For all those who have a chronic illness and a supportive partner, family or friend:
Remember, they are doing their best to help you. So they are doing more than what the partners, families and friends of healthy people are doing. Most of the times they don't say it. But remember, they are exerted too. Coz seeing a loved one in pain that will not go away is very disturbing. Also, doing additional amount of work to help us makes them tired and frustrated too.
So let's appreciate them for what they do. Let's consciously try not to talk about our pain all the time as unknowingly we tend to do so (yeah, I used to do that a lot once). I know we want to talk and say how the pain is bothering us here and there all the time. Those of us with fibromyalgia and other invisible illnesses don't look sick and we tend to express it more. It's okay, it's normal. But it is necessary to realise when we are overdoing it. So take a moment and think.
"How would I have felt if our roles switched? If my partner had the chronic illness and I was the caretaker? If I did all the work at home before going to office and returned to do all the remaining chores? And then also hear how much my loved one is suffering all the time?"I am not saying don't express it to your loved ones. I am saying that once in a while think from their point of view as well. It's okay to tell them that the arms are hurting more today or you are so sick of IBS today or how the head won't stop hurting. But it's essential to realise you are not doing it all the time. It's tough I know, I have been there.
Talking to them about how they feel is crucial. It gets lonely for us at times. It gets lonely for them at times too. So sit with them once in a while and just ask them to be honest and tell you how you could also help them. Discuss your feelings, expectations and learn from each other.
And whenever you feel like talking a lot about your pain and suffering, write it out on this page, our Facebook page or any other support group you are a part of. That's why most of us are here. To make you feel better. Interact more with those going through the same pain. Or maybe start writing a diary. Watch a movie or a show that makes you smile. Indulge in hobbies that make you happy.
And remember to tell those who support you how much it means to you.Thank them. Help them out when you can. Coz they don't have the illness but they are in pain too as they see you suffer. They are exhausted too and need a break too. Maybe set a day or so when they don't do the chores, nobody does. Just sit back, relax and enjoy each others' company.
Take care. Of yourself and your caretakers,whenever you can.
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net