At one time, I was active in many online and face-to-face support groups for endometriosis and chronic illnesses…but at this point in my life…I just say no!
Not for the reasons, you may think either.
These groups served a purpose for me at the time. I thrives off of the emotional support, the feeling of belonging, the reality of not being alone, and the chance to help someone else in a similar situation as me.
But…then the groups became a chore.
Ok so let me share something about myself so that you will understand or have more information
I recently asked my friends what was one of my best qualities – you know like what would people remember about me after my days are lived?
Before I answer, I must say, my friends are completely used to me asking this type of question and they don’t even wonder why I ask anymore, they simply appease me with an answer.
Every friend that I asked, responded with some variation of me being nurturing, caring, giving, and wanting to help the unseen.
So back to the support groups – I had to leave them because I found myself constantly trying to fix every individual’s problems and be the listening ear for everyone.
I would purposely wake up when Susie Q in Another Country would likely be online because she needed a friend and I had to be that friend
With the face to face groups I would spend hours looking for resources for people because they mentioned needing assistance with X, Y, and Z…
there’s nothing wrong with these things but I tried to help others so much that I neglected myself . Doing these things for others meant that I didn’t get adequate sleep, failed to eat mindfully, and neglected my existing relationships
It didn’t take long for me to see that I had to leave the groups. I tried cutting back my time and I also tried to not interrupt my time with my loved ones to check on my support group peers, but I failed…so I left.
I am happy that I had the groups when I did and I’m also happy that I severed ties when I did.
My relationships are better, my awareness of my self care as it pertains to the chronic illnesses is better thanks to the groups.
If I ever need the groups again, I’m glad they are around but for now I have those people who were always there, waiting for me to teach them how to support me.