The upside downs

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Life has a habit of turning everything upside down periodically. For many people, this happens way too many times. The types of events that may turn your life upside down may be things like separation, death, illness, accident, disappointment, loss of job, and all manner of things really. These are things that make your life zag off the line of trajectory which you thought you were following.

Finding out you have an illness and that you will be ill probably for the rest of your life is obviously life changing. In fact, this illness may have been affecting your life long before you knew it existed. Looking back, big events may have, in some way, been influenced by this hidden illness and you never knew it.

For example, there are times I knew I was tired in my late twenties and thirties. I mean really tired. I felt unable to keep up with the demands of work and home and I just needed to escape. Most of the time my escape was sleep. There was one time this tired took over beyond what I could manage. I was sure I was going to come down with the flu or something. But the flu never come. The Dr didn’t look very far, he said it might be “mild depression” and “stress”. Hmmm. It might have been. But now, years later, I wonder if that was an early fatigue episode. An early warning sign of what was to come. The only thing is, after that illness, I was never the same. I felt trapped. I was flat and needed an oomph. Not long after that my world upside downed and I eventually separated from my husband of 15 yrs. As with all break ups there were a lot of elements involved, but I think illness was there and I didn’t know it. In fact I wouldn’t know it was there until about five years later.

When I found out about having fibromyalgia, my life upside downed again. It upside downed due to the illness being a reality and it upside downed because my then partner decided that would be the perfect time to end our five year relationship. Since then I have enjoyed living the single life. I actually am loving being single right now.

Some people who have partners and a chronic illness can have a lot of issues because of the illness. It is not for me to tell you because it is not my experience, but from what I am told, lack of understanding of the illness is at the heart of many of these couple problems. An illness like fibromyalgia (and also illnesses like lupus, Lyme disease, all the different arthritises, and many many others, too many to list), are pretty difficult to understand if you have the problem, so it’s even harder to understand, maybe impossible to understand, if you do not have the illness. Being a close watcher of the illness gives you some insight, but only if you attend to it and have an open mind about what an illness can do to a person. Add in the problem that no two people experience the same pattern of symptoms and progression of these illnesses and you may as well say give up on trying to understand it. In my experience, all others can really do is accept, give you space and support when needed, and be gentle with you.

So then, I have the problem of whether to seek a partner, who will then become inflicted with this roller coaster lifestyle of good/bad days and engaging/flat Lisa. Even if I was to find someone who fits my personality, I’m not sure I want to do that to anyone. I also would have to work out how to keep the happiness I have now found and integrate that with another person. I guess I have to find someone special first.

Couple hugging

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About lisasretro

I'm a 41 year old teacher, single and have one adult son. I'm currently finding a new me and new style of living while learning to manage chronic illness. In short, my mind is over active and my body can't keep up. I love art, retro and vintage stuff, eclectic fashion and travelling anywhere and everywhere. I often also get all caught up in social justice issues, my fave being marriage equality, until it happens here in Aus. Bucket list enabled, hold on tight.

4 responses »

  1. I have many of these doubts too. My last relationship was a horror story (he even accused me of faking symptoms) and I’ve been living this year on hermit mode. I don’t want this to last but my faith in people really went down the drain. I always had a hard time trusting people but chronic illness made it worse.

    Liked by 1 person

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