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Loss of Relationships

Relationships join two together. Examples; Marriage, long term love relationships, romantic friendships, friendships, companionships, aquaintanceships, parental and sibling relationships, humans and pets, etc.

Three main types of friendships-

1. We are interested more in the person then in the activities we do together.

2. The activities we do together is more important than the person.

3. Acquaintanceship's - are a no obligations or a no commitment type of friendship. It is superficial. "How are you today?" "Fine".... And we may have a light conversation or just throw them a smile as we past by. 

Relationships enrich our lives, yet relationships come and go from our lives...  most especially companions and acquaintances as they naturally tend to fade away as our interests or their interests change. 

 
Formation of a relationship:

A relationship is formed by two people "negotiating" how they will be together. They join together to fill a need(s) in each other. 

Example: I like to play ball therefore I make friends with the people on the ball team and we have BBQ's, ice cream and coffee's together. They need me and I need them to make fun and a ball team. 

The breaking of a relationship:

The relationship breaks when I, or the other, breaks it and moves on, for whatever reason.

 
Example: Activity friends do common interest activities together; such as sports, sexual exercise, eating out, spectator companions, job, volunteer work, sitting and chatting together, etc....  But, if one chooses to no longer do this particular activity (what was uniting them to form a relationship by filling a need in each other) now becomes broken. 
-The original need no longer needs to be filled by the one who breaks the relationship. 
-Or, one can no longer fill the original need of the other and the relationship breaks.
 
Re-negotiating a changed relationship:

When we became infected, with Lyme and CoInfections, we were the ones who automatically renegotiated all our relationships. The other party may have tried to salvage the relationship: 

1. By meeting me where I was at ... trying to be like the slow fatigued, brain fogged person I had turned into. 

2. Or, by trying to force me back into the healthy active person I was prior becoming ill. 

3. Or, they didn't try anything or failed at what they tried ... so they left to find another friend just like the pre-Lymed  me.

 
Broken relationships hurt
Most all broken relationships hurt, even when we choose to break it, even when we have outgrown it, even when we know it is best for us or the other, even when we were the one renegotiating the relationship because we became chronically ill.

We feel abandoned, rejected, lonely, sad ... Loss of something or someone important to us does that.

In our case, getting a disease was not our choice... and so we are feeling powerless.

Renogtiating our relationships certainly was not something we had planned to do, and yet, here we were renegotiating most all our relationships at a time when we felt powerless, were a victim of disease, and sick to boot! We could not even renegotiate by changing back into our frisky former selves, even if we had tried.

And so, we experienced loss of friendships and we went through the stages of grief for each of these losses. Yet, some of us were so busy trying to survive that we never grieved each of our losses. Now some of us are trapped in one of the stages of grief; anger, bargaining, or depression. 
Examples; Very much angry and blaming former friend for leaving me. Bargaining- Once I get well again we'll resume our friendship from where we left off. If she, or he, had been kinder, had loved me..if,  if.  Depression - Feeling sad that I've been abandoned, feeling lonely and not doing anything to fill this void, because I am still clinging to the person long gone and to the illusion that the relationship will resume.  Sometime's it hurts so much to let go of a broken relationship, that we create a fantasy so we never need to let go or grieve our loss.

Losing a relationship that was dear to us always hurts.

 
Here are some questions you might want to answer to help you through your grief process for every friend you have lost during this disease.

- Since you have had Lyme disease, what types of friends have you lost? 
(Acquaintances, work friends, social friends, romantic friends, spouse, activity friends, lifeline friends, family, etc.)

- Name each.
 

- Who renegotiated the relationship? Was it you or the other person? 
 

- Who could no longer fill the other's need? (What had been the glue of the friendship/relationship when you first started the relationship?)
 

- Could you have done anything different in the renegotiations at that moment in time?

- What do you most miss of each of your "friend(s)" you have lost?
 

- Did you do the best you could with the health you had at that moment in time?
 

- Have you come to acceptance of the loss of each of your friends on the list you made?

 
Can you accept it was you who changed your relationships with friends, partners, family... Not them. They have gone on to continue doing what they were doing before disease placed burden upon you by lack of energy, lack of finances, lack of concentration, etc., etc., etc.. 

When you accept this to be so... then, and only then can you set yourself free to grieve your friendship losses. Once you do,  you will clear the way to look forward rather then looking back, hanging on to something that is broken and gone. You will now be open to form new relationships.. new acquaintances, new activity friends, and new lifeline/personal friends to enrich your life once again. It may even be with someone who moved on out of your life. If you have grieved the loss of this friendship then there will be no resentfulmess when you reform that former friendship..but if you are resentful this will remain and color everything you say or do with this friend.

Shock....Denial....Bargaining.....Anger.... Depression.... Acceptance 
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