does.
Here is a detailed version for you:
The blood of a covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.
You don’t have to be a Christian for this to mean something. A covenant is a blood oath – a promise backed by your very life’s sustaining fluid. People are always misusing this expression to say that the familial bonds of blood relation are stronger and of greater import than any other. They’ve turned it completely backwards from it’s true meaning and in doing so, they have lost the entire concept. In truth, those relationships that we develop in life by choice that have blossomed out of circumstance are the ones that are powerful and lasting – more so than any DNA that binds you to your relatives. Start using it correctly, and consider the depth of it. It will mean so much more.
I say that to lead up to this…. All autoimmune patients, the chronically ill, those with catastrophic illnesses end up isolated at some point. I shared these thoughts recently, and it was like the shot heard round the world because so many people identified with my words and Shared them far and wide (which is great)…
“If you have someone that you consider a friend that is chronically ill… please don’t stop inviting them to things, including them in your life. No matter how many times they say, “I’m sorry. I can’t.”, learn to accept it without feeling rejected. It’s not a rejection. It’s these unpredictable factors. Even if we never end up able to say yes, your kindness and interest in having us in your life will be a love forever remembered. The broken heart of being deserted, left out, and abandoned for others is something time does not heal. Don’t add to the pain. Knowing someone is thinking about you, misses you, and wants you around is sometimes a monumental encouragement to get through the day. Believe me, we need it.”
I find myself especially frustrated with some venue acquaintances I have had for 19 years now. A rather large group of people that like to claim to be “family”, and talk about being there for each other. I am finding them a bit too fair-weather right now for that to be genuinely sincere, and it makes me very sad. When there is a cancer awareness, or an autism awareness trend going around, they all hop on that bandwagon and the posts are flying. I have been known to share those myself, by the way.. and support the causes that are important to my… friends. It seems nothing is reciprocal however, and my words are falling on deaf ears when it is a cause of import in my own life. I post… and post…. and post….. and there is mostly silence. No Like, no Share, no Comment. No concern. No questions. No acknowledgement. In the years that I have been sharing info with this particular group of.. acquaintances, I can count the number of interactions with them on the topic of Lupus on one hand. I note that there are also no invitations to anything coming my way anymore, and no messages asking how I am. I have news for everyone, that is not the definition of a friend. If anyone ever wonders why I have certain groups of people separated in my social media, this is it right here. Some days I would rather not see the people that do not hold me dear enough to check on me or say that they actually miss me. I don’t need to be reminded that I no longer matter in their world. I live with physical pain. I live with mental pain. I live with emotional pain. At times I simply prefer to step away from the sources that bring me more of it.
These are people that I believed to be the afore mentioned “blood”. Each day that I see their actions, their inaction, their lack of concern, tells me they do not deserve the title. My life has turned to such great goals now, and their support would mean the world to me. I am not a dreary, woe-is-me person to be around that has nothing but pain to talk about. It gets mentioned sometimes when necessary, and I do definitely share info when there is an awareness educational opportunity, but it isn’t the only thing in my life. None of them care, apparently. If they bothered to have a conversation with me, they would know about my video projects, and hikes, and events, but… I suppose it’s not interesting enough. The fact that I have recovered pieces of my life, and am actually doing things again isn’t important enough for a 1 minute pm in Facebook, or a text message to say hello. I’m not going to dwell on this, but I haven’t said anything and so I am saying it now. I don’t know if any of the culprits will ever see this, but right this moment I don’t see any point in putting it in front of them. It will be one more post that is ignored, so for what purpose? None. I just needed to say it somewhere.
Is it fair to expect those of us with autoimmune disease.. those of us with catastrophic illnesses… to ONLY have friends that have the same things?
Nobody but those of us living with it think about that. We watch friends, and even “family” fade out, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. They disappear, they avoid, they stop bothering. We’re not contagious. We’re just not fun enough anymore, as best as I can figure. Well, you know… when we get OLD we might not be as exciting as a 20something friend either, but guess what? We are all going to get OLD. When you are old, how do you want to be treated? I wonder. If Karma is real, there may be some very distressed people down the road somewhere. There is some food for thought to chew on. Autoimmune disease in many ways ages us faster than normal. We face things we should not have to 20 to 30 years before their natural time. Those of us that are ailing in this way like to have the same loved ones around that we did before, and we like having friends that aren’t being demolished by the same beast too. It gives us something positive, hopeful, bright, and energetic to look at. Having people around that aren’t in pain 24/7 lessens our own pain, believe it or not. The positive energy is palpable. It truly is. This is why I try to shine some light on my Facebook pages, and on my better days I turn it up even brighter. I know that it is helping others. I am grateful for my friends in the autoimmune community at large. I am glad that I can be a friend to some of them as well. We need some input, support, and involvement from the outside too though!
Yosemite and Half Dome will happen for me. So will Icehouse Canyon trail. So will Oahu. So will the Grand Canyon. So will a lot of other places. My video projects will come together, bit by bit. It’s going to take me longer than it would a healthy person. Longer to train. Longer to prepare. Longer to get it done. I will pay a heavier price than a healthy athletic individual along the way too. I have been having an introspective pause the last few days, wondering how many more of my “friends” from years past will show themselves to be disconnected and unconcerned. I also have to wonder how disconnected they will remain when they begin to see these things happening. I’ll call it right now, on May 13, 2014. Watch with me. Some will come back around and they will want to talk to me and claim a friendship with me THEN, when things are much more visibly improved. As bad as my memory problems are from this despicable disease, don’t think I won’t remember who was there and who was not while I spent my days struggling to recover and regain my strength for these goals. If you cannot stand by me while I weather this storm, don’t ask to stand by me when the sun comes out and act like you were a part of the realities when I needed you the most.
If you are my friend, you are here for it all.