For those of you that are newer to my blog, I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. This year I began the CFS/FM diaries series as a way to easily see which of my posts will mainly be about how those health issues are going and things I’m learning from this health journey. I chose to begin doing that so for those of you who aren’t interested with reading about my health issues can easily skip over these posts and those that are interested specifically in these posts can easily find them.
With that being said today I’d like to write about some of the ways relationships have been impacted due to the changes and limitations that are brought on by chronic illness.
My health issues majorly impact my relationships.
My relationships within my “home” family have grown. They are different, but they have grown.
My relationships within my extended family have either grown or become more trying. Thankfully, most of my extended family is open to being sensitive and supportive of me and my health challenges.
My relationships with friends, true friends, have grown.
Some relationships have ended.
My relationships with acquaintances are well, simple hellos and goodbyes from time to time.
CFS and Fibromyalgia have been and are very trying when it comes to relationships. Not everyone understands that someone as young and healthy looking as me has so many limitations.
And, even my family doesn’t fully understand the complexities that I feel.
But, I don’t want them to if that means they have to feel it too.
What I really want to write about today is making new relationships and a future possible relationship.
My health issues have become my new normal. It is much like riding waves of good and not so good, but I’m learning the rhythm and how to make things less destructive by not overdoing.
But, it is always interesting meeting new people and possibly getting to know them more.
My health issues are my normal now and as crazy as it sounds sometimes I forget what the old normal was like. I have moments where I forget that not everyone has daily pain, or could crash if they tried to go run around playing sports, or that others simply have more energy than I. So, as I get to know people I’m sometimes caught off guard all over again by how different it is for most people to identify with my day to day life.
Some people just won’t get it. And, sometimes it is hard to know how much to share, how much not to share, or if I should even state exactly why I’m not able to do such or such. Thankfully, I'm still a person with interests, that lives creatively, and has beliefs and passions that tie me to others even though my life looks very different. I recently met a sweet and lovely heart gal and as we visited briefly over the weekend I was unsure of how much to share what is so hard to sometimes express in words. I prayed for guidance and a few days later I felt led to send her a link to the blog post I wrote in May that is about my health story. I wouldn’t do that with everyone. Because well, sometimes it makes people uncomfortable or like, “Why does she think I want to know this?” I have found though that when I meet people who seem to genuinely care it is really nice to be able to later give them a link that they can either read all of the way, part of the way, or not at all.
I continue to be thankful that I wrote out my story and posted it on my blog.
Chronic illness has changed how I approach and think about relationships, but it isn’t impossible to build them and keep them up. It just has new challenges. And, as selfish as it may sound, you really have to be wise in what relationships you invest in. When energy is limited there needs to be wisdom in even how many relationships you invest in. Though, I think even when I was healthy that was a lesson I could have better applied to my life.
I’m thankful for wonderful friends that have continued our friendship even in the midst of difficulties with my health, when I've cancelled plans, and for their taking time to try to understand little bits of my life now.
I love them and they are dear to me. I hope I’m a blessing to them at least as much as they are a blessing to me.
The last relationship topic I’ve been thinking about the past few months is if I’m ever blessed with what I call my “someone” someday. You know, that special guy that may be out there. (I got the idea to thinking of him as my “someone” from that song in the musical The Music Man.)
A few months ago a realization smacked me straight in the face-
When I’m in a serious relationship he is going to have to come see me on a very bad day.
Now, I’m not all that concerned about the right guy coming along. I’m trusting.
But, that was a realization.
He will have to come spend time with me on a bad day. The sort of day where I might be hurting really badly, where the pain hurts so much I cry, haven’t showered in a few days, run a fever, and have a hard time talking because I feel so rotten. He is going to be a very special guy to learn to accept my limitations, symptoms, and come see me on a very bad day.
Now, who knows, maybe someday I won’t have any more bad days or I’ll miraculously be better.
I’m not ruling that out, but I’m also being honest with the fact that this may be my life the rest of the time I walk this earth. That I’ll have great days, not so good days, and just plain very bad days health wise.
I’ll live with limitations.
So, with the possibility that things may not improve it is important to think about.
If my “someone” is out there, he’s a super special guy. Actually, he’s beyond super special.
And, I trust in God’s perfect timing our relationship will progress and, friendship, love, trust, romance, apologies and forgiveness when we each make mistakes, marriage, and so much more would come to be. I’m trusting and I’m realizing that there are some special/different parts of that journey that would be a part of our lives due to my health issues. But, if it is meant to be, it will happen.
There you have the thoughts and ponderings I’ve had lately in regards to relationships.
I'll be writing a health update soon!
And, possibly a post on lessons I'm learning about how to better balance during the holidays.