The Loneliness of Chronic Illness

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Chronic Illness can be a very lonely journey, even when you’re surrounded by people who love and care about you.

Often you become isolated, unable to go out with friends, and over time, those friends move on, and you’re left behind.

Eventually people stop asking about your health; and you’re glad, because there’s nothing fresh to tell them.

After years of suffering, adjusting, changing and recalibrating you settle into a new sense of normality. When you have a rough day, you don’t bother to tell people anymore because there’s nothing they can do. You get good at hiding the pain; you carry a burden that affects you every day, and while others forget, you have a constant reminder.

I have been so blessed in my illness (which has claimed the majority of my adult life) to have been surrounded by supportive friends and family, but no-one can fully walk the path with you. No-one knows what it feels like on the inside.

Everyone else can walk away; everyone except God.

He is the only one who has walked every step with me. He’s done every day at work, every night of insomnia, every holiday, shopping trip, restaurant experience, social gathering and solitary day on the couch. No-one knows what I experience every day, except Him.

The silent solitary path of chronic illness is a lonely and often isolated one, but I am so blessed to say (in the words of Matt Redman) that ‘never once have I ever walked alone.’

23 comments on “The Loneliness of Chronic Illness

  1. Bev Hunter says:

    Thanks Sara – If I didn’t have my Heavenly Father to help me I don’t want to think where I might be!!! Bev

    • sarsrose says:

      I thought of you as I published this Bev. You certainly know the difficulty of this road. I am so often encouraged by the belief that one day it will all be worth it. x

  2. Mel says:

    Beautufully said xxx

  3. Daniel Paul says:

    I envy you and your faith. I’ve only just started my chronic illness journey, and have watched my mother struggle through many of the things you describe. Believing in someone who shares everything with me, pain or elation, would be such a blessing. Unfortunately my own beliefs have me walking each of the steps you describe alone. I’m you have your faith to help you, Sarah. I have my loving wife, but as you say, only sufferers can really understand.

    • sarsrose says:

      Oh, Daniel. My heart goes out to you as you suffer without the hope that faith brings. I can’t even imagine how difficult that would be.
      As we’ve discussed before, I really don’t believe that faith is just for those who have ‘the best imaginations.’ I know myself that so much of my faith is rooted in logic and reason. I am genuinely convinced that God’s existence and care for us is the only logical and complete explanation for our existence. I will pray too that you will find and be absolutely convinced of His existence and sacrifice for you. You know I’m always happy to chat about matters of faith too.
      Hoping that in those moments that seem unbearable you will find a strength beyond your own, and the comfort and support of family and friends.

  4. Encouraged by your transparency and desire to glorify God in your illness. Blessings!

  5. Thank for stopping by my blog and lead me to yours, I so know where you coming from. So thank you for sharing your thoughts and journey. Many Blessings..

  6. Southern Wonder says:

    That is a beautiful post. It is disheartening when friends and family can’t understand because it’s not their experience. But God can always know our thoughts, feelings and pain.

  7. journeyofjoy says:

    Sniff… sniff! Boatloads of compassion go out to you; praying for your strength and continued healing.


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