Monday, July 22, 2013

Being Alone vs. Loneliness: What does this mean to someone in chronic pain?

Being Alone vs. Loneliness

Being alone is something we sometimes choose, and it can be a healthy time for self exploration. Loneliness, on the other hand, fosters isolation and seclusion. Being alone and loneliness are not the same. As human beings, we have a basic need to spend time with others.

Benefits of appreciating time with others are:

•  Sharing of experiences.
•  Having time to ask for and give support.
•  Finding social balance between ourselves and

Next time you are feeling lonely, consider:

•  Is my alone time productive for me?
•  Is my alone time balanced with together time?
•  Is my alone time making me feel too alone?

What can I do today to balance my alone time and my time with others? 

Excerpt from: Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain, Summer Devotions. 

Available at AMAZON here, or BARNES and NOBEL here


Unknown said...

I have searched for the past 5 years for anyone or anything to help me through fibromyalgia. I purchased 3 of your books tonight in hopes of some comfort. Your story and website views touched me!
Independence Mo

Michelle Etzenhouser

Anonymous said...

I Live in South Mississippi and I'm in NEED of a Doctor to HELP me manage my Fibromyaliga,I have Medicaid and It's HARD to find a Doctor."NEED HELP" Please.....

Celeste Cooper said...

Missy, if the reviews are any indication, you should be able to find some helpful information. Keep me posted. FYI, you live very close to me. You can contact me through my website, Wishing you the best, Celeste

The Pained Ink Slayer said...

Anonymous, unfortunately, finding a doctor that understands FM, really understands, is difficult. It took me about ten years, and that is an important piece. However, even our doctors don't know exactly what to do. Your best bet is to find a doctor that listens and is open to learning more. Learn all you can, knowledge is your best defense against this horrible disorder. There are many topics on my blog and you can learn more on my website at If your local library carries our Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: the Mind-Body Connection, please check it out and share what you can with your physician.

Unfortunately, it is lined out in the Institute of Medicine report that certain people are discriminated against when it comes to pain conditions, the poor, ethnic groups, and women. This is something we are trying to change through the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy. I wish you all the best. Please find comfort in knowing it is a long and rocky road, but we travel it together.

If I were with you I would give you a gentle hug, and we would cry it out together. There is strength in numbers. If you can, find a local support group either for chronic pain in general or fibromyalgia. Using your voice and connecting with others is empowering, and by networking locally, you might find a doctor. That is how I found mine. In healing and hope, Celeste

Unknown said...

Thank you for writing back to my post. I have 3 of your books. I love them all. Jeffrey Miller is treating my daughter. He left me a message about a seminar coming up on the 28th. He is going to sugn my books. I understood your on vacation. Hope your having a great time. Please keep in touch.
Missy Marie Michelle Etzenhouser
Kansas City Mo

Unknown said...

Celeste, I am the artist that had serious lyme disease. I was first diagnosed at Mass General. with Fibromyalgia. I thought I was well, but lately I have depression, lots of crying, lonliness, bad fatigue ans no sleep at night. I am baffled as to what it may be, depression, chronic fatigue, return of you have any Ideas. Even admitting these symptoms are hard for me, as I worked so hard to be well from Lyme. Roz Wesolaski Milano

The Pained Ink Slayer said...

Hi Mike. I sure recognize your name. I am not a physician, so I must tread lightly. I am an RN/educator and fibromyalgia health expert at Sharecare, so my reply will be on that basis.

First, the symptoms you describe need a differential diagnosis because depression can be part of any chronic pain or illness state, and it can manifest in physical symptoms. Inadequate or disrupted sleep disorder is a primary symptom of FM that causes fatigue and can contribute to depression. During the normal stages of sleep, we should heal. However, in FM those particular stages are often missing. Have you had a sleep study? Sometimes a good sleep specialist can help you get a better handle on it. New studies show that antidepressants may have the opposite effect over time when used for a non-primary depression disorder, and some believe they are ineffective over time in people WITH primary depression. If it helps, stick with it until it doesn't, and when it doesn't, a strict re-evaluation is in order no matter what it is. Have you had emotional despair because of a particular situation? If so, you might consider talk therapy. You could have a metabolic problem too, particularly because of the FM and Lyme. These are reasons you need to see your treating physician.

Medications or medication interactions, FM, CFS/ME, Lymes, depression, metabolic disorders that frequent all three can cause the bad fatigue and it interferes with your ability to be around others, whether in person or on-line. Avoid any negative on-line forums, and try writing some personal affirmations.
There are other coping and management strategies on my website.

Lyme can rear its ugly head unexpected too, so be sure your physician is aware you are a Lyme patient. Rule out a biological cause first, many patients have had hypothyroidism diagnosed by a psychiatrist.

Don't fret that you shared. I fight for more representation of men in the studies because there are those who think FM is female exclusive. One in seven patients are men. You speaking up could help millions of other men in your shoes. We know that FM symptoms in men, like heart attack, don't present the same way, and men are taught to suffer in silence or "buck up." That serves no purpose for you or anyone else, so be proud that you are using your voice.

Find something that occupies your time alone, and spend time with others. I know that is difficult for those of us with disability, but you can find a way. Anything worth having never comes easy. I know that is a cliché, but it is true.

Unknown said...

Mike, I have fibro too and my oldest daughter has Lyme. Both are so close in nature that it wants to make you cry because you can't tell which is going to be the problem. As Celeste stated, lack of sleep and pain can increase the potential for depression. Have you had your doctor check your levels to see if you need another dose of antibiotics because of the possible co-infections with Lyme?

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