New to this - terrified in Sclero Forums (MAIN) Posted October 28, 2015 Hi Jon, Absolutely, the wrong use of this forum (or any support venue) is to fuel anxiety. Many of us need to learn how to deal with anxiety first, before we can get any real benefit from any illness support venue. I was very upset after my first in-person scleroderma support group, where I sat next to someone who had already had multiple amputations and was about to have even more, I found her health situation very disturbing -- and even more so to imagine that I might be in her shoes some day! But then after a few days, I thought, well, maybe I wouldn't meet quite the same fate, as I was not a smoker or heavy drinker, both habits she had that were probably greatly exacerbating her scleroderma. Her attitude was still merry, though. She was going to go out gambling the day before her next partial leg amputation! Again, not a habit I indulge in, but she was not letting a little thing like sequential amputations impair her zest for her sort of enjoyment of life. There was a kernel of a lesson in there for me, in that no matter what dire fate scleroderma might have in store for me, I could still pursue my hobbies and figure out a way to enjoy life to the very end, if I so decided. I realized that I had to change my attitude before going to another meeting. I needed to consider what I wanted from the meetings, and if they were only going to scare the socks off me, then I'd have to figure out another way to grow through this situation. It helped me a lot to simply accept that the illness was different for everyone, and to remember that I was seeking examples of how to live happily regardless of outside circumstances, since living unhappily was very easy to do, even in the very best of circumstances. But if I had remained upset over my first meeting, and not found the kernel of wisdom in it, I would not have gone back. There is no sense in doing anything that is optional, that makes us feel worse! So I 100% support your decision to chill on the forums for the time being. After all, we are here to try to improve the lives of people who are dealing with scleroderma or related illnesses, so we hope that is what every member is gaining from their participation. So, two thumbs up for you, and for your honesty. I hope it is a comfort for you to realize that we are always here for you, if or when you ever need this particular type of support.