By K W Warburton, The Reluctant Spoonie

Developing a chronic illness suddenly often leads to loss of friendships and loneliness, especially if we are no longer able to leave the house as we used to. Social media often becomes our only source of social interaction, however, when we are bombarded with pictures of our friends out living their lives, it can lead us to hit the mute or unfollow button quickly.

Find out how to survive NYE parties as a Spoonie here
spoonie friendships
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Friendships with people that we’ve known for years can fade as our illnesses engulf our lives and we are no longer able to attend parties or catch-up sessions. We may even find that we no longer have things in common with the people we attended school or university with. Often, replying to texts and DM’s can be taxing if cognitive issues are part of the package of out illness.

This is where the online chronic illness community comes in. Many of us discover it by accident when searching a hashtag on Instagram. Connecting with people who have the same illness as us can help us feel less alone, especially if our doctors have made us feel like we are the first person in the world to have this illness. The way that we socialise after developing a chronic illness changes. Most of our interactions will be online if we are bed or housebound most days. Being able to celebrate a good doctor’s appointment or commiserate over a bad one with those who understand is vital to our overall wellbeing.

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There are those within the chronic illness community who are working towards tacking this loneliness epidemic. Spoonie Survival Kits is a charity that creates gift bags tailored to the needs of those with a chronic illness. They also provide remote voluntary opportunities for those with a chronic illness. There are also several pen pal matching services such as Spoonie Pen Pals and Chronic Warrior Collective if you like to receive a handwritten letter from another Spoonie.

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Just because you can’t go outside very often or attend parties, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make new friends. This Galentine’s day (13th Feb), challenge yourself to make a new Spoonie friend. Drop someone a DM who has the same illness as you (it is a great conversation starter!). If you are new to the chronic illness community, then you can always drop me a DM and I can match you up with someone.

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WHY I'M NOT MAKING ANY RESOLUTIONS THIS YEAR⁠ ⁠ The new year is often a time when people set themselves goals for the year. I have done this for the past few years, setting myself one personal and one professional goal that I wanted to achieve. However, this year, I am not setting myself any goals as I find that they do not bring me any joy or fulfilment once achieved. ⁠ ⁠ This year, I will be living in the moment and enjoying life as it happens. I hope to share the highs and lows with you on the way. Three things that I am looking forward to this year are 1) being a bridesmaid at my friend's wedding,⁠ 2) Attending my first graduation ceremony and 3) the long-awaited release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons (prepared to be spammed with cute content in March).⁠ ⁠ One thing that I do want to do this year is to meet the lovely @lifeofpippa in person after volunteering with her charity @spooniesurvivalkits for 4 years, it is high time that we get some nice tea and cake together ☕🍰 ⁠ Are you setting yourself any goals this year?⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ——————–⁠ Help me raise awareness of POTS and other chronic illnesses by visiting my Etsy shop or donating to my Ko-Fi today.⁠ ——————–⁠ #spoonie #spoonielife #chronicillnesswarrior #sicklife #chronicsick #youngandchronic #invisibleillness #pots #potssyndrome #chronicillnessblog #newyear #spooniesunite #spooniechat ⁠ #sickbutinvisible #spoonieproblems #endowarrior #dysautonomiaawareness #newyeargoals #invisibleillness #autoimmunedisease #fibromyalgia #cosplay #butyoudontlooksick #chronicfatigue #pokémon #love #disability #chronicillnesssucks #chronicillnesssupport #chronicillnessblog⁠

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Here are some Spoonie friends that I’ve made over the years:
Pippa @lifeofpippa
Claire @through.the.fibro.fog
Rana @rana2.0
Kelly @kellyreidcreations
Renée @rayraydoesit
Laura @chronically_laura
Laura @talesofanaturalspoonie

Read more:  How to Build a Sustainable Handmade Business

Want to send a little something to one of your Spoonie friends? Check out our free letter writing service, Send a Sunflower here

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