Lost Friendships Are Not Your Fault
In my opinion, throughout the years, making friends and keeping friends with idiopathic hypersomnia (IH) has been hard. I’ve lost friends because I haven’t been able to constantly keep up with communication. Today, it is looked down upon in society if you don’t talk to your close friends every day and check up on them constantly. But as someone who sleeps more than 10 hours a day, it’s hard to keep up with people when I have work, classes, homework, and family to keep track of. When I don’t get back to people in time, they see it as me not being a good friend, when in reality it was just my condition that was hindering me.
Forgetting friends' birthdays, sleeping through events
When I was in high school it was harder for me to explain why I never had time for my friends. Telling them that I slept all day wasn’t a valid excuse as to why I had disappeared.
Idiopathic hypersomnia comes with a slew of other symptoms, such as brain fog, which makes me have problems with remembering things. Forgetting friends’ birthdays over and over, missing parties, sleeping through events, etc. My condition made me look like a terrible friend, when I couldn’t even control what was happening. Due to this, I didn’t have a lot of friends when I was in middle school.
I gained some forever friends
What's more, these problems continued while I was in high school. The people I became friends with in the first few weeks of school didn’t stay my friends by the time I graduated. Due to my idiopathic hypersomnia, I was a surface-level friend to many, but a deep friend to few.
Although, while I lost some friends during my time in high school, I did gain some forever friends that I still chat with to this day. Those people I consider my besties, and they understand how idiopathic hypersomnia affects me and don’t get mad at me when I sleep all day. Having a group that supported me (and took lots of funny pictures of me asleep) helped me get through high school.
Getting a diagnosis helped
As for college, it was more of a mix of people who accepted me for who I was and people who didn’t understand me at all. I had to navigate explaining what I was going through to people without knowing the name or reason why I did it. I didn’t get diagnosed until my sophomore year of college, and it shed more light on what was going on with me. Having a diagnosis made it easier to explain why I couldn’t always text back.
I'm thankful to the people I have today
Looking back through my experiences with gaining and losing friendships made me realize that maybe they weren’t the best friends in the first place. My true friends were a support system to me even when I didn’t have a diagnosis and adapted to my situation without getting upset.
Today, I have a lot of friends and acquaintances that know what I am going through, so they aren’t surprised or hurt when I disappear. I'm thankful to the people I have today that understand how I work.
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