It is fair to say that the majority of people form friendships and acquaintances with people around us and people who share our hobbies and interests. Some people pass through our lives for short periods of time whilst others stay for the long haul. Then there are those who you can go a decade with little to no contact but if you meet up the conversation roles like it was only yesterday you last spoke.Some people are very outgoing and have a wide network of friends, other more introverted people may have a smaller tight-knit group them hold close.
The Effects of Chronic HealthA few months ago I wrote about Learning to Live with Fibromyalgia but today’s focus is about when your life gets changed by Fibromyalgia or other Chronic Health Conditions and the possibility that friendship groups begin to unravel. If your thing was going out on the town together and you are no longer able to do that there is a good chance some of those friends may slowly fade away. It is not personal, it’s simply that your experiences and interests will naturally have to change. Friendships made at work will be harder to maintain if you have to leave your job and no longer see each other day in and day out. At least we have Facebook right! When looking at my Facebook friends I have a cross-section of people I have met and interacted with over the last forty years but if I’m honest some of them were very brief passing acquaintances and our lives are so far removed that it seems strange to have them in a list of friends but equally I have no reason to defriend them and do I really want to reduce my network at a time when circumstances are enforcing enough change?
Places to Find Support and Friendship
Fellow SufferersIf you are suffering from chronic pain, even if you have not been diagnosed with anything at this point (It can take many months or in some peoples case years to get the correct diagnosis) one of the best things to do is to reach out and find others who are going through the same thing. My Fibro Team proved invaluable to me in the early days and I still try and drop in when I can now. No question is silly and there is always someone who has been there before. It is a multi-National Site.
Learning from BloggersAt the point, I wanted to read more materials rather than just ask questions I discovered the Fibro Bloggers Directory. It is fair to say that this site was one of the inspirations for this blog. There is a fascinating range of people, lives and interests to read about. If you have stumbled upon this post but creativity is not of interest to you there is a very good chance that someone else on the Directory is talking about something that is. Please do stick around though even if it is just for the Saturday Fibro blog posts 🙂
Social MediaThere is a good chance that you may already be using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat or all of them, whatever suits you, however, one of the best pieces of advice I can give you is that your healthy friends will not want to regularly be discussing your health concerns at best they will go quiet and at worst they will disappear. (Thankfully this has not happened to me because I learnt this lesson at the very beginning of my Fibro journey but I have read about the experiences of others) Within these same social networks though you will find people like the Fibro bloggers who are more than happy to send sympathetic virtual hugs because we truly understand what you may be going through. Feel free to follow any of my networks on the sidebar. I am most active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but like all of us, I can have bad days or Fibro Fog too (If you haven’t heard of Fibro Fog check out my blog post here), if I haven’t replied it is because I haven’t seen it yet!
If you have found this post because you are struggling and unable to maintain your previous social life, remember you are not alone and there is a whole virtual community of people who are suffering from chronic pain and will be happy to try and make your days that bit more bearable.