Loneliness is the Most Terrible Poverty

I’ve  been feeling so lonely and isolated recently – so much so that I am having trouble writing and even connecting with you.

That’s why Tracy’s (from Oh! What a Pain in the…) blog post has rung so true with me…and I have to share it with you.

Why Pain is So Lonely

Accredited Member

From Oh! What a Pain in the…, an accredited member of FCK – THE blog directory for people about & with Fibromyalgia

Many people in Chronic Pain feel very alone sometimes, myself included. There is a big reason for that loneliness, mainly the fact that YOU are the one in pain. Despite how much we wish our doctors or loved ones could feel our physical pain in order to understand and validate how we feel, there is no device that will allow us to hook our pain receptors up to another person (but we can all hope for that one day). No one else can feel YOUR pain.

70. never aloneWe may not be alone in our journeys, but we are, essentially, alone in our pain. Additional factors that contribute to loneliness for those living in chronic pain include:

  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Inability to do activities outside of the house
  • Inability to work
  • Marital problems resulting from emotional issues connected with chronic pain
  • Strained relationships with family and friends

Loneliness is often not our choice. I did not choose to have back problems and other health issues. I did not choose for my pain to change me. I did not choose to have relationships lost as a result of what this life has done to me. But loneliness is very common for people in chronic pain. And it has a lot to do with the factors listed above. Chronic pain makes many people depressed, feeling hopeless, and therefore many isolate, choosing to stay home and not socialize.

For some it is difficult to get out of the house. I am able to leave the house and go to the gym for physical therapy, I can spend time with friends and family, but like most, my time is limited. My back has a time limit for standing, sitting, walking, so things like travel, or long event are difficult. But, going out for a little while doesn’t always help the loneliness, especially if pain increases when returning. Sometimes being with others is wonderful but then the recovery is painful and can perpetuate the cycle of depression, isolation and loneliness.

I try to fight loneliness where I can though. I can’t do anything about the marriage issues that have arisen as a result, but I can use my support system. I actually find that since my separation I do a lot more. I have a weekly dinner date with my niece and nephew, I see my best friend most weeks, go to my classes, spend time with my family. I didn’t realize how much I had isolated until all of this happened. I am very lucky to have a supportive system, but at the same time, sometimes you can be with 10 people and still feel alone because people don’t understand what you are going through. As I have said, the bottom line is YOU are the one in pain and you can explain it, give examples, try to make others understand, but it is still YOUR pain.

How do you deal with loneliness?

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  2. I try to make the most of my good days. I spend a lot of time with my dogs on my down days. My kids have gotten pretty good at seeing me in bed, so they come in after school and spend a little time with me and tell me how their day went, and the husband does the same. Sometimes one of them will just join me in bed and watch a movie while I doze and try to keep up (or pretend to). It does help to have them close. I don’t know what I’d do without them and what little time I do get with them during those times when I’m sure I’ve been in bed for weeks on end.

  3. I live alone and often feel isolate from the pain. I have two yorkishire terriers that snuggle and cuddle with me and that helps me feel better.

  4. redheadboxermomma

    This post hit so close to home. I have a pretty good support system, but only a few (probably 3) looked up fibromyalgia and “get it” when I say I need to leave, lay down, sleep. My husband doesn’t get it at all. I finally can drive short distances – cataract surgery went well and new glasses are awesome. But, it’s not like I can drive for hours. A drive to the grocery story is it. The treturn trip I am so exhausted from looking at so many things and thinking. My capacity for dealing with fibro flares is waning. I don’t think the pain is worse, per se, but dealing with it is tough; I’m starting to lose control. I wish there was a support group nearby.

    My heart goes out to you Simone; I know where you are coming from.

    • It’s so tiring just dealing with it all, let alone fighting it, that I think sometimes we just need to press the pause button and stop (if we’re in a position to do so) until we have the energy and motivation to pick up the sword again.
      I think I am in pause mode (still!) – I am so tired. We are still experimenting with drug combos and this is killing me. I never know what will be tomorrow (even worse than ‘normal’).
      Thanks for understanding.

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