The Loneliness That Comes From Being Chronically Ill
Being chronically ill is one of the most isolating experiences I’ve ever had. I feel alone in this battle constantly.
I’ve heard chronic illness equated to falling down the rabbit hole before, which I feel is an apt description. It turns your world upside-down. I often feel as if I live in The Matrix, or on some other plane of existence.
I just don’t understand people anymore. I feel so alone when I have to interact with almost anybody. They just have no idea what my reality is like and they don’t often come close to grasping it even when I explain. Our worlds overlap, we can see each other, even talk with each other, but it’s never really…right. It never clicks. Which isn’t their fault, because I don’t know that I could’ve really understood before becoming sick myself. But it doesn’t make it any less isolating for me.
I’m not a part of their world anymore, to incorporate some Disney movie magic, which I try to do as often as possible when I write and in daily life (“Part of Your World” is a song from The Little Mermaid). But in all seriousness, that’s how it feels. When I’m with healthy people, I’m constantly reminded of all the things I can’t do. My physical reality and theirs are two very different things. They have no notion of the pain I feel every minute of every day that causes the limitations I have that they also don’t understand. And words are just so lackluster when it comes to attempting to describe the horror of being sick every minute of your life.
And it’s not only isolating for me, the other people start to pull away and isolate themselves from me as well. I hear from people less and less, until they never contact me anymore. What am I supposed to do to prevent that?
It’s so difficult because none of it is my fault, either. I didn’t ask for this. It’s not my fault that they don’t understand more and I can’t explain in a better way to help. And I know it’s not their fault, either. Which is what makes it such a desolate situation. I truly believe there’s a...