Having a chronic illness can be very isolating.
Many times people who have lived an extremely active, social lifestyle find themselves turning down invitations, because going out requires too much. It uses too many spoons, or is too painful, or sometimes they just don’t want to hear, “you’re still sick??” This can lead to some serious feelings of loneliness.
I totally get it. Getting hit with any kind of chronic condition completely turned my world upside down. Even now, that I largely have my RA under control, there are times where I have to hang back because of a flare or fatigue, or times where I choose to because people won’t understand what my limits are.
Loneliness is a huge health risk.
Here’s the thing. God created us with a need for community – even the biggest introverts in the world (I’m in that club) need to connect with other people. Feelings of loneliness add to our health issues. In fact, loneliness can be deadly. The risk is comparable to that from smoking!! And loneliness is about twice as dangerous as obesity.
Social isolation (loneliness) impairs immune function and boosts inflammation, which exacerbate the problems we are already dealing with. Loneliness is literally killing us, but we rarely talk about its dangers.
Social media can be both an answer and a part of the problem. It creates an opportunity for us to compare ourselves to others. Longing for a life that may not be possible any more can drive you farther down the path to isolation and loneliness. However, social media can also be way to connect with others who understand. People who get you, who won’t judge the speed of your progress (or periods of lack of progress), friends who will offer legitimate helps on the road to the healthiest possible you.
I’ve met some amazing warriors online, and it’s been a blessing to get to know them. Getting AND giving support when needed has been an important part of the person I have become. It’s a wonderful ying/yang that has been extremely therapeutic for me. There is a great need for more communities in our online world that provide an opportunity for support, encouragement, and patience as we seek healthier lifestyles.
So I’ve created a new online group on Facebook that does just that. An environment for people who want to be understood, but who also want to do everything possible to take care of their bodies and learn everything they can to improve their health as naturally as possible. (so yes you know I’ll be talking about oils……. LOL)
Finding Hope and Health with Chronic Illness is a place to be accepted as a chronic illness warrior, to vent, to share accomplishments, and to learn how to soothe the symptoms we deal with, AND how to begin to heal our bodies – physically and emotionally. It’s a safe, warm place. Just click the image or the link and we'll get you added to the family! Please share your story when you joint too - it's so good to get to know one another.
I hope you’ll join us there. It’ll be a better place with you in it