I just made my breakfast this morning, when I came back in the lounge I caught the end of breakfast TV. A couple of guests, I think they must have been talking about when they met. There was a clear memory that then met two years ago on October the such-and-such.
One of the guests goes on, The thing about addiction is that you just feel so on-your-own. Okay, so the first thing, I knew that these women were on to talk about an addiction of some kind. The second thing was this feeling of isolation.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it doesn’t just apply to addiction. Whenever someone feels that there is something “wrong”, something “abnormal” (one day I shall write about my love of the word normal!), about them, they always feel as though they’re the only people going through that experience. Out on a limb again – they’re not!
But, society has evolved to the point where we sit in our little hutches and consume what the the broadcasters throw at us… And that fodder is mostly aimed at people who aren’t “wrong”, or “abnormal”. You have to go hunting for people who share your specific interest.
After the stroke, I spent months on the sofa thinking that nobody else could possibly be going through what I was going through. With hindsight, I know that was rubbish. The computer was a great enabler, although at the start I had no interest even in firing it up. And social media – we can have great debates about whether social media is good or bad, I know as a stroke survivor that Facebook was a lifeline, enabling me to meet other people who were also living the dream.
When I was strong enough to leave the house, I found a local coffee group – again, people in the same boat. I’m still quite upset that the group eventually folded, precisely because we’re a few less “people in the same boat” for a new survivor to discover. Attending the group was never really about individuals, much more because the group itself was a beacon. That’s also the reason I still visit the hospital ward, though other people obviously don’t see things the way I do.
So, please, if there’s something you’re affected by, there will likely be other people in the same situation, but you will have to pro-actively go looking for them. So get searching!