I know this article is talking about Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but I feel this article applies to all chronic illness.
Some days I love the peace that descends over the house when my husband is at work and my kids are in school. Those are the good days. Then there are those days when it's not peace, but isolation that I feel. I know I'm not alone in this - it's something many of us with fibromyalgiaand chronic fatigue syndrome deal with.
It's been bothering me more than usual for the past few weeks. I think part of it is the cold, which makes me want to huddle inside under a blanket. Part of it is that I'm getting sick every time I turn around, which is not only depressing, but puts me behind on everything. I don't have much control over those things, but there's another aspect that I need to take control of - a social life.
When you develop a life-changing chronic illness, a social life is often the first thing to go. It's an optionalthing, not like a job or housework or taking care of your family. We don't have the energy to make plans, go out, etc. Plus, we have to cancel half of the plans we make, which is hard on us and our friendships. I used to have the perfect solution to that, but it's fallen apart and I haven't replaced it.
I used to have a group of friends who would get together and play games once a week. They always came to my house and didn't care how clean it was. Everyone brought their own food. They understood if I was a little out of it or had ice packs all over myself. It was low-effort, no-pressure, built-into-my-schedule fun. It kept me sane through a lot of hard times.
Then, it fell apart. About two-and-a-half years ago, one of the couples in the group got a divorce. We all tried to be there for both of them, but the fall-out from their break up spiraled out and took a huge toll on all of us. We all needed a break.
After a few months, we put things back together, minus the one person who'd been at the core of the problems. It was good. However, since then, several circumstances have changed and it got more difficult to maintain the group. The addition of a new significant other caused some personality clashes. My schedule became less predictable as I took on a three-book deal and a contract to edit novels. My husband and I decided it was once again time for a break from the scheduled events - but we vowed to still get together now and then.
Of course, getting schedules to mesh for those "now and then" things is a nightmare. I've tried planning things with one or two friends at a time, but even that is a challenge. And, since I keep getting sick, I've had to cancel a lot. We're trying to get back to the regular game time, with a smaller group, so I'm really hoping that works out. I really need the social contact.
If you're finding yourself without that social outlet and feeling isolated, it's a tough situation. Support groups can be great, especially since the people you meet understand your inconsistency, but many of us can't get to them regularly because of our health. The Internet is probably the best thing that's ever happened to the chronically ill, but it's not a 100% replacement for face-to-face time with friends.
Our illness takes a toll on all of our relationships. People have different levels of understanding and tolerance for what we go through, meaning some of them will vanish from our lives completely and others will take a few steps back. Many of us have to leave our jobs and spend a lot more time at home alone.
So how do you make new friends or stay close to old ones? If you're well enough, it can help to get involved with a group of some kind - a meetup, non-profit organization, craft circle - where you have a common interest with the other members. Even if you can't make it all the time, at least it puts something social on your calendar.
If you're not well enough for that and have to rely mainly on the Internet, I hope you can find some group or activity that doesn't have anything to do with your illness. It's great to talk about symptoms, find understanding, and lean on each other in forums, but it's also good to take a break from that. Play an interactive game, find a chat room for your favorite TV shows or hobbies. Talking about "normal" things can make your life feel more normal.
Sometimes, isolation and depression can take over your life and make you feel like you're drowning. When you find yourself in that place, remember that doctors and support groups are available to help you. It's the whole reason they exist, so use them.
Chronic Disease actually does not require isolation.....But Infective disease should have isolation of the patient....
Dr. Sohiniben Shukla.....
Yes, I know this. Those-such as myself who cannot get out of the house due to pain or disease have a tendency to become depressed and feel out of touch. I cannot ride in a car for any long period of time without pain. It's winter here and it hurts to be in the cold. So-you feel isolated. That is what this article is about-not if it's contagious. Finding a support system of some kind.