Chronic Illness and Love
My last post in January was about my back issues. Sadly, so is this one. It’s still almost a daily struggle for me, unfortunately. On the plus side, this is the first time that it’s gone out this badly in almost 7 months. Every other time since, I’ve been able to push through. This time I was off for over a week without pay. So that sucked. Ended up needing more injections, as well. May need more next week. Possibly even an epidural.
As those of you also dealing with a chronic illness know, it can be pretty demoralizing. The repeated doctors visits, the trying of one medication after another, they all wear you down. Especially when there’s so little payoff. I have to be so careful at times – and even then, I feel such lack of control, because my best behavior doesn’t always help. I’ve missed out on so many opportunities and experiences because of it. If not because of the pain or the risk of it going out, then because of the financial toll. I’ve been trying harder lately to experience life to the fullest, but there’s still things I can’t do or have a hard time doing.
My parents, especially my mom, have been wonderful and have taken care of me so incredibly. Helping me with shopping, helping me pick things up, driving me to appointments. I could never express how thankful I am. But honestly, without my boyfriend, I don’t know how I would have made it. He has been so beyond incredibly supportive. I try so so hard to be strong, but sometimes I just can’t keep it all bottled up. Every time I’ve broken down and cried on him, he has never failed to immediately take me into his arms and tell me it is going to be okay. He’s never failed to tell me he loves me and that he loves me just as I am.
It might be a product of my own self-esteem, which has honestly taken a beating from all of this, but I worry constantly about being too much of a downer or ending up being a burden. His response has always been that I could never be a burden and that he’s happy with me and loves me. In my darkest moments, I still worry that I don’t deserve him; that he might be better off with someone who doesn’t have these problems. I don’t ever want him to miss out on something because of me.
I came to a realization the other day, however. He’s never once given me any reason to doubt how much he loves me. He’s never once given me any reason to believe that he’s tired of dealing with my issues or that he doesn’t accept me as I am. This is what love is. Love is being there for the person you love in good times and bad. If (god forbid) it were him going through something like this, I wouldn’t hesitate to be by his side and support him in any way that I could. I would stand by his side no matter what. Because I love him. It’s as simple as that.
My work mom today reminded me that that’s what an adult relationship is. Being there for each other. We all have our issues. If there was something that limited him being able to do something, I wouldn’t leave him to go find someone else who could. So I just need to trust him and myself. Because wow. How I love this man and his daughter. And when I’m not down and beaten, I can admit that I’m not so bad myself.
I have hopes that this will eventually get under control again. Maybe pure weight loss is the answer. Maybe not. It won’t fix the arthritis and bulged discs and cyst, but it can only help. In the meantime, I’m just going to do what I can and accept the love and help that is offered.