Mary Schweitzer

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Friends and my CFS

My favorite friends don't ask. If I bring it up, we may talk about it, but we've already talked about the disease, and it's just a part of my life now. When we are together, we talk about other things.

Some days when I'm with friends I feel a little bit like you do when you're home with a baby all day long -- I don't know what to say! All I know now is this -- the disease, internet. But ... that's okay. The new me tends to space out anyway, so, I just space out, and we're just THERE. Which is nice. I just listen. Something I never used to do much. Now, I don't always understand what I'm listening to! But it doesn't matter.

I can't bear to go up to Villanova and see the people I used to work with, or see everybody active and going on with their lives in a way I can't. We kept my Villanova basketball tickets, but I don't go up for the games any more because I get depressed (I can't sit in my regular seats, but they were very accommodating, letting me sit in a folding chair with the wheelchair folks -- but it was physically uncomfortable, and I felt funny seeing students and not being a part of it all). I've asked my secretary just to give away the free books that show up, and send all the second class mail by UPS. They've always sent me my first class mail, but sometimes important things get mixed up with the second class stuff, so I want them to send all that. I used to have Bob take me up to get it, but I can't stand it. I cry. (Understand that it's hard enough to GET Bob to take me up to Villanova, which is an hour away, and of course I can't drive myself; I can't drive at all.)

But my chair and a colleague came to MY house and took me to a nearby restaurant for lunch, and that was nice. Outside of the Villanova environment, and THEY took the effort. I enjoyed that.

Seeing people from my old life gets very confusing.

The upshot is that most of my friends are here, on the 'net -- and that I think I actually have more friends now than I used to.

© Mary Schweitzer, 1997

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