Realizing everyone else is #AloneTogether too
My eyes filled with tears as I noticed the current hashtags on Instagram a couple weeks ago. Hashtags are the butt of many jokes, but we can’t deny they’re a shortcut to a longer story. After all, I did start the hashtag #rheum back in the hashtag heyday, in order to create a community on Twitter. Suddenly, the hundreds of people talking to me could all see one another.
That is the reason hashtags are still around today: CONNECTION. Click a hashtag and you’re instantly connected to hundreds—or hundreds of thousands—of people who have that one thing in common at that moment. People who are unrelated, who may never meet, who may be a world away, but people who GET IT. They used the same hashtag at that same moment because they were connecting to everyone else who used it. And the world sees it.
Always #AloneTogether with RD?
Some recent hashtags: #quarantine, #covid, #stayhome, #alonetogether, #socialdistancing, #untiltomorrow, and many variations remind me of the ways many of us with rheumatoid disease have managed—and thrived—for many years. We are almost always #AloneTogether. We have this one thing—rheumatoid disease—that connects us, no matter what else is different about our lives. In many ways we’re all alone—but I thank God that we are alone TOGETHER.
Benefits of solidarity from hashtags! #AloneTogether
We benefit from being #AloneTogether in many ways. Being #AloneTogether helps you find others’ images, links, or posts, where you experience:
1. Excitement: Yay! Someone else agrees!
2. Relief: Whew, we’re not crazy!
3. Empathy: That’s hard. I’m sorry.
4. Delight: That’s so sweet!
5. Solutions: What a great idea—we could try that!
6. Laughter: LOLOLOL
7. Ideas: Oh, that’s cool! Let’s get one of those!
8. Shared struggles: At least we’re alone together instead of alone alone.
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Alone in a crowd vs #AloneTogether
One of my #QuarantineActivities has been turning off the news and exposing my soul to new music while I scrub pantry shelves or do my mini-workout. Yesterday, I noticed these words from Beautiful People by Ed Sheeran: “Surrounded, but still alone.” Have you ever experienced that? I’ve stood in a crowd where no one had any idea I could barely stand due to damage in my knees. Many pains or sorrows are invisible.
While we’re weary of COVID-19 #StayHome, let’s give thanks that we are #AloneTogether. Whether our hands are dry from repeated washing, our hearts are beleaguered by hearing death counts, or our minds are afraid from the target on our back with a compromised immune system, we know we do it #AloneTogether. As people with rheumatoid disease, we are used to surviving #AloneTogether and we will again.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO THE MOST? I WANT TO HUG MY MOM! #TogetherTogetherThe many benefits of #AloneTogether! People with #chronic disease like #rheum know it beats alone alone Click To Tweet
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