I am not sure that this will get posted correctly, as haven't done one of these threads. I have had ME for more years than I can count - "not right" since childhood, but almost 20 yrs since I have been able to work. My work had been the focus of my life and since I had never married and had no family in any real sense, becoming disabled was a deeply felt crisis. I have tried my best to cope and deal with poverty, housing challenges and many lost relationships, as well as severe illness. I have gotten sicker every year since I became disabled and am now mostly home or bed bound, with most of my energy having to be spent / saved for doctor visits or medical tests. (Unfortunately, I have also developed some other serious health issues, which are barely able to be treated due to my extreme intolerance of chemicals.) Lately I have just been going nuts with the *isolation*. As friends have dropped away through the years, I am unable to replace them. If my ME weren't so extreme, I could get out a few times a week and try to meet people. As it is, I cannot drive and so am dependent on whoever I can find, and it's hard because I am unable to take public transportation or afford a driver. Even when I do have a positive verbal exchange here or there, I can't much make a plan to get out and go have fun. Who can possibly understand this sort of condition unless they are VERY unusual or have it themselves? Many years ago I had a dog. Now it would be very hard because of limited ability to care for one. (I am not a "cat person" etc) This breaks my heart because I know it would help a lot. How do any of you who are single cope with intense isolation and loneliness? How do you make friends or keep them, for that matter. It seems impossible to CULTIVATE relationships. If you can't drive, feel too poorly to talk much by phone, have to keep all your energy and financial resources for medical stuff, can't sit up long (or stand) etc......what do you do? The problem is also that with the visual and neurological issues I have, it is also hard to be on the computer much for social networking. Hard to have hope and know how to get OUT of this feeling of being trapped from life. I used to be a real "problem solver" and always found a way around barriers. None of prior coping skills (socialization, entertainment, going on a short trip) are available to use now. Obtaining a sense of purpose and "living life" is what we were made for. KNow there are no easy fixes. Just some support from others who have lived it a long time would help.