I don’t see my friends really anymore. I’ve got nothing to talk about except pain, I can’t keep up with them, I’m always having to cancel plans, and I’m not sure they understand my pain. I hate feeling cut off but I can’t see a way out of it.

Feeling connected to people is a key part of being human. Having persistent pain can get in the way of our relationships

Here are some things that people have told us get in the way of having a social life:

  • “Not knowing how you will feel from day to day means you can’t plan and often need to cancel social plans at the last minute – sometimes it feels better not to make plans in the first place”
  • “You find out who your friends are. Once you can’t do the things you used to, there are some people you stop hearing from. Your circle of friends gets smaller”
  • “It just takes too much out of me to see people. I can just about manage doing the things that I have to do (like getting washed and dressed, and feeding myself!), the idea of socialising on top of that is overwhelming”
  • “I want to see my friends but I’ve got nothing to talk about anymore. I’m not good company and feel like I’m holding them back”
  • “Evenings are the worst time for me, and that’s when people go out. So I miss out”
  • “I’m tired of explaining the pain and explaining myself, so I guess I do shut myself away”

Although it is not easy, putting energy into friendships and social life can make a big difference to your quality of life and emotional well-being. Being part of a social group and having regular contact with people reduces our sense of isolation and gives us the chance for emotional and practical support. It can also bring back some much needed enjoyment and relaxation.

For a couple great blog posts about socialising and pain:
The Princess in the Tower
Hope in Pain

The following can all be helpful in dealing with the barriers to socialising:
Improving communication with friends and family
Looking at values and expectations
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