Reprinted with the kind permission of Sue Ingebretson and Rebuilding Wellness 
Is isolation part of your fibro world? Chronic illness itself curbs social connections and keeps us feeling alone, hopeless, and stuck.
Do you go to as many social events as you used to? As many as you did before fibromyalgia or chronic pain?
If not, read on to see what that may mean for you. I’m confident that you’ll be both surprised and encouraged by what you discover below.
Fibro Self-Care Missing Pieces
Self-care is a vital part of healing and recovery from fibromyalgia and chronic illness. It sure was an eye-opening experience for me in my healing journey. I had no idea how poor my self-care practices were.
This month, I’ll share info on several vital self-care topics. Not necessarily the ones needed most, but ones that you’re likely not doing; self-care missing pieces.
Previous topics in this series include:
(with a practice you’re probably not doing now)
DENTAL HEALTH 
(with an easy remedy)
DRY SKIN REMEDY 
(with an inexpensive tool you probably don’t even own)
Perhaps you’re simply unaware of these missing pieces. And if so, here’s a flashlight focus.
Isolation and Chronic Illness
Isolation and chronic illness connect in ways that might not be obvious to you. Of course, pain may keep you at home or less active than in the past.
But there are other costs to consider.
Pain changes our perception of the world around us. We make assumptions regarding what others think of us. We make assumptions on the intentions of others – all filtered through our perceptions of pain.
And, what about our sense of optimism? There’s a direct correlation between fibromyalgia, chronic illness and our tendency toward negativity. For more info, check out my ProHealth article entitled, The Fibromyalgia – Negativity Connection. 
Isolation and feeling disconnected impacts our physical health. It causes disease to flourish, the immune system to falter, and even tells our genes how to function.
And, there’s more.
Isolation isn’t just a simple social problem — it’s a deadly problem.
Have you heard this?
is ranked as high a risk factor
for mortality as smoking.” 
Are You More Disconnected Than You Think?
You may be surprised to discover that feeling lonely isn’t the same thing as being alone.
“A new Concordia study published in Health Psychology has found that the onset of chronic illness often results in sufferers feeling lonelier — even for those who have had a steady partner for 50 years or more.” 
Is that startling to you?
Even surrounded by people, those dealing with chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraines, chronic fatigue, and those in cancer treatments can feel isolated.
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Pain is isolating.
Feeling unable to share is isolating.
There are many more topics on this weighty subject to explore. I’ve already covered many of them in my comprehensive three-part article written for ProHealth.
Here are some of the topics included so please dive in!
Feeling unheard or unable to express how you feel
The symptom unpredictability of fibro and chronic illness
The financial pressure of chronic illness
Identity and self-perception shifts due to chronic illness
The physical impact of isolation
Tips and remedies for the risks of isolation
The Medicine Missing from Your Healing Protocol
Social connections can help with chronic pain. They can help with affirming your own beliefs and making you feel less nutty.
Too much time ruminating alone can do that.
All the chatter in your head isn’t good company 24/7. We need others. We’re social creatures by nature.
One good thing about chronic illness is that we become very selective in WHO we choose to bring into our inner circles. Go ahead. Be choosy. Choose those who support, encourage, and perhaps even challenge you a bit.
Reaching out to connect can have a greater positive impact on your health than your other protocols put together.
Whether in person, phone, internet, or mail – just take the next step.
And, if you don’t know to whom, reach out within this Rebuilding Wellness community. We’re here to support. We can put people together to support each other and support us all as a collective. Please comment below.
Together, we’re stronger.
- https://newrepublic.com/article/113176/science-loneliness-how-isolation-can-kill-you 
- https://www.psypost.org/2015/02/study-discovers-new-link-chronic-disease-social-isolation-31691 
Sue Ingebretson is the Natural Healing Editor for ProHealth.com as well as a frequent contributor to ProHealth’s Fibromyalgia site. She’s an Amazon best-selling author, speaker, and workshop leader. Additionally, Sue is an Integrative Nutrition & Health Coach, a Certified Nutritional Therapist, a Master NLP Practitioner, and the director of program development for the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Center at California State University, Fullerton. You can find out more and contact Sue at www.RebuildingWellness.com.
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