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WILLIE AND BAILEY
WILLIE AND BAILEY

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FEELING ALONE AND LONELY WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS

FEELING ALONE AND LONELY WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS

Chronic Illness is the great Separator, it separates those of us who suffer from one or more of the many different types of Chronic Illness from those who don’t.

Being alone and feeling alone are part and parcel of having a Chronic Illness.  Anyone who suffers is going to feel isolated from the rest of the world at some point.

Feeling Alone and Lonely with a Chronic Illness
Feeling Alone and Lonely with a Chronic Illness

WHY DO WE FEEL ALONE

If you break a bone or have surgery you will be laid up for a few weeks or months, but you and all your friends and family know that it will get better.

Chronic Illness sufferers, however, know that this is a lifetime of dealing with people who have no idea what it is like. They know that at some point someone is going to say to them:  “Maybe if you exercised more” or “You just need to get out and spend more time with people” or “Come on, it can’t be that bad, everyone gets tired and everyone has pain at times”.

The vast majority of the people who a Chronic Illness sufferer comes into contact with cannot and will not understand; no matter how hard you try to explain to them what you are going through will never get any better.

I think part of it is that the ‘normal’ people don’t want to believe that it is possible to have something from which you can never recover, I think they are afraid that at some point they may become like us.  They refuse to see the invisible illness as something that can affect them, so they will not believe that it can affect you.

FEELING ALONE AFFECTS THOSE YOU CARE ABOUT

FEELING ALONE AND LONELY WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS 2
FEELING ALONE AND LONELY WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS 2

As time goes by those who cannot believe will fade away and people you thought were your friends and that you trusted will back out of your life.  But, then there are also people that will stand with you saying “I know I don’t understand but I want to be here for you in any way I can.”

Even family members can become part of the unbelievers’ side of things, and they too can sort of back away and leave you feeling alone and lonely.  The worst feeling in the world is to be surrounded by your family at some get-together but still feel alone in the crowd.

OTHER REASONS FOR FEELING ALONE

There are so many reasons why we feel alone, it is not just that people who don’t suffer from a Chronic Illness can’t understand.  It is so hard to try to explain how you are feeling, pain is not something that can really be shared by someone else, it is essentially something that only you alone can know intimately.

What we as sufferers of the Chronic illness go through is so far away from anything that the ‘normal’ people have to deal with that it is not surprising that they don’t or won’t get it.  They cannot understand the physical limitations, but even more, they cannot understand the fatigue, the brain fog, the fact that sometimes we have to cancel plans, it just does not penetrate their minds, and why should it, they are not suffering from it?

Even family cannot truly understand, yes, they see what we go through, they see our struggles with movement, and cognitive ability, they hear our cries of pain, but they cannot truly know because they don’t suffer from it.

ALONE AND LONELY, THE GUILT

Anxiety and Depression play a large role in our lives too, we begin to retreat from the world, we start to feel the distance that is between the healthy and us.  We turn inwards because we know that we need to protect ourselves from the additional pain of those we care about not understanding, trying but not really knowing.

It is impossible for them to understand the guilt of not being who we used to be, of having to rely on others, or that we feel like a burden on them.  We cannot keep our houses to the standards that we used to, we cannot go out dancing or having a long walk on the beach.

We have restrictions placed on us by the illnesses that make standing, sitting, walking or any other kind of movement severely limited.  We are easily overwhelmed in crowded spaces and by light and noise, we tire so easily, and we suffer cognitive issues.  Guilt is something that eats at us every single day.

I think the worst part for all of us is that for some reason we all try to hide how we are feeling, we smile through our days so as not to inflict our suffering onto others.  We laugh when all we want to do is scream, we smile even though the pain is so bad that functioning is becoming an almost impossible task.  A trip to the store, the mall, the doctor, or anywhere really, can leave us barely able to get out of bed for days afterwards.

I walk my dogs and then crumble into a chair for two hours before I feel like I can even stand up for a minute.

Is it any wonder that we feel alone, isolated like we live in a dark hole?

FEELING ALONE AND LONELY 3
FEELING ALONE AND LONELY WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS 3

WE DON’T HAVE TO FEEL ALONE

It really does come down to this, if you have a Chronic Illness then at some point you are going to feel alone and lonely, but, there is really so much out there for us if we just take the steps to get it.  With the Internet you can reach out to anyone, there are facebook groups, and other groups on different platforms and blogs and people out there who get it, they understand, because they live it just like you do.  Find a forum that works for you, maybe you need face to face time, so try finding a local support group but, do not feel like you have to go through this alone; that you have no one to talk to or help you see that this is not life ending.

We are out here, we are available to talk or to commiserate, or to just sit quietly while you get everything out of your system. We are here if you need to rant and rave, if you need a shoulder to cry on, or if you just want to sit quietly knowing that someone is there if you need to speak or if you just want silence.

There is never a time when you need to feel as if you are not being heard, because the rest of us who feel exactly as you do, are out here on the web waiting and hoping that we will find someone who feels just like us, ALONE & LONELY.

 

THINGS I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE

Today I have for you two recipes for homemade bath and beauty products.  I know that I have mentioned before that I love to make a lot of the things at home that you would usually buy, because it is so much cheaper, and you get exactly what you want.

These two recipes I got off Pinterest a long time ago and I have been using them ever since.

 

HOMEMADE BATH SALTS 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of Sea salt or Kosher salt
  • 5 cups of Epsom salt
  • 1 cup of Baking soda
  • food colouring
  • Essential oils (I use Lavender and Grapefruit, depending on whether I am trying to wake up or I am trying to relax)

Instructions

  1. Combine Sea salt or Kosher salt, Epsom Salt, and Baking soda.
  2. Add the desired amount of Essential oils.
  3. To colour Bath Salts, combine food colouring with few drops of water and whisk until combined.
  4. Spread coloured Bath Salts out in a single layer and let air dry before storing.
  5. Sprinkle the desired amount of Bath Salts into a tub filling with hot water and enjoy!

HOMEMADE LIP BALM 

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons shea butter or olive oil ( I guess you could use coconut oil, but I’m allergic so I don’t use it)
  • 3 tablespoons beeswax
  • 12 drops Essential oil ( I use Sweet Orange and Grapefruit, or just plain Lavender, or Spearmint Oil)  (I don’t use Peppermint because it is too strong for me on my lips)

Instructions

  1. Melt shea butter and beeswax in a pourable glass measuring cup in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.
  2. Add essential oil and pour into your choice of container (old lip balm tubes or those little pots that you can find at Dollar stores)  

ENJOY!

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

 :

As usual, this one comes from Pinterest.  I thought it particularly appropriate because I am hoping to launch my new business  ‘THE INVISIBLE ILLNESS LISTENING POST’ at the end of June and I am scared stiff.  So I will tip toe into it and see how it goes.

FAMILY LIFE

This has been a weird week, I fell three times this past week, all of them down the stairs.  I swear someone is watching over me, otherwise, I think I would have broken something by now with how many times I have wound up at the bottom of the stairs quicker than I intended.  Needless to say, I was not in good shape for most of the week.

The weather had been so good, but then it went from 29’C (79’F) on the one day to 14’C (55’F) the next with pouring rain.  My body can’t keep up with these changes in the temp so fast, first my legs stopped working, then my eye, then my ear, and finally my hands, off and on all day they were working then not working, it was one of the oddest feeling days I’ve had in a while.

The dogs were not very happy either, they spent the one day lying in the sun and soaking it up and the next standing at the door watching it rain (neither one of them will go out in the rain).

My son’s fiance came up from Oregon last Thursday and she stayed until Sunday, and although it didn’t rain, not much sun showed up.  I feel so bad for her, she has never been here when we have had some full on summer sunshine, it is always cloudy or raining, or just barely warm.  I hope one day to show her just how beautiful it is here when the warm sunshine is making our mountains glow like jewels.

It just seemed to be one of those weeks where everything is off, just that little bit.  You can’t put your finger on it but something is just not quite right.  I still don’t know where the feeling came from, or what caused it but the whole week was just off.

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK.

 HUSBAND’S DELIGHT CASSEROLE

https://barbsoutlook.com/?post_type=recipe&p=7440&preview=true

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2 Replies to “FEELING ALONE AND LONELY WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS”

  1. This is such a good insight into what it’s like to live with chronic pain. Thank you for sharing your perspective. I appreciate this insight for there are several people in my life suffering from chronic pain and this gives me such a better perspective on how to help.

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