Connecting with others who have a chronic illness/s 

Having a chronic illness can make you feel very isolated and it can be extremely frustrating when your friends and family don’t understand what you’re going through. I think that it’s very important to connect with others who are going through the same illnesses as you because it can be so reassuring to know that you have those people there to talk to about things you are worried about, symptoms you may be unsure of or even when you need a shoulder to cry on knowing that they fully understand how you’re really feeling. It can be so comforting to know that those people really do understand what you’re going through and it really does have such a positive impact on those of us who do suffer from chronic illnesses.

I am very lucky to have multiple friends who are also going through the same chronic illnesses as myself. I find it a real blessing to be around those who really understand me and support me through the difficult times as well as the good. They say that you will never understand what a person is really going through unless you also have/ are experiencing it yourself which I think is definitely true. People around us really don’t realise how debilitating and limiting our illnesses are. I also find it’s so reassuring to have those friends around me who can give me advice but can also comfort me on my bad days.

‘WE DON’T ALWAYS NEED ADVICE. SOMETIMES ALL WE REALLY NEED IS A HAND TO HOLD, AN EAR TO LISTEN AND A HEART TO UNDERSTAND’

There are many ways of finding and connecting with people who have the same chronic illnesses that us sufferers have. Social media is one of the best ways of connecting with those who are dealing with the same illnesses that we are going through. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are probably the best ways of doing this. There are often lots of groups on Facebook that are full of people who understand completely what you’re going through, there you can post any questions you may have and also comment on others statuses. I am part of a couple of Facebook groups to help me with my illnesses and I find that they help so much and I really feel understood.

Other ways are through local support groups. Support groups within the local community can be difficult though for those of us who are too unwell to leave the house, but for those who can make it out then that’s fab! I have had a couple of friends who have been part of local support groups and they have found it a massive help to them which is good. Online forums is also another way of being able to connect with others experiencing similar to what you may be going through and there you can find lots of threads filled with hundreds of questions and answers.

While it’s important for those of us who do suffer with a chronic illness/s it is still extremely important to still talk to our friends and family about how we are feeling and to also help them to understand more about what we’re going through. It can be helpful to find leaflets for them to read and get our doctors to sit down and explain everything about our illness so that they can learn and understand more and more about how it affects us continuously. It’s very important that we are very honest to our friends and family about how we feel because if we don’t tell them or let them see us when we are at our worst then it will be harder for them to understand how bad things can get for us.

I find it definitely helps me to deal with my chronic illnesses by having a friend who also experiences what I am also going through, to have someone who you can vent to knowing that they completely understand but to also know that they are there to support you through the positive things in life too. I am so incredibly lucky to have the friends and family that I do.

I hope that this post has helped some of you with or without a chronic illness and that you will keep up to date with my future posts.

All my love,

Meg x

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