I like a lot of alone time. Always have.
But after all these years ... enough is enough.
As I got healthier I got more restless, looking for ways to get me some human interaction outside of my four walls and family.
Haven't been able to make it work in the town where I live yet, but I have been browsing the internet and I have hit some paydirt.
If you are a chronic who hasn't yet been able to find your way back home, let me recommend a few things.
If you like to write, start a blog. There are free ones out there. Don't email me for advice on this one because I don't know anything. My blog is part of my website and besides my husband set it all up. But along with free blogs, they offer free advice.
There are many CFS bloggers out there. Don't let that stop you, thinking there are already enough. There can never be enough. And many bloggers are in touch with others. And people who read your blog have the chance to post a comment for you. It's a tremendous thing for a chronic to get an email telling them that someone ... heard them. I recommend it.
If you would like to be around other people but maybe not get involved right away, there are forums for us. You can hang back and just read, you can post once in awhile, or you can jump right in. The one I am most involved with is the ME/CFS Forums at Phoenix Rising. These are Cort Johnsons' forums, connected with his website Phoenix Rising.
I joined Facebook awhile ago and I'd recommend this too. A nice way to be in touch with different people, for the casual things, the silly things, and also the big things if you so choose. And you can look at their pictures.
I compare these three circles -- personal writing (and emailing), forums and Facebook, to the different ways we socialize in a normal situation. We might have a one-on-one visit with a friend in our living room. We might go out to meet a friend in a restaurant or coffee shop or bar. Or we might join a club or go to a party. Even if we see the same people, because these are different settings, it becomes a different experience.
And if you've been home alone for the last five years, it'll be a VERY different experience than you're used to.