Today I am partnering up with someone who I’m proud to call one of my close friends, she has been working on a project for Mental Health Awareness Week, something we both are passionate about. She has been brave enough to share her story and I am honoured to have been asked to collaborate with her on one of her daily posts which today the topic is loneliness. She continues to amaze and inspire so many people so please check out her story and her project at https://www.talkofftherecord.org/mental-health-awareness-week/ & https://www.instagram.com/p/CAatQekHy9J/?igshid=74qczfp0skw7
I have always been surrounded by so many people I cared about and who care about me, but somehow for years I felt so alone. The feeling of loneliness has become almost a side effect of invisible illnesses and in my case a side effect of my fibromyalgia. So many of us fibro fighters feel as if we’ve been robbed of our freedom to do what we want due to our symptoms causing us to miss out on so many opportunities and events. We make it our mission to find a way to make people believe that we are in pain, but when this fails, we tend to then try and mask and hide our pain as much as we can to the public eye. This makes every waking moment exhausting and extremely lonely because not one person I knew could relate to how or what I felt. On top of this we tend to not want to talk about it because of the disbelief and lack of knowledge people have.
In social environments such as school and university I often felt it was easier to stay home or in my uni room and isolate myself then to be in a crowd which made me feel more alone than if I was to be physically by myself. Living with chronic illnesses has a massive negative impact on a person’s life and in many cases like mine it disrupts a lot of social interactions, education and employment which leads to both anxiety and depression. I was in the worst place for a very long time but the first time I reached out to someone is a day I would never forget. I was 15 years old watching the news with my family in 2012 when an interview of an 18-year-old girl was taking place. Her name was Eve-Yasmine, someone who will always inspire me and inspired me from that very first interview. At a very young age Eve-Yasmine showed me that despite living with chronic pain syndrome (something we were both diagnosed with prior being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia) it is possible to follow your dreams and goals. She rightly deserved the that Spirt of London award nomination and will forever have my gratitude for the strength and courage she had me believe in. I am truly blessed to be able to call her a friend and now have her support in my passions!
However, the loneliness did creep back when I became older. Missing out on so many things everyone else was doing around me and feeling a burden towards almost everyone made me go back into hiding. I felt trapped for over 10 years but this is what encouraged me to speak out in the recent weeks which has lead to not all but a huge amount of that loneliness to fade. There are so many services available that offer help and by speaking out I have found a wonderful community of people like myself, reconnecting with old connections as well as making new ones. It has been the best decision I have made throughout my whole journey and I encourage all of you who feel alone to reach out to someone, anyone because no one should ever feel alone! You are all strong, so never give up and always TALK!