An Answer to Disability-Caused Isolation
Where people experiencing storms can safely and privately network with others in storms.
It Is A
- Place for you who live in the storms of ongoing physical challenges, especially when those difficulties affect how you live your life, to connect with others who are likewise challenged.
- Support group for disabled people – even though we may not consider ourselves disabled.
- Place to know you’re not the only one navigating your life through storms.
- Place to share your story, whine a bit, rejoice in improvements, let off steam, ask questions, contribute tips for coping.
- Have a great doc visit?
- See a ridiculous doc?
- Get bad news?
- Funny family incident?
- Need prayer?
- Big things or small.
- Whatever’s on your heart.
- Safe, private, supportive environment for you with physical challenges. (Your posts cannot be seen by anyone except group members and is not picked up by Google, etc.)
How to Connect
- Sign on to Facebook.
- Search for Our Connections. Ask to join. The admin will contact you.
- Coming soon: A private support group for disabled on this site
A Few Ground Rules
- Privacy is paramount so people can feel free to confidently post their experiences; therefore, the group expects all members to value everyone’s privacy by not reposting or sharing the information with others.
- Respect for others is important.
- Remember this is the internet and although we take every effort to keep things private, there are no guarantees.
The Idea Conceived
Connections was born of my own sense of isolation. Since my strength and endurance are severely limited, my social interaction with others is restricted. Family, some friends, and Church once a week constitute my social dealings. I so long for meaningful contact with other people. From this longing came the realization that there must be more people out there like me. Ones who can’t be involved in normal life because of physical limitations. People who live with pain and weakness. Others who feel lonely. People who need connections with a real, live person. Consequently, I began looking for ways to connect with others who might also be feeling isolated.
How Connections Developed
I realized these connections could not come through personal contacts such as visits with friends, support groups, Bible studies, Church work or helping others through volunteering. About fifteen years ago, though, I discovered that the computer opened up a completely new world! Hand weakness and loss of control progressed enough that handwriting became difficult; however, I retained enough ability to use the computer on a limited basis. Thus, it seemed logical to use it as a way to connect with others. Posting on Facebook walls wasn’t an answer because of lack of privacy; also, it could increase your loneliness if no one commented on your posts. Additionally, you wouldn’t want to publicly post very personal information. Other sites for the invisibly disabled had great information and helpful support groups, but their groups were too large to for the personal touch. The idea for this Facebook group originated from an e-group (in the prehistoric days before social media) I belonged to. We could, and did, email about anything and everything, including asking for prayer support. Although none of them shared my limitations, they were compassionate women with a lot of imagination who were an encouragement and source of strength to me. It was a place I could sound off, cry out, or share good things. One unique lady in the group was Debbie, an e-friend whom I never met. Because of similar life experiences and diagnoses, we shared about some very serious issues as well as fun stuff. We could always email each other with just a “help” and the other would know we needed special prayer. We also encouraged and drew strength from each other. I miss her greatly. That e-relationship formed the basis for the idea of Connections.
My Vision: Navigating Our Storms Through Connections
I envision Connections to be a source of community for those with chronic conditions that make it difficult to engage in everyday life. It should be a place where we can reach out to each other to share joys and pains – a place for encouragement and strengthening – a place for connecting with others who understand the realities of severe limitations – and a place where we can freely share our good times and receive support in our bad times. If you are living through your own storms, I invite you now to join this support group for disabled – and non-disabled – where you can express your hurts and frustrations as well as joys, and that you will find true comfort and hope for dealing with your limitations. I hope we will become e-friends even though we may never meet in this life. –Connected Carole