We have previously discussed anxiety. High levels of anxiety can also be isolating-like when we choose to stay home because we are anxious of getting sick if we go out (yes, its not only you, we've all been there).
Here are some tips that I've found help me when I feel lonely when dealing with my endo (mind you I'm a work in progress on this too).
1. Find at least 1 person you can talk to about what's going on, your thoughts, symptoms, feelings, fears, concerns etc. I have a few people I update on how I'm doing. Sometimes it helps to talk and they can help you calm down (anxiety can be a factor with keeping things bottled up too).
2. Know that part of the reason you feel isolated, is because you might be isolating yourself. This one might come across as harsh but hear me out. While there are days that we curl up in bed with a book or movie or music and need company to come to us or maybe a video chat ;), there are other days where we can go out maybe for a short walk or just to a coffee shop. I find being outside my house makes me feel less alone, even if I'm just seeing strangers on the street.
3. Talk to people in the same situation as you. Thanks to social media, we can always be connected to one another, working together and being supportive to each other. Sometimes talking to people that aren't in the exact situation (a patient) doesn't help. Supporters try very hard but sometimes you need someone to say "oh man I've been there" or tell you a story from their experiences. The first time I met another patient was at the Endo Warriors NYC meeting. It was eye opening to me and I felt a wave of relief. I met women that I speak to daily and was really able to connect to others. Check out their website at Www.endowarriorssupport.com for more info on support meetings in your area!
4. Do a project. Crafts, coloring, gentle exercise, reading, DIY projects, trying out that new recipe etc. It can take your mind off endo for a bit even on some rough days (again there are exceptions). Take it a step further and invite a member of your support team to join you and get in some smiles and laughs.
5. Communication is key-with your doctors and support team. Sometimes being able to say "I don't want to talk about it right now" or "I need some time" and expressing your needs will really help. I especially take some time alone after doctor appointments. I wait to absorb pieces before explaining them. Other expressions that could help are "I need a hug" or "Could you be here?". These discussions allow others in and get you away from isolating, lonely feelings. It also lets your supporters know how they can help (it can feel helpless to be a supporter at times). It can be hard as a supporter to know what will help you so open communication will help to keep everyone involved and together as a team.
I'm always here for all of you ladies and supporters. Be sure to keep in touch!
Love and spoons,