Hi there. Sorry to hear that you're struggling with this.
I think that dealing with a condition like CFS often reveals rather more than we'd like about the nature of many of our relationships. I think it's best to try to remain generous to your friends and understand that we're all rather selfish and deluded apes following our own social instincts. It would be nice if that were not the case, but if you keep your standards too high you can easily spend your life feeling needlessly bitter and disappointed.
Looking back (I've lost contact with my former social circle) I think that my friends were responding in a pretty similar way to how I would have were roles reversed. It is a really difficult situation though and you certainly have my sympathy.
All too often, they younger your friends are, the harder it is for them to deal with your chronic illness. Young adults are usually very healty and active and seeing someone their own age sick and disabled is more scarey for them that it is for people with more life experience. They also tend to be the 3yo of the adult world -- running around madly, doing everything they can because, OMG, they're independent and the world is so big and fun.
Community college is often a good place to find people who understand life's difficulties, especially if you take classes late in the day or in the evening. Those times tend to have more older students. Also, community colleges often have good disability resource programs that can help you deal with your disability while in college, and connect you with people who are mentally more adapted to people with more limitations than your average young adult. Your local community college may be different, of course.
If you try university, make sure you connect with the disabilities office.
There are a lot of fair weather friends out there. You can't do much more than do things you enjoy and try to hook up with mature people, whatever their age.
The problem is we aren't exactly young!. My friend and I got sick in our late teens, we are both now in our 30's, so she is trying to catch up for lost time, and that is why I wanted to go to uni as I never had the chance due to illness. I won't be going because the degree I want to do involves vaccinations that are not compatible with me/cfs. As for my friend, I really thought she would understand things better after suffering for so many years herself, but it seems that now she is pretty much better, she no longer understands the restrictions the illness places on you.
The driving issue seems to be a real sore point between my other friends and I as well, but what can one do!. It is out of my hands.
I'm sorry to hear your friend is so lacking in understanding. You'd think that as a sufferer herself, she would be more aware of the great variety of challenges ME/CFS patients face. What a shame!
Why do your friends care if you drive or not? It seems only sensible to me that if you have reasons you don't feel safe driving, you ought not drive.
Maybe university is a good idea for you. Register with the disability office so that you get info about appropriate housing for your restrictions and transportation information suitable for the disabled. You may have to select a new major, one that is not incompatible with ME/CFS; there are many possibilities.
Sounds like you need a new lifestyle including new friends. A university that is supportive of disabled students might be just the thing.
I haven't driven since 1992. I think I would be dangerous driving - drunken drivers might be safer. So I understand your choice, and agree with it: if you think your concentration and response times are poor, then you shouldn't risk it. Anyone who doesn't understand that is part of the problem. You might like to ask them if they approve of drinking and driving, and if they don't why should they approve of severely fatigued people driving?