I recently read a post from a lady who obviously had felt very disappointed and saddened by the lack of understanding and the cold / rude comments made on her post. I felt so sorry and disappointed for her.
She went on to say that support groups are becoming not very supportive. I am sad to say that has become so true in many cases. There is a growing number of incidences where people can be cold, cruel, competitive and nasty to fellow sufferers. It doesn’t make sense to me.
Although I realize we are all different and have different opinions about illnesses, treatments, medications, relationships, symptoms, diets etc, surely that doesn’t mean we can’t express these opinions in a respectful manner?!
The fact is that many people come to support groups for just that reason… support, but can be saddened and terribly hurt when it becomes a place of judgement and rejection.
Sometimes it takes many different attempts and many different groups to find one that is a good fit. Sometimes it can take years of looking and getting a feel for each group. It doesn’t usually take long before you will know if it is the right group for you.
After many years in groups I believe I have developed a sense for where I feel comfortable and able to fit in. I am also the type of person that if I read a post that I don’t agree with or don’t understand, I simply keep scrolling down and skip over anything that I don’t wish to read or comment on. It would be a good idea to consider this before commenting on something that you are not sure how it will affect the person writing. I never write anything I wouldn’t want said to me or in a tone that I would want said to me.
No matter what our differences, there is no reason to be cruel and hurtful. Ever.
I have also found that after all these years I try to spend less time in groups and balance my precious time with other things not related to my pain, illness and suffering. Balance is key for me. Too much time spent in support groups can leave me feeling drained and morose.
In short, I have had some wonderful experiences, met some amazing people and valued from the learning and experiences of those far more knowledgeable than me. In some cases it has meant the world just to know I am not alone in my struggles, and that there are millions of people out there feeling, battling and coping with similar challenges as me. It gives me a great deal of comfort and hope.
However people are still people, no matter if they are sick or healthy, and we can encounter some very difficult personalities. When it comes to each support group we must ultimately ask ourselves is this a valuable tool, or is it a burden?
Thankfully there are so many groups out there for every possible disease that you will not be limited by options and possibilities.
I hope you will ultimately find the right group and the right balance for you!