This is why I have been focusing on this issue in therapy lately. I do not want to sink into depression because of my situation. So we talk about ways to be engaged with friends and stay connected. Recently, one of my best friends and I decided that instead of just emailing or calling on the phone, that we would have regular Skype appointments. We Skyped yesterday and it's so much fun! I told her, and she agreed, that it feels so much more like we're actually visiting. She's been able to show me things using the computer during our Skype conversation that I haven't been able to see since I can't visit her anymore. It was so much fun and I am in such a good mood and happy when we finish, that my mood stays positive for longer.
Of course, working on my Blog is another thing I do to try to engage with others and share with other IC patients, not just my personal friends. Working on my Blog gives me a challenge, it's rewarding when I hear from others that they got something out of it, so this too is good for staying positive, using my brain and feeling like I have something to do.
I do have a friend who lives nearby and we work on trying to visit on a monthly basis, if I'm up to it. If possible, we'll meet for lunch. Restaurants always have bathrooms, so that helps! Just seeing her and having a lunch out every so often works wonders for my mood as well. I can't do it as often as I would like, but when we can't get together we do use Facebook and phone calls to stay in touch.
I know this is something everyone with IC and on Disability struggles with. It is an ongoing struggle for me. But in talking about it with my therapist, we talk about coping techniques, options for things to do to keep me occupied, engaged and challenged.
It's not always easy, but looking for the things we CAN do and not focusing all our energy on what we can't do, is the place to start. It's what I'm working on. I also find that telling those friends that are going out of their way to stick by me how much that means to me. They need to know that their support, encouragement and friendship are valuable to me and actually help me every day deal with the challenges of my daily life with IC!
Thank you to everyone who supports me. Each of you is a valued friend and I am grateful for the never ending love and support from family, friends and members of the IC Community. This Blog is dedicated to all of you every day! We are not alone!