alt=a person coping with loneliness by playing video games with friends

Being Homebound and Coping with Loneliness

Last updated: August 2022

I’ve spent much of the last two years feeling an overwhelming sense of loneliness and isolation. Though the online community has helped me greatly, I still felt as though I was missing a large piece in my life: creating memories with others. I missed laughing with friends until my stomach hurt. I missed staying up late and talking about anything and everything for hours on end. I couldn’t remember the last time I had experienced any of those things.

When loneliness strikes, I often isolate myself further

I had started getting into this toxic habit of isolating myself even more than I already was. I wouldn’t answer my phone if anyone messaged me, and I wouldn’t utilize the community I’ve found through Instagram. Instead, I buried myself into a cocoon of bedsheets and wallowed in self-pity.

I heard somewhere that when you feel a negative emotion and you react in a negative manner, it is often because you are lacking the exact opposite of that thing in your life. So, in my case, reacting in an isolating way meant that I was severely lacking a sense of community or social contact.

Finding solace in an accessible way

Part of this problem was that I was so fixated on missing those moments before I got ill, and further exhausting myself by trying so hard to recreate those experiences when not only am I not the same person, but I also don’t have the energy that I used to. I was setting myself up for failure because deep down, I knew my body couldn’t keep up. Eventually it dawned on me that I was doing so, and that I needed to find a new, accessible way to create new moments with new people.

I used to feel alone – until I met friends through gaming

I have met some of the nicest people through playing my favorite video games. We’ve entered a match together, messed around in-game, and then added each other as friends just to have someone the play with. Something so simple changed my life because, a lot of these people have ended up becoming my friends.

We play these games for hours, joking around and sometimes even having some serious life talks. I’ve found individuals that have made me laugh until my stomach hurts again, all the while doing something that I love and that is accessible for me and the state of my health.

Things may not be the same, but they make sense for where I’m at

Of course, I will always miss the days where I was up drinking and playing games with friends in person until 1AM. I will always miss the version of myself before I was ill. It can be challenging meeting new people while being ill, and it was precisely that thought that had me down in the dumps for so long. Now, I have people who can help me forget about my worries and enjoy the present moment. I’ve found something that works for me and helps me prioritize my health, as well as connecting with people who enjoy the same things as I do.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AxialSpondyloarthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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