Staying connected with family and friends
People in your life may not know what you are able to do and may hesitate to invite you to do things. It may be up to you to suggest some things you can do to have fun together. When you’re not feeling well, you may need to get creative. You may also need to be the one to take control and make contact because your friends may think that you are not well enough to do things and so may not want to bother you.
Here are some suggestions.
Have friends over to watch a movie or play a video game, or do this virtually if that is preferred.
Ask your friends to take photos or videos of stuff happening in their lives and share them with you. Or ask them to frequently update you by status updates or text messages. That way, you can stay connected even when you can’t be there yourself.
Set up online groups with your close friends where you can share your daily experiences.
If you have one friend that you feel the closest to, maybe ask that person to help organize things with the rest of your friends for you.
Ask someone from your healthcare team to help you plan visits with friends and talk to them about your pain.
The internet can be a great resource for you. Just remember that not everything you share on the internet may stay private. Talk to your friends by instant message, email, video chat, or on social media. Share links and videos or create some videos of your own to share.
Start a blog or send group emails so people close to you know how you’re doing. This way, you only write the message once and it reaches everyone you want to update.
How can I maintain a relationship with my romantic partner?
If you have a romantic partner, you may want to lean on this person for support. When you are faced with chronic pain, it is normal for you to feel differently about a lot of things. You may not feel like yourself. Even with the challenges that come from living with chronic pain, many people find a way to stay close with their partner. Be sure to share your feelings honestly so that you can understand and support each other.
You may be concerned that they may not understand. But your partner, similar to others in your life, may simply not know how to be helpful. Help them understand what is helpful to you when you have pain and ask them what would be helpful for them when it comes to how your pain may be affecting your relationship. Try to find some time to be alone together in person or for private phone or internet conversations.
Asking for help
When you are not feeling well, it is important to tell your family or a person that you trust. There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. Your family, partner or a trusted friend may be able to make life easier for you when you aren’t feeling well. Sometimes the person may not know what to do to help so you need to be able to tell them. It is ok to ask for help.