They gave each other a smile with a future in it. –Dream a Little Dream (1989)
Many say the words, then real life begins. Money-Children-Family-Work-Sex-Hormones-Communication-Health. So much joy, so much stress. How to keep the train on the tracks?
Relationships are difficult at the best of times. When chronic illness invades that relationship, whether through one of the partners, a child or another family member, the pressure of the everyday realities of chronic illness creates a potential power imbalance that not all partnerships are able to withstand.
One of my very first posts, Shoutout to Partners, was not planned until I read the plethora of Facebook posts about chronically ill people being abused or abandoned by their partners. Helplessness, resentment, financial burdens and sadly disbelief, seem to be the primary reasons partners flee.
So what about the ones who stay? The ones who are there to pick up the slack when you hit the wall and have to get horizontal? They are special humans, those ones. They may not always know exactly the right thing to say or the right thing to do, but they’re there. They stay.
In sickness and in health. Whether you did the official thing or not, when you decide to share your journey with someone, commit to riding life’s rollercoaster together, that’s sort of a given. The problem is, most people don’t think about chronic illness until they’re drowning in it. And there are some who will push you out of the lifeboat to save themselves.
If you’re chronically ill and are lucky enough to have your person, even if that’s a friend not a life partner, remember that they’re on this journey with you. As much as we need support to stay sane when feeling like crap day in and day out, we need to be cognizant and appreciative of the experience of our partners. Hug your partner/friend/support person today!
Chronic illness can be terribly isolating. For those that live alone or have been abandoned by or left toxic relationships, even more so. For those people, I encourage you not to give up hope. Not everyone is strong enough to handle chronic illness if they have a choice, but they are out there. Don’t give up hope.
In the meantime, I’m always here. If you need someone, please reach out.
Have a wonderful week!
If you want to see a great but obscure 80s movie, I highly recommend Dream A Little Dream, starring the infamous Coreys and the wonderful Jason Robards. My brother and I were obsessed with this movie when we lived together one summer during university. Here’s the trailer: