Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Isolation

Image: cat.  Text: Chronic illness can be very isolating. Sometimes it can feel like everyone has forgotten you.Being sick can be an isolating experience.

Gathering the energy to go out at all can be hard work.

If we're not working, that's a lot of time that we're no longer spending around other people.

Friends might continue to invite us to take part in things, but if we've had to cancel at the last minute for health reasons too many times, they tend to stop asking.

I'm better off than many lupies, because I'm sharing a house with family members.  Even so, I get lonely at times, when everyone else is busy or out.

For lupies who live alone,  it's much harder.

I've handled the situation by putting a lot of energy into getting out to church, to writers group and to toastmasters.  It gives me an opportunity to meet people, and to start to make friends.

What I've found easier than actually getting out, is inviting people to come to visit me.  Putting out a nice table cloth and the good china helps me feel like it's as good as going out, even though it takes less energy. (Although not all that long ago, I ended up lying on the couch while my son talked with visitors - it doesn't always work so well.)

The internet has made it easier to keep some connection with people, but occasionally everyone would rather have an actual human being around.

What we can do about  being isolated will vary from person to person.  If at all possible, getting out and getting involved in something is great - but it takes a lot of energy and not everyone's able to do it.

Keeping in contact with friends over email or phone is better than nothing.  Inviting friends around for low-key activities like a movie and a pizza can be a great thing.

For family and friends of lupies (or other people who could become isolated because of illness):

  • Don't give up inviting them to join in things you're doing.  Even if they've cancelled on you a dozen times, it's not them it's the illness. They're as frustrated as you are.
  • Offer to drive when you go out together. (It really does make a massive difference.)
  • Offer to pick up something nice to eat and come over for a meal together.
  • If you go to visit and the housework's not done, ignore it and give your attention to your friend. (Or offer to help, but still make time to give your full attention to your friend.)

1 comment:

  1. Those are great suggestions. People could be afraid of tiring you even more if they come to visit, and as you said, could stop inviting you because they think it's too tiring for you.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for being part of the conversation.

Your comment will be visible after moderation.