Friday, February 5, 2010

Love and Chronic Illness

When I was a child, curled up and in pain, my mother would always tell me the same thing: that everyone is in physical/emotional pain at some point or another, and that I was just the type that did all the suffering at the start of my life, instead of being scattered throughout. Come the latter part of my life, I should be all sunshine and roses.

This thought got me through a lot of really tough times.

When I get hopeless and things get too bad, I regularly look back to this idea with love. Lots of love. In fact, even though this idea is likely complete fallacy, it is a beautiful concept, and one I hold near and dear to my heart.

You would think that chronic illness would breed hate and negativity. You could be right. Many of us get angry, get hopeless, and give up. I would be lying if I said I haven't reacted in all of those ways at times.

But to be honest, it has brought me more love than I ever thought I would have. I love my family. They pick me up, both emotionally and financially. I was lucky enough to eventually meet a guy who was used to chronic illness, and who wasn't scared, ashamed, or grossed out by it. That kind of support is extremely hard to find. Is the relationship hard at times when one person is too ill to put in their half of the work? Sure. But it/he is worth every second.

I have been taught physical and emotional pain to such a degree that I feel it in other people. I like to think that my capacity to love has grown tenfold. I embrace what is left of my mind and want to lend a helping hand.

Chronic illness has given me passion. Something to fight for. And for that, even though it is often a miserable existence, I am thankful.



Leslie said...

This made me smile. You're quite a special lady, you know that?

Anonymous said...

That was really inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Annie, This post touched be sick most ofyour whole life is horrible. I haven't been chronically ill my whole life, My worst dibilitating illness came in 2001, and I haven't been right since. I did have a chance to get married and have my two boys, and have a job I really loved, so I feel so lucky. I also have a great boyfriend/Husband...I never knew how wonderful he would be. His Mother was very sick so he knew all about taking care of someone. I am so blessed to have him, we'll be married 25 years the May. But even though I am sick most of the time...I still feel like I am 23 years old in my brain!

Annie said...

Aww, thanks everyone!

Although Maureen, there is a blessing in being sick for a long, long you entirely forget what it is like to not know what it is like to finish a whole day pain free!

Assiya said...

What a lovely thing for your mom to say! I hope it ends up being true. And thank you for reminding me about some of the ways chronic illness has helped the love in my life.

Selena said...

Wow! I so enjoyed reading this post. I am almost at a loss for words. I found the whole concept of the beautiful lie your mother told you to be both heartwarming and sad. It reminded me of my relationship with my grandma. :-)

Annie said...

Thanks Selena!

It really is a beautiful lie isn't it? Sometimes I debate whether the truth is as useful as I try and make it, or not.

Jonathan said...

<3's ; glad I make the cut as worthwhile :p.