Isolation and Loss from Chronic Illness

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I’ve been feeling rather sad and isolated the last few days. I think a lot of it comes from the stress of dealing with chronic illness and chronic pain. Anyone who has chronic illness is probably familiar with spoon theory, an illustrative way to describe why you have to choose carefully how to use your energy to do things when you have very limited physical ability.

In other words, sometimes you have to choose whether you would like to go out and socialize for a short period of time, spend that energy getting some much-needed housework done, work on a hobby or personal interest, or even simply take a shower…because you just don’t have the energy and the physical ability to do them all within the same day like a healthy person could.

Most of the time I end up choosing to spend my “energy” and limited abilities to either spend time with my husband, work on my art/writing/blogging, or take care of personal hygiene or light housework. Prioritizing these things leaves no extra energy or time to socialize on a wider scale or do much outside of the house, other than maybe occasionally going out for dinner or doing a little necessary shopping. Even the thought of going to a movie is often too exhausting to contemplate.

All of this makes me sad, especially when I remember how I used to enjoy so many other things I can’t do any longer. I used to love hiking, playing tennis, roller skating, bowling, dancing, working, swimming, being a foster parent, and going out to various activities with people I know or share interests with. I’ve pretty much lost all of that for good. And that is depressing.

30 thoughts on “Isolation and Loss from Chronic Illness

    1. Yeah. Quite honestly, my chronic pain journey started when I was 19 and ruptured my plantar fascia, and things have just slowly went downhill since then. It is hard to see things being slowly stripped away from you and fear that even more will be lost in the future.

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  1. It’s hard I understand .. I can relate I use to do a lot of the same things and now it’s about maintaining what I have and it’s the top part you said spending time with your husband . Getting yourself together . Things around the house. But the upside I’m happy it’s all about the little things I have come to see now and that is what is important . Your doing fine . Hugs❤️

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  2. Hey I’m there with ya. I feel ya. I’m not so much in chronic illness, however, as for me it’s all a mental game. What I’m putting my attention on, organising, planning, coordinating, considering, thinking, feeling, trying, whatever the hell I am trying to do.

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  3. Dealing with low- or no-spoon days is really hard. The grind of it can’t be relentless. And I hate how unpredictable it is. I’ve gotten to the point where I rarely make commitments for fear that, when the day comes, I won’t be able to do what I’ve promised. I hope things improve for you soon.

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  4. I’m sorry you’re having a tough time. I’m completely with you on these feelings. You describe it very well. I feel like this very often too. Sometimes I dream of running again and when I wake up to crutches and a wheelchair my heart drops inside me. I get very frustrated as well sometimes.

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