Tag Archives: Isolation

Meet me for Coffee!

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We’ll set a time when you are free and so am I. No distractions please. You get a cup of coffee or tea at your house, and I do the same at mine. Then, whoever initiated the date makes the call, and we talk just like we would if I could see you. It’s really that simple.

If you’re ever limited in your ability to go out, it’s extremely important to keep your connection with others until you can do more. With MS, you can quickly lose touch; you don’t see it happening until it’s too late.  It’s such an unpredictable disease; you expect to be down for just a bit, but you never know. This withdrawal can lead to an unintended isolation, which leads to depression. It happens quickly. Friends call to talk and go places and you decline more and more. Your speech problems, your balance issues, your spasms, your fatigue. You really just don’t feel like going out.  Even talking on the phone can wear you out. It all takes so much energy. Eventually, they call less and you are relieved.

There are those few that hang in there. They don’t call as often, but they will still call, you can count on it. They’re the ones that understand because you’ve explained this to them when you were well, before the relapse. They call to say they don’t want to talk, the call is just to check on you, and to say that they love you.

Things you can do to make this easier:

1)      Most importantly, talk to your close friends when you are well. Explain to them how it feels when you are having a relapse, as best you can. Each relapse is different, but you can explain how things have gone in the past, and that they may be completely different but to please be patient.

2)      Send a blanket email or text to your selected friends.” I’m not answering calls or emails and such right now because my MS is acting up. Please don’t worry; I need to use my energy wisely.  Another note will come when I’m up to it. Meanwhile, keep the party going.”

3)      Answer calls when you can, but keep it simple. You don’t need to explain everything. “I know I haven’t answered your calls in a while but my MS is acting up and I feel crappy. Please call me back in a couple of days, (weeks, months).” Do not wear yourself out.

As soon as you can, do a little more. Start small. Answer more calls and even make some. Have coffee dates more often, and enjoy them.

Me and Ruthie 🙂300666_10200856069915856_673429886_n

COMMENTS: Please share the things that you do to stay connected that don’t require going out. We could use more ideas.

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Filed under Mental Well-Being, MS and Depression, Riding Out a Relapse

Today I met Mary

Mary’s Story
I’ve spotted my table for the day and put my things down but I’m much more interested in what the lady has at the table next to me. I lean in on top of her an say “hmm, Positive Discipline, I think that’s great! I’m a huge believer in all things positive especially when it comes to discipline. I used to be a school teacher and I’ve raised two kids and I’ve used it in lots of different ways.(all in one breath) Do you mind me asking who you’re getting these books for?” Her name is Mary, when she starts to talk I ask, “Do you mind if I sit down?”… I have a friend for life.
I was in my favorite book store and cafe. Coming here is one of the ways I fight depression and its one surefire defense against isolation. I always talk to strangers, I can’t help it. And if there are no suitable strangers, I just visit with my friends the “Young Barristas” and write.
As it turns out, Mary’s daughter has been with a man for only two years, recently marrying him. She has a son, eight years old, and this man (now the stepfather) mistreats her son, in the name of discipline. This is all according to other family members (Mary’s brother). Mary’s never witnessed it herself, and this man is who the books are for.
WHOA! Mary…unless you want to be an EX mother in law over night, I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Clearly, with Mary and I being the instant best-friends that we are, she confides in me and I counsel her. She tells me all about him, and he doesn’t sound like a very nice guy at all. (The voice in my head says…”okay spit it out already, he sounds abusive!”) I share with Mary (I’m sure it seems quite random) that I had been in an abusive relationship when I was young. From what she has told me, this guy has shown many of the warning signs of an abuser already. I shared with her how important my families support was in me finally being able to end that relationship. Family and a good therapist! Never stop being a listening, loving, ear and KEEP the therapy discussion on the table. At some point she will hear you.
Mary’s daughter has not told her that her new husband is abusive. Mary never told me that her son-in-law was abusing her daughter; I just got a bad feeling in my stomach about him. When Mary got up to leave she hugged me and kissed me on the cheek.

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Filed under Mental Well-Being, MS and Depression, MS and Domestic Violence