The last few columns have been about dealing with and living through fear.

Today I want to remind us of an important resource that can sustain us – our community or support group, our families and friends.

Research has begun to demonstrate how central connections with other people are for healing and for wellness.

We need other people to hold our stories, to know us with our hopes and fears, with our sad days as well as to celebrate our ordinary victories.

We also need people who are like us – people who are walking the same kind of path. When we find a “like other” as the literature terms it, we lose our isolation, we remember that we are not alone. This connection speaks not only to our hearts, but to our brains. It releases chemicals that help us feel safe, calm and at ease.

Wow. A free benefit! Well, almost free. This connection requires us to be willing to connect – not just to receive. We show up – we participate in the relationship – we talk, listen, share, complain, reassure, remind, and encourage. When we are willing to take a step – risk our participation, then the miracle of brain chemistry occurs.

So, knowing that – where do you find those connections? Is there a support group in your area? Are you on the message boards here at CreakyJoints? Is your hospital or physician knowledgeable about places to connect?

We have a new opportunity as well. Here at CreakyJoints we are offering four phone conversations that will center on four areas that we have heard you say you want to talk about.

This is a way to share, to give and to get.

It’s another way to calm your anxieties and begin o thrive, not just survive.

I hope you will join us.