Over half of disabled people report feeling lonely. I am one of them. I left the work world in 2012 on disability. My condition continues to deteriorate and keeps me away from social interactions (pre-COVID 19), and family gatherings. Since COVID 19, things are worse. Totally quarantined due to a lowered immune system, my outings consist of only those pertaining to medical visits which are necessary and can’t be done via telehealth.
What friends I had have disappeared from my life. My current life revolves around the family members inside of my home. I miss out on anything fun or stimulating and if I could I probably wouldn’t enjoy myself for long. My stamina is low, and my pain levels are high. I know I am not alone. I would like to find a way to communicate with others with the same problems, but the online forums seem lonely as well as typing on a screen to a faceless “other person” seems fruitless. I don’t think I’d like it as much as I feel I would some days, and fear I’d start and never go back. The connections are too meaningless and most people only want to complain. I do enough of that myself.
Lost friendships are a painful reminder of what my illness has cost. It hurts to feel lonely. Creating a blog that no one cares to read-only makes me feel lonelier. I know there are ways to combat loneliness. I can increase family ties or find new friends. I deserve to remain connected to those I love. By reaching out, thinking ahead, and recognizing my needs, perhaps I can find happiness and a greater sense of social connection again.