Loneliness...The Anti-Medicine

We live in a busy world. People we meet and people we know are often too busy to spend time together. It's through connection that our souls get recharged. Research continually shows that those who have social connections are healthier and live longer, more joyful lives.

Things often change when someone is diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness. The social lines get blurred and many who were in your network shy away either out of fear or simply never being exposed to someone with health challenges. Where does this leave the person with the diagnosis? It often creates a social and emotional exile for the patient and that's the last thing anyone would prescribe for someone facing an illness.

It's crucial to your well-being, the success of your treatment, and your sanity to create a social, emotional and spiritual switchboard. Yes, I'm saying that it will be up to you because others won't know what they're supposed to do. I can tell you that friends and family will often rally at the beginning, but if the illness is prolonged or will last a lifetime it often dissolves from their consciousness.

Find places and people who understand your life story. You can often find resources by reading books about people who are facing the same challenges. They will offer resources and provide hope for conquering loneliness.

Recruit a tribe who will support, invigorate and enthusiastically taunt you to be the best you possible. I think you'll be amazed at the results.

2/19/2015 8:00:00 AM
Greg Katz
Written by Greg Katz
As a patient empowerment strategist I guide those facing a chronic or life-threatening illness through education, support and inspiration. The goal is for each person to become their own health advocate!
View Full Profile Website: http://www.survivingstrong.com/

I just moved across the country and trying to meet people in a new place, that already have their groups of friends is really tough. I'd love to hear others ideas on how to go about meeting new friends.
Posted by Rachel

I think what's important is learning to enjoy your own company and that of 'nature', which in my mind can actually be thought of as another 'friend', albeit one with whom you can not have a back and forth conversation. ;-) But as someone who's very independent, yet at the same time very social, I feel very lucky that I am so independent and have no problem spending time alone. As such, I rarely feel lonely, and yet I have plenty of friends and hobbies that can fill up the rest of my time, when I choose to do so. I love nature, and so often go hiking, do gardening, birding, etc. This all makes me very happy. I have friends of all ages...much younger and much older. I have many hobbies that enable me to interact with others...I'm on a billiards team...I dance...I travel a lot...I host people from all over the world through airbnb...I attend Feastly dinners in my city.... etc. You have to be creative and positive in order to attract others to you. (No one wants to be around a person who comes off as depressed or 'lonely'. Remember that one need not be 'lonely' just because one is alone. There are plenty of lonely couples out there...believe me!)
Posted by lisa
I know what you mean. I have no friends. No church. No family to speak of.
Being lonely, yet being a people person, makes me go out to eat a lot...just to be around people I know...and who will treat me well. And I cannot lose the weight, that I so direly need to lose, if I go out to eat.

I have been thinking of joining the Senior Center, in my town, and find a single woman, my age, and we can be friends. Someone who may have disabilities like mine. I swore off men. The men my age seem to desire women much younger and fitter!

A good friend will do me well! I would like a few!
Posted by keepyourpower
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