Hi All! Wonder if you can advise on this. I have been home bound for 5 weeks due to being in an all time low cycle with my CFIDS. I feel very isolated. (I am a mother of 2 teens and my husband is wonderful so I get some interaction at night, but the days are killing me!)I DO count my blessings for those precious few hours I get to see my family at night. I tell my friends that I am in a down cycle and hope to feel better soon and get back to my "normal" level of activity soon. They are very busy, e-mail me occocasionally wishing me well and say they miss me. Like many friends that don't have chronic illnesses, they simply do not know how to respond when I am in a down pattern and they simply just stay away until I am able to get up and around again. I have such mixed feelings because I do not wish to impose upon them by asking them to visit if they truly hate seeing me this way (I think it scares them) yet on the other hand I feel so isolated and sad due to this which I know is not good for me mentally. When I speak to them I am honest about the struggles, but also always speak hopefully that I will regain strength soon, then move on to talking about happier things and asking them about their lives...so I don't think I am a downer to talk to, at least I dont think so??!! So here is my question: What do I say to my "well" friends when I am in a down cycle so they may wish to stay in touch with me during those times? AND/OR Do I need to start developing friendships with other chronically ill people that have a better basis for understanding and won't be scared to spend time with me? I know this is a universal struggle for all of us and I am sure many of you have found ways to develop and/or maintain meaningful friendships during our lowest points. Input welcomed and appreciated.