I am thrilled to announce something that I am incredibly passionate about.
I am starting a support group!
I have reached this point out of sheer frustration and a longing to connect with others who are living life with a chronic illness at a young age in an unrelenting city.
The past three weeks have been spent in my house, the majority of my day alone and in pain. As each day passed I found myself feeling more and more disconnected from the world. Even my friends seem like strangers after three weeks of pain hell. How could they ever truly understand what it’s like? How could I expect them to? In addition to my fabulous friends I need to others living with a chronic illess. New friends that go through the intense ups and downs that I go through on this wild path I am on! Our paths should cross!
To be totally honest, I used to be weary of this concept of a group where you get together based on an illness you share. I found it a bit indulgent, and scared away from seeing others who may be really really sick, or was apprehensive at getting together to commiserate. I honestly didn’t see how it could be helpful to me at first. I think I was scared to talk about it, still in denial about my diagnosis, my limitations, my identity as a patient with an autoimmune disease… I realize now I was mistaken.
The other challenge was I hadn’t yet found a support group that I felt comfortable in, one where I identified with the others (we didn’t share similar outlooks on healing, age gaps and differences in lifestyle made it difficult for me to see how one of these previous groups that I had found through the hospital or doctor’s offices could help me sort out what I was feeling).
Here I am over three years later and I find myself searching for others who understand what this is like –only this time I am tailoring the group to specific needs of a patient like me. I will create the environment that I crave and find others similar to myself , and the possibilities are endless from there!
I am starting the screening process this week. It is important to me that I find the right balance for our group so we are all comfortable enough to share this very personal and vulnerable side of our lives.
If you or anyone you know fits into the following requirements I ask that you please reach out to me. This can be a life changing experience! I also ask that you spread the word please
Women between the ages of 18 and 40 who are living with chronic illness or any Autoimmune Disease (i.e. Lupus, Scleroderma, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimoto’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc).
You live in or close to (or can get easily to) downtown Manhattan (where the meetings will be held).
You are interested in a support group that focuses on positivity, empowerment, and being a proactive advocate for your health. We will cover everything from what’s bugging us, to scary doctor’s visits, to juicing and anti-inflammatory diets,to achieving our goals (both health and personal), the list goes on…
If you are interested please contact me at savelaurensheart [at] gmail [dot] com