A life with debilitating chronic illness can be isolating.
I know this firsthand.
If you’re reading this post, you may also understand the isolation that comes when chronic illness keeps you from living what many would consider a “normal life.”
In this rough season of treating Lyme Disease and other chronic health conditions, the majority of my time has been spent in bed.
At some points, I could barely leave my apartment once a week. My boyfriend would come by with groceries or supper to help get me through the time until I had enough strength to make it out again. Occasionally, another friend would stop by to visit or bring a meal.
I had interaction, but it wasn’t often.
Long weeks of being alone can take a toll on a person.
I ran into a friend today.
We bumped into each other at the polling place as I went to cast my vote for school board. She was working the polls as she does each election.
This is a friend I used to work with on occasion in my previous position. I always enjoyed getting the chance to work with her.
Today, she asked me about how I’m doing. It’s a fair question that people ask when they see me around town. They care. They want to know more. But the fear of answering this question sometimes causes me to turn the other way when I spot a neighbor in the grocery store. It also leads me to walk past an acquaintance in a restaurant, avoiding eye contact and hoping they don’t notice me.
Avoidance behaviors can quickly become my everyday existence if I’m not careful. But having to explain my complex health situation to others adds to the anxiety I’m already trying to get under control.
So I struggle with explaining my current life situation to other people.
Suffering from a chronic illness is hard!
Throughout my journey with chronic Lyme Disease, I have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing chronic illness warriors. The people I have met may have different backgrounds and experiences, but there is an underlying thread that binds them together.
Those with chronic illnesses often share that they feel misunderstood by the people around them.
Even those with strong support systems may feel like the healthy people in their lives just can’t quite comprehend the pain they experience.
Being unable to relate to our friends and families can leave us feeling discouraged and misunderstood.
For anyone out there who cares about someone with a chronic illness, I want to let you in on what I truly feel can make all the difference in being able to better support the chronically ill.
It’s Thanksgiving morning.
I’m sitting alone in my apartment.
I’m propped up in bed with a heating pad on my back and my Bible and journal sitting to my left. Multiple blankets cover the lower half of my body and my laptop sits atop them as I type.
I wasn’t planning to write on the blog today. I opened my journal to begin pouring out some thoughts, but after some prayer and scripture reading I felt like I needed to get this into a blog post. So, here I am. Raw and real.
Being Thanksgiving and all, I know that I should be reflecting on what I’m thankful for right now. So, I’m thinking through some things – a lot of things.
I truly am thankful for the way God has worked in my life. He has provided during some of my weakest times.
I know God is good. I really do. But, at the same time I often find my mind dwelling on all that’s wrong in my life right now. I’m grieving the loss of how I thought my life would look.
To the Dating Girl:
I know you quite well.
Well, kind of.
I know we aren’t all exactly the same, but we probably have a lot of the same hangups when it comes to relationships. It’s how girls are wired. We crave connection and desire to be loved. We each want the man we love to pursue us well and show us that he cares.
There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s good to desire true connection. It’s how God made us.
But what happens in a dating relationship when things don’t go exactly as we hope, dream, and plan? Some of us girls tend to get discouraged. That discouragement can then bring out the worst qualities in us. The awful qualities that show how much we want to control.
Ehh… Just thinking about what happens when I don’t get my way makes me feel icky inside because, honestly, I don’t want to be someone who insists on everything going my way. I want to be easy-going and fun. I want to be faithful and patient as I trust God’s timing for things in my life.