#HAChat Recap – Feeling Alone

The following is a recap from our recent #HAChat about feeling alone due to your illness and ways to cope. We’re always looking for new ideas to help you grow – please email editorial@wegohealth.com with suggestions or if you’d like to host a future #HAChat!
  1. Today we’re talking about feeling isolated due to your illness and ways to cope. #hachat
  2. T1: How has your social life been altered due to your illness? #hachat
  3. @wegohealth T1: Every aspect of it. Not being able to go out as much, people not trying to understand. #hachat
  4. T1: my social life has been severely affected, especially as I cannot get out without someone else with me 🙁 #hachat
  5. I definitely have a difficult time even leaving the house sometimes. And phones are practically impossible at times. #Depression #hachat
  6. @wegohealth T1: Feeling isolated due to illness? Can just feel too exhausting to be ‘up’ for company, outings, conversations #hachat
  7. #hachat t1 it affects almost every part of social life being that i can only stand or sit for a certain amount time without pain rearing…
  8. T1: I’ve tried to not let it hold me back, but there’ve been many times I’ve had to stay home/leave early bc of feeling poorly. #hachat
  9. Because of the problems I experience many of my friends have deserted me as I cannot go to places that they like to visit, etc #hachat
  10. @wegohealth T1: Support systems are important for healing, but that support often disappears when we get sick… #hachat
  11. A1 Cancer & other serious illnesses scare people, esp when you’re young. When I went through tx, lost much of my network #hachat
  12. T1: Can barely go out in summer. Even rest of year can’t go out often or stay out late. Miss a lot. Hard to date. #hachat
  13. @wegohealth T1: Social life and illness: Often I say YES when I really mean NO – will they stop inviting me if I keep refusing? #hachat
  14. T1: My social life has changed due to lack of money and should be watching diet (i.e., can’t eat out or at friends’) #hachat
  15. It can be hard just to go out when you never know when symptoms are going to appear; plus I am unable to stand for long #hachat
  16. T1.1: How do other people treat you differently in social setting?
  17. T1.1: I am left alone or ignored as friends go up and dance or talk to others which I cannot do as I cannot stand for long #hachat
  18. T1.1: I swear people also watch me as they are expecting my symptoms to appear at any moment; can’t forget about my condition then #hachat
  19. @wegohealth In EVERY way – it’s isolating & frustrating – thank goodness for the few wonderful friends who understand my many limitations.
  20. T1.2: How has your illness brought you closer to your friends and family? #hachat
  21. T1.2: Due to the illness I depend on a lot of physical support with balance and walking which can make you closer to others! #hachat
  22. @wegohealth T1.2: it’s definitely made my relationship stronger with hubby. He’s seen me in some pretty low places. #hachat
  23. @wegohealth I had to give up my career which means I have been at home with my children for 9 years. We are very close 🙂
  24. RT @TheGreatBM …and having the common experience of #illness can make for even stronger bonds. #crohns #colitis #hachat
  25. T2: How has your condition affected your feelings of community or isolation? #hachat
  26. T2: I feel isolated when I have to choose between an unhealthy lifestyle or not being to hang with my friends #hachat
  27. T2: Due to isolation it makes me so appreciative of the online communities and their overwhelming support that they give everyday #hachat
  28. T2: It has shown me the value of true friendship; and what it means to be a true friend. Illness can result in strong bonds #hachat
  29. Agree! RT @serenebutterfly it makes me so appreciative of the online comm. and their overwhelming support that they give everyday #hachat
  30. A2 I’ve just gotten frustrated. During treatment, the online community was not helpful because few dealt with sheer abandonment #hachat
  31. For me, much of my isolation stems from my parents dropping the ball. I was 23 and dealt with stage IV cancer alone – not normal #hachat
  32. @TheGreatBM It made a huge difference talking about it. I never realized how important it is to have someone who can relate. #hachat
  33. T2: Online I connect through my blog, twitter, & these chats. IRL I joined a chronic pain support group & met great people that way. #hachat
  34. T2.1: How has the online community contributed to or resolved those feelings?
  35. The online community is vital. It is good to know that you are not alone. Even when I think I am I can go online and see I’m loved #hachat
  36. T2.1: The online community has been instrumental in finding a place where I belong and helped me be less isolated #hachat
  37. @wegohealth T2.1 It made me feel less alone and let me know that I’m not the only one with these issues #hachat
  38. T2.2: How do you connect with others like you? #hachat
  39. T2.2: I connect with others like me through my blog where people have contacted me after reading my blog but mainly through Twitter #hachat
  40. T2.2: My condition is rare and so have not met anyone with the same condition, but diagnosis is not important on Twitter #hachat
  41. Blogging, volunteering with #aya #cancer nonprofits, telling my story, and taking advantage of orgs like @ImermanAngels #hachat
  42. T2.2: Via twitter mostly but calling on cell phone is quite better i guess #hachat @wegohealth
  43. T2.2 Through online communities and offline events like @TourdeCureNJ #NJTourdeCure #hachat
  44. T2.2: I’ve gone to support groups, fundraising events and talked about it online. #hachat
  45. T2.2: Twitter has been great at making me feel less alone and isolated – I can freely post my feelings and get instant support #hachat
  46. @wegohealth I can read other’s tweets/blogs 24hrs a day even from my sick bed & identify closely which relieves isolation #hachat
  47. @wegohealth T2.2 I search for keywords on sites like Google, Twitter, Blogger, etc. #hachat
  48. T3: How do you share your feelings of isolation with family and friends? #hachat
  49. T3. I blog about it, sometimes talk with #DOC friends, participate in twitter chats, etc. #hachat
  50. @wegohealth T3 That’s where having a blog helps. I can post something once & multiple family/friends can read about it. #hachat
  51. T3: It is also difficult when others cancel plans and you feel well enough to go out; happened to me this week. It’s disheartening #hachat
  52. @serenebutterfly Did you have Plan B to fall back on? Always have a PlanB for when you’re feeling good! 🙂 #hachat
  53. T3.1: How do you ask for support? #hachat
  54. A3.1 You have to ask for support directly. I found that the longer I waited for help to appear, the more frustrated I would get. #hachat
  55. Me neither. RT @tmana: T3.1 I still haven’t learned that trick. #hachat
  56. @wegohealth T3.1 It took a long time to learn & I struggle with it daily. Still learning. #hachat
  57. I tell my friends/family that I am not feeling well and they seem to understand that. #hachat
  58. @wegohealth its quite easier to discuss our health online 😉 #hachat
  59. So true! RT @CureMD_EMR @wegohealth its quite easier to discuss our health online 😉 #hachat
  60. And see the words written in front of you. RT @TheGreatBM Online talks give you a moment to gather your thoughts during discussions. #hachat
  61. @TheGreatBM A tweet chat can be like a mini journal of how you are feeling. #hachat
  62. @wegohealth T4: Joining online communities, definitely! #hachat
  63. Making cards has been a great way for me to take my mind off loneliness and isolation when home alone #hachat
  64. Sometimes I embrace the loneliness RT @wegohealth T4: What are some ways you cope with isolation?
  65. @wegohealth Reach out by text to a friend, get lost in doing a craft or gardening, meditation, listen to podcasts, oh …& reality TV!
  66. Exactly. MT @TheGreatBM: T4 Keep busy. Stay connected 2 others online and F2F. Find easy hobbies. Don’t let your mind dwell on it. #hachat
  67. My pet dog Honey has also helped compact the isolation – hugs from her are a great comfort when feeling low #hachat
  68. Finding someone to text or phone is also a great distraction and a reminder that I have people there for support #hachat
  69. T4. Agreed re: online communities. That said, I had online friends b4 “online” was popular. Pen pals & phone buddies went electronic #hachat
  70. RT @TheGreatBM @tmana I want a pen pal! A real paper and stamps one. Great idea! #hachat
  71. @wegohealth I’m into the pen pal idea, everyone! #hachat
  72. Yes, pen pal idea is a fantastic one – so much more personal than emails :)#hachat
  73. Feel free to pen pal network after the chat! 🙂
  74. We’re sadly almost ready to wrap up. 🙁 Hope this chat was helpful!
  75. Thank you all for joining and sharing with us today. #hachat
  76. The thing was, one-on-one pen pals meant having to stream info from phone buddies to pen pals, deal with time delays, etc. #hachat
  77. Thank you @wegohealth for another helpful and fun discussion 🙂 #hachat


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