I stumbled across the title of this book a month ago and immediately put Why is She Acting So Weird?: A Guide to Cultivating Closeness When a Friend is in Crisis, by Jenn McRobbie, on my To-Read list. I just finished it last night. Wow!
Jenn is a breast cancer survivor. This book was born out of watching her friendships grow and change while she was in crisis. While she has survived her brush with cancer, not all of friendships did. Jenn says that this book is what she wished her friends could have read when she was diagnosed.
Nearly every day I hear from fibromyalgia patients who ask, “Does everybody lose friends when they’re diagnosed with fibromyalgia?” The sad answer is yes. I don’t know a single person with fibromyalgia who doesn’t mourn at least one lost friendship.
It’s hard to maintain friendships when you’re sick. You can’t depend on your energy or pain levels, so you often have to cancel or change plans. You can’t physically do the things you used to do. Places that you used to meet for coffee may now be fibromyalgia flare triggers because of noise, uncomfortable chairs, or driving.
The really hard part is that we can’t explain any of this well enough. Our friends try, but they just don’t understand “why we’re acting so weird.”
Thank God for Jenn McRobbie and her book! I mean that in all seriousness. I fully intend on having every single one of my clients read this book and pass it along to their friends.
In “Why is She Acting So Weird?”, Jenn covers important topics such as:
- How your friend can build a support system for herself so that she can support you.
- Simple ways she can show that she cares about you without making you feel guilty.
- How your friend should communicate about your illness through social media. (This is a GREAT chapter!)
- Ways to help you that add to your life versus subtracting from it.
- How to avoid the pitfalls of giving advice. (OMG how many times have we heard, “Have you tried…?”)
- What it means and how it feels to accept help.
When you’re going through a crisis, such as living with fibromyalgia, it can be hard to see the ways that we are “acting so weird.” Jenn’s book is really great for giving that insight. There were several points where I thought, “Huh. Yeah. I didn’t even know I was doing that!” If you’re a patient, read this so that you can see yourself through your friends’ eyes.
You particularly need to read this if you love someone who is living with fibromyalgia. This book will give you insights into what your friend is thinking plus several things you can do for her that will actually help. Jenn also includes some online resources.
Jenn’s openness about her own relationships—the ones that got stronger and the ones that didn’t—give an honesty to this that is missing from many relationship “self-help” books. She talks about her hurt and anguish, as well as the times she felt well-loved. Her conversational writing style makes this a really easy read.
You can find Why is She Acting So Weird?: A Guide to Cultivating Closeness When a Friend is in Crisis on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback.