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Confronting loneliness

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As you experience the various transitions of treatment and survivorship, you may find that you are constantly adapting and finding new ways to connect with your support system. You may feel like you've changed a lot since you last talked to friends and family. You may look different and fear how they will react to seeing you. You may even feel like your friends and family won't have the “right” words. Maybe you're trying to protect them from feeling awkward. 

Confronting Loneliness

Try these tips for re-engaging with family and friends:

  • Suggest a Google Hangout, FaceTime, or other virtual get together. Since COVID-19 everyone is hanging out this way. It's actually the "new normal!”

  • Send a funny meme with the text message, “I saw this, and it made me think of you! Remember when we…” It's a great way to break the ice if you haven't reached out to someone in a while. 

  • Confide in one friend or family member who can help get you over the awkward hump of reconnecting with the larger group. Maybe you have a sister, brother, or best friend who can explain to family and friends that you went through a really tough time when you were “off the grid,” but you're back now, and anxious to catch up! This person can also give your friends and family tips on how to engage with you. 

  • Remember, your friends and family are probably giving you more compassion and grace than you are giving yourself. Don't let awkwardness stand in the way of you accepting that gift. 

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