Feeling isolated

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Feeling isolated

Postby Fibro Fi » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:37 am

Hi all,
I know no one can help but just need to get this off my chest!
I am feeling increasingly socially isolated and its getting me down at the moment. It doesn't help that I live in Saudi Arabia in a compound so can't even look at nature to help soothe my feelings.
I used to be very social but because of this illness I am becoming more and more isolated, thank goodnes for my dog! I can't attend social functions or be relied upon to attend because of poor sleep or lack of energy. I sometimes have to cancel engagements so have become more reluctant in making them. A friend said to me the other day, well I don't want to bother you because I don't know how you are feeling! My thought was, then ask! She now seems to have a new best friend and they do everything together. I'm starting to feel left out of things and I know part of it is my own doing but not because I want to be on the outside but because sometimes I have to be.
Iam also on a very restricted diet at the moment (which is helping the pain hugely), and I also have coeliacs disease so eating out isn't a pleasure, and I can't drink alcohol either (homemade variety!) A group went out on a boat on Thursday including my husband to dive and snorkel. I didn't want to risk it and I'm not meant to be exercising at the moment so wouldn't have been able to dive.
Sorry, I'm just going through a 'woe is me' period. I know compared to most people's problems on this forum, my moans seem pretty lame, but I'm just starting to feel so lonely. It just seems that I am trying really hard to do everything possible to become healthier, but its making me be more on my own. The upside is that a part from extremely poor sleep, I haven't had a flare since Christmas and I am in less pain. This pacing is really starting to help things but my life seems so boring. All I seem to do is rest, sleep, eat healthily and walk the dog! I, like so many of us just miss my old life a bit. I live in a state of fear of over doing things now, as I hate the fatigue and its consequences. I would say, sod it and just go and do whatever, but I know I will suffer for it so that stops me. Does anyone else feel as though their life has stopped?
Thanks for listening.
Fi.
Xxx
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Re: Feeling isolated

Postby Iceskatemum » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:57 am

So true Fi, its like a big clock has just got to 23.58 and then stopped, you can't go back to the life that was and you can't move forward. It is so frustrating and really gets me down.I feel I am just existing instead of living . So glad however to hear that the changes you have made with diet & pacing are bearing results I know I should do something but just don't even seem to have the energy for it.

I know compound life isn't all its cracked up to be and living in any different culture would be daunting when you aren't feeling well . I wonder if you have thought of any hobbies or interests you can follow ...may be there is a very creative you just waiting to get out. If you try new interests you might just come across a new circle of friends that will fill the gap created by not being able to join in the more strenuous activities of compound life.
Perhaps you can also look twice at a situation /invite and before saying no see if there is another way you can join in, in a different capacity. OK so maybe you couldn't have joined in the diving but perhaps you could have had a doze when the others were diving & joined in with the conversation & after dive activites on thier return. Even joining in one extra activity per month/week what ever you can manage will keep you out & about & less of a recluse.

Good luck and hope things work out.
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Re: Feeling isolated

Postby Pepperty » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:14 am

Fi, we are listening - and empethising (((hugs))) the internet can be a help when you cant face socialising

so you will have to pick and choose/work out when you can socialise? Presure and expectation wont help, just try your best :-D All I can say is that the times I 'force myself to mix/mingle/go out' can be the more unexpected fun evenings? On a good note, many a time when I think I cant even type/think/laugh - i can end up having fun online :-P so all is not lost

We all feel lonely, I feel that way almost daily :lol: try and focus on the good parts of your life (even when they are limited) *hugs*
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Re: Feeling isolated

Postby Pipsie » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:52 pm

You poor thing *massive hug* Thank goodness for pets, I have two cats and they amuse me and give me much of the affection I need. One is also very talkative, I almost pretend she has conversations with me. :D (hope that made you smile, crazy cat lady jokes always do me).
I am housebound, I have a garden I can just about shuffle round but we are in the dead of winter right now so it's grim out there, and even when it's not, managing is hard for me.
I have found bringing things to me to have really helped. Get your pals to yours, then you don't have to be on top form, you're in your comfort zone, and good friends are happy to help themselves to drinks and food. You could also prepare a small dish or get some snacks in the day before and keep them refrigerated, saving your energy. I like to ask my friends to come over to help make and eat a curry for example. I have two good friends one who loves to cook and one who won't, and it works well, two of us cook, the other cleans up (due to me loving to cook I have a stool and lots of fancy gadgets in my kitchen so I can sit down and the strain is less very good investments).
Do you craft, or paint? If you do this is another things you can invite friends over to do. Film evenings/afternoons at yours are minimal for energy, tell people to bring snacks, you'll get the fizzy pop. Maybe you could watch a couple in an evening, and have a suggestion box of films so everyone gets a fair go, making it a regular once a month affair?
One thing I have found that has helped me tremendously over the years in cultivating indoor plants, especially orchids, I am still a complete novice but it is very nice having things flower, and it is a job to do that is not in anyway demanding. Orchids don't need much care, or water, or soil so they are nice and light to carry, and you don't need massive watering cans. You're less likely to be restricted by cold in Saudi either, and there are some fab easy to grow house plants, that will impressive anyone Bat flower is pretty spectacular, and any phaelanopsis (moth) orchid is a good started and they boom for months on end. Mine's been blooming for over a year.
My mum said she'd get me a guide to bonsai trees for my birthday which coming up, another thing that you could maybe look into. She says it's very fashionable at the minute so there's stuff all over garden centres and the internet at the minute. And very 'Zen', too, I can imagine! Of all my 'projects' keeping my house plants is the least demanding, has the least work but the most satisfying results, and when everything is in bloom, Oh how your heart sings! Plus, studies do show that growing plants is very meditative and good for reducing stress, anxiety, and pain.
Do feel lots better, sweetheart :)
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Re: Feeling isolated

Postby kazak » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:17 pm

hi,
i'm so sorry u feel so isolated, can't imagine been so far away and feeling so bad. i no when u feel so down other peoples ideas can seem so unrealistic 4 u, but i agree u need 2 get ur friends round 2 urs and maintain contact. i have a group of friends and yes sometimes i think they get fedup of me cancelin and bloody moanin, but when i do see them we have loads 2 catch up on. it's not very often i go out at nite with them but meet 4 coffee during the day or they come 2 me. i woz chattin 2 someone on facebook at 4.30am that i hadn't seen in ages. hope u feel better soon. this forum has bin so helpfull 2 me, i have only just found it and wish i'd found it ages ago.
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Re: Feeling isolated

Postby rdmthomas1 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:53 pm

this is one of the worst side effects of Fibro - it is the same for me so on the better days I invite people to come to my place for coffee/drinks/takeaway and usually in the afternoon or at lunchtime. I've just brought what's left of my social life forward a few hours. It doesn't always work - I can't attend a wedding and stick around for the night do (just the reception is exhausting) and I try to take the view that any friends lost weren't real friends anyway. I also weaned myself back off caffeine recently so now have an energy booster in the guise of a cup of coffee if I get the chance to socialise. Yes I do pay for it the next day but you have to sacrifice the day after in order to keep your spirits up. Giving yourself an emotional and mental lift will go a long way to coping with the after effects. Hope this is helpful. You're not alone, this happens to all of us and makes any friends left all the more special.
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Re: Feeling isolated

Postby Fibro Fi » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:34 pm

Thanks everyone for your kind words!
I have felt better over the past two days and have socialised two evenings in a row, well, until 9.30pm!
I think I have been so fearful of becoming fatigued and having days in bed, that I've kept myself to myself too much which is why I've felt very isolated. I've also had one of my best friends leave here which has left quite a gap. She was so understanding and really easy to talk to. So, I'm trying to seek out another close friend. Expat relationships are very different from the norm and I think groups have become quite clicky which has also made me feel a bit left out.
Anyway, thanks again for cheering me up!
Xxxx
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Re: Feeling isolated

Postby Iceskatemum » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:43 pm

So glad you are feeling a bit better Fi, and manage at least 2 functions this last few days . Remember to try & set yourself achievable goals for getting out & about that are not too taxing or you will crash & burn and make sure they can be reviewed should thing change as otherwise you end up just feeling you haven't achieved anything.

I hope you can soon find a way into the new ex pat groups that have established, maybe you could invite some of the new folk around to your house rather than rely on outside activites but also appreciate how difficult & fickle expat life can be with people coming & going .

Perhaps with all the technology available you can continue your friendship with your friend that has just left. Having someone close is important but don't forget that friendships can survive a distance between them as well .

Keep well & don't over do things, remember pacing is the key



.
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Re: Feeling isolated

Postby Fibro Fi » Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:59 am

Thanks ISM!
Xx
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