The Importance of Community
Last updated: September 2022
Somehow, I always seem to expect others around me and those I attempt to make a connection with to understand me and everything I go through – or at the very least try. But the reality is, most people honestly don't even bother.
Chronic illness takes an emotional toll
Most people don't have to consider illnesses and manage related symptoms daily. Let alone the mental and emotional toll it takes on individuals with chronic conditions like allergies. So, they don't even consider it nor have it in their realm of awareness.
Feeling disappointed and alientated without community
I find myself disappointed with this more often than not. Living with allergies, atopic dermatitis, and other health conditions is difficult. Most of the time, I feel like most people, including us, just want to be understood and seen. But unfortunately, we are usually not. Even those close to us who make up our support system may not fully understand what it's like to live with these conditions, no matter how hard they try.
Watching, reading, and learning about something is different from actually experiencing it firsthand.
Finding a community is so important
This is why communities like Allergies.net are so important and necessary. I spend so much time feeling isolated, disconnected, alienated, and misunderstood because of my health conditions. Truth be told: it's one of the hardest parts of this journey.
I seek connection, yet it's hard to connect with others. Our priorities simply don't match the majority of the time.
While other people are worried about what to cook for dinner or about their next date, I'm concerned about when I'll have another allergic reaction or skin flare-up and how I'll deal with it. Or I'm already busy dealing with a current one. We never really get a break.
Allergies impact all aspects of life
Chronic health conditions are insidious and seep into every area of our lives. For me, this is a challenging aspect to deal with. It takes an emotional toll on me. I get hurt when those I am connected to don't bother to reach out and see how I am doing and coping. But they don't get it, and maybe they never will.
Still working on acceptance
I still have work to do in accepting this and accepting that not everyone is meant to be part of my journey in the first place. Our true tribe and soul family will understand us and put in the effort. And though they may be far and few in between, especially when dealing with chronic health conditions, they truly shed so much light on the darkest parts of us and our lives.
I genuinely believe most people, chronic health conditions or not, want to be seen and understood. As social creatures, we need that connection with others. It's what inspires us, gives us a spark and life, and hope to keep trudging forward even on the most challenging days.
These communities are a lifesaver for people like me, who just can't help but feel like an outsider and alien everywhere else I turn.
How often do you connect with others who have food allergies?