Chronic illness and confidence

Hey all

Hope everyone is well.

I just wanted to bring something up that I don't see talked about that much. Just wondering really what everyone else feels about whether their lupus has knocked their confidence.

I am finding that it has. This time three years ago I was fit, healthy, had a good job where I was progressing, had what I thought was an amazing boyfriend and amazing friends, was just generally happy with everything.

Then when this illness came along everything changed. My boyfriend couldn't cope with it so I was left on my own to deal with possibly the worst time of my life, I lost one friend who I thought was one of my best friends and even though I know it isn't worth it, I still sometimes 'grieve' for this, she basically didn't want to know me when I couldn't do fun things, I had to leave my job, my office closed down anyway but because of my illness I have been doing a more mundane job ever since just to make ends meet.

I know this maybe isn't the place to talk about dating etc but I would love to meet someone special but I find it so hard. I put myself on a dating site but when people ask me questions like why the change in career etc etc or I just don't know what to say. I don't like telling people about my lupus because of what has happened in the past and I am terrified it will put people off me. I had met someone quite recently and opened up to him about it and i have to say since I have been open about it all he has gone rather quiet :(

Its not just in dating, I guess it just feels like everything at the moment and I don't know what to do to make myself feel more confident. Its quite hard when you're constantly in pain an covered in rashes isn't it?

Anyway Just thought I would rant a little, I will stop babbling now :)

Lots of love x

4 Replies

  • Hi there I read your post and I really felt for you so I thought I would write back.

    I'm really sorry u are feeling like this and unfortunately when u don't feel your best it's easy to look at things negatively. But you have to remember what a special person you are and that people that leave weren't true friends anyway and as for the boyfriend if he couldn't handle you at your worst then he definately didn't deserve u at your best ☺️

    You will have down days, bad days, up days and great days. Things will start to get better for you and it will take time for you to come to terms with all the changes u experience. I've had the same thing I've had to reduce my days at work and now share my role which I found really hard. It's the fact that I've had to give up something I treasure so much coupled with the knowledge that I physically can't do as much as I used to and that in itself is hard.

    Do u have a good family support network? Maybe joining a club or an evening class might help u meet new people and make new friends? These are just ideas and it might help u think of new hobbies u could take up.

    As for the dating take your time and get u back on track again. Remember..... No man is worth your years and the one who is will never make u cry.

    Good luck with everything sending hugs your way

  • I found that I am my own worst critic. I am so disappointed that I couldn't do what I thought I would do with my life. Some of it comes from the fact that western societies are ambivalent about dependence, we are taught that even though people should have compassion for each other, needing to rely on each other is nevertheless viewed as a defect. Over the years, I came to counter my own negative thinking by teaching myself to have compassion for myself, and by trusting myself to be as responsible to others as I can. I also think about the lyrics in the Sound of Music about have confidence in confidence alone! And when I've lost mine, I tell myself to pretend I have it- to make it up! That actually gets me through.

  • Well, you've already had someone who couldn't cope with your lupus - sounds like you want to be with someone who wants you despite it. The best way to do that is to be upfront about it and if that puts guys off, then you know that they weren't for you.

    As for losing confidence - of course. Many people nowadays already have very little attention span when it comes to others. Here we come talking about pain and suffering, guess what - they'll close their ears off. And as lupus for us is an all-consuming disease, with every minute of every day spent managing symptoms, we have much less to contribute to the discussion than before, so we feel as if we have nothing left to say and we might as well shut up.

    But this is the reality of being ill - it is best to look for empathy where you know you'll get it (e.g. This forum) as opposed to expecting it from everyone else. I don't think it is that you lack confidence - it is more a matter of re-directing it cleverly to minimise rejection. Try not to expect too much from others and just be yourself - the ones that will be valuable to you will take you as you are.

  • Hello.

    So sorry you are feeling this was. I was diagnosed at 19 years old and often feel that the life I should have had has been taken away from me.

    I also have difficulties with dating, mostly because I do not have the energy to go out and socialize.

    I have good days and bad days but wanted you to know that you are not alone!

    Good luck and take care.

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