Chronic illness can leave you feeling isolated and alone. After years of dealing with chronic illness, first hepatitis c and then fibromyalgia, I know there are times I feel lonely.
Most of the time the isolation is self-imposed, at least, it is for me. I know that when I am in a lot of pain I tend to withdraw. And it’s not just the pain, it’s the headaches, dizziness, ear ringing, the anxiety.
There are times that it feels like every nerve in my body is on hyper-alert. A touch can make me feel like I could jump out of my skin. I certainly can’t carry on a conversation. It takes too much effort to talk.
How do you tell someone, stop talking I can’t stand the sound of your voice.
Those are the days I need to be alone.
I am an introvert. I have always enjoyed my alone time, my quiet time. Needed it. Maybe that comes from being the oldest of 5 siblings. Even though I spend a lot of time alone, I rarely feel lonely.
I read every day, I can get lost in a good book. I love animals and could not imagine not having a dog or two. I grew up always having a dog. Smuggled my first stray home when I was four years old, with the help of my older cousin.
I have two dogs now, Nyka and Piper. Nyka is a 13-year-old toy poodle and Piper is a 6-year-old toy poodle/chihuahua mix. They are my constant companions and give my great comfort. Sometimes they are the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning.
The isolation of chronic illness must be much easier for an introvert. If you are the type of person who loves to be around people, you may want to read this post: Living with the loneliness and isolation of chronic illness on Chronic Mom.
It’s important for the chronically ill to have a plan to handle times of feeling isolated and lonely. This post on ButYouDontLookSick.com gives tips for handling isolation that comes from chronic illness.
How do you handle the isolation? Is it a blessing or a curse?