Support groups can be very effective when used to your advantage. Have a positive attitude and join in with group discussions to share experiences, what's worked, what hasn't, what support is available, what to avoid, and even make new friends! What causes you triggers may also be a trigger for someone else and they hadn't even thought of it! Share a cup of tea and some light refreshments, and feel like you've achieved something that day.
We have different discussion topics each month, regular guest speakers and lifestyle management advice and top tips to try at home. It's a place to signpost and share local support and treatments available. My aim is for it to be an informal, friendly, welcoming, positive group.
Since starting the Bedford support group, I have made some good friends, shared experiences and found out information I never knew before. People have shared how beneficial and supportive it is to meet other people suffering with this invisible, debilitating condition. It's a therapy in itself to know that you are not making it up.
If you can't get out, or don't quite feel ready to yet, join an online social network. Know that you are not alone - do not suffer in silence.
A support group may be the first public place people walk into following diagnosis, flare-up, or even since loosing their job due to ill health. Use it to your advantage. Be brave and attend your local support group. Check fma.uk for your local group.
Everyone is welcome.