One would hope that our doctor would be someone we could talk with without the worry of disbelief but that is not always the case. This can lead to difficulties receiving the appropriate diagnosis and cause further stress and confusion. Even within our own families, there are people who just don't understand or just don't believe.
Feelings like depression, anxiety, anger, resentment, a beaten self esteem or even a trashed self confidence can also make us isolate ourselves away from others. Feelings of inadequacy and failure are common too. Although living with chronic pain can cause many different feelings, thoughts, and emotions for each person, there seems to be a common complaint...people just don't understand.
Talking about our feelings isn't always easy, and when we get rejected by someone who doesn't understand or may not believe, it gets easier to stop talking and just stay quiet. But when we do that, we are isolating ourselves further away.
There are many different reasons for self-isolation behaviour and before we can change anything within our lives we must first acknowledge it, understand it, and want to make the changes for ourselves. Only you know the answer to why you are self-isolating and I hope you will be honest with yourself. Ask yourself the tough question why. Why are you isolating yourself?
Challenge yourself on your reasoning. When you know the reason to why you are isolating yourself make a plan for dealing with it. I'm not going to lie to you, it's not easy. But let me ask you....are you happy being alone? Are you tired of crying and feeling sorry for yourself watching everyone else doing what you want to do? Do you wish things were different?
Some of my little steps out of isolation was to force myself to go alone to the movies, out to dinner, and even to go to a neighbourhood pub to listen to music. It sounds odd I know, but it was easier to get comfortable with the new me in public with strangers than with the people who knew me before my pain.
If you are avoiding family functions you could keep your visits brief and positive. If the family is sharing thoughts and opinions on your life you can calmly smile and say "thank you for your thoughts, I will give them consideration." We all have family members who think they know what is best for us and they may...but...we may not always need nor want to hear them. A simple statement like the above will let the family know that you have heard their thoughts without hurting their feelings...leaving you to make the choices for you.
Acknowledge the feelings that cause you to self-isolate and adopt positive coping skills to manage them. We all have emotions and we need to care for them in a healthy manner or we may find ourselves under our emotions. Pain is not only physical it's emotional too....take care of your emotions.
Surround yourself with the people who lift you up and encourage you. There will be people in your life you can talk with and there will people you can't. Learn which are which in your life and talk with those who do understand. Keep the less understanding people less informed on your life....they'll be less toxic this way.
There are ways to cope with self-isolation, but you have to deal with the emotions and feelings that are causing you do to this in the first place before you can move on. You can do it! and you are worth it! So go on...get out and get living your life for you. When we isolate ourselves we aren't living...we're existing.
take good care of you