An Open Letter to the Ones in Love with the Chronically Ill 💌

Your job isn’t an easy one. It may actually be harder to love us than to be in our position; watching us suffer, unable to do anything that could have even a sliver of a chance of bringing relief to such pain. Dealing with the difficulty that comes with having to care for someone and not feeling like an equal. Feeling stuck in an illness with someone who actually is stuck.
You didn’t choose this. You chose your person, yes, but you didn’t choose a Friday night in because we’re too tired and can’t stand for more than 10 minutes without nausea. A weekend in front of Netflix because the new medication is making us sick. A vacation without us because we can’t handle the drive or being away from home. A night alone because we’re sleeping on the bathroom floor in front of the toilet. Long drives to different appointments when you could be with your guys, or playing games, or working. Rubbing our heads while we sob uncontrollably about how tired we are of being so tired. Handling mood swings and secondhand frustration. Feeling as though your feelings and needs come second, when they shouldn’t. Seeing the person you love change in front of your eyes because there’s so much else consuming their attention. You didn’t choose it. But you’re dealing with it and that says a lot about the person you are.

This isn’t an easy life and you’ve been more than supportive given your voluntary role in all of it.We don’t get to go on cute dates all the time because we never know how we’ll feel. Planning is difficult because maybe we won’t be able to get out of bed that day. But, you’re always okay with it. I worry that someday you won’t be, but for now, I’m trying my best to be as normal a partner as I can be, and gritting my teeth while I smile, so for one day, one hour, maybe, we can act as if everything is totally fine.
You’ve been a solid rock in this journey of ours; through treatments, sick days, new medications, long nights in the E.R., or hospital stays, and life would be even more of a hell without you. While we spend so much time in our own bubble of arranging doctor appointments and medicine timers, we sometimes forget to show you our appreciation – or give you attention at all. We forget that even though we have you, you have no one in dealing with the complications and hardships that accompany such a position. To be in love with the chronically ill is to be in love with another side of life; a side that most avoid at all costs.

But what also comes with this kind of relationship is knowing that the worst is already here and we’re doing it; getting along just fine most days. We can do anything if we can do this, and that’s an amazing feeling. Not many would stand by someone practically sentenced to live life sick, in pain, or with a possibly bleak or difficult future. It’s not easy, but you obviously consider us worth it which makes things seem a little brighter, already. Knowing someone can love you regardless of all these difficult things is amazing. And the good days are some of the best days of our lives.

We want you to know that you are appreciated, and that we do acknowledge how difficult this is for you. Don’t take our mood swings personally. Don’t think you have to hide your frustration 100% of the time for our sake. We know it’s frustrating. We get it. We voice our frustration daily,  and you deserve the same right. Don’t direct at us – that might hurt our feelings,  but you get it. Most of all we want to thank you: for your patience, love, and care. The time you take to comfort us. The time you take to be there. Thank you.

 

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You’re not some unfortunate thing that happened. You’re not “less than”, an “inconvenience”, or “annoying”. You’re not your illness. 
What you ARE, is:
* Every bit as much a person as anyone else.
* A complete and total BADASS for handling the cards you’ve been dealt ON TOP of doing life just like everyone else.
* Deserving of a person that’s understanding, supportive, and doesn’t make you feel GUILTY for things that are beyond your control. 
And I hate that this is something I have to constantly remind myself of.
📷 @kaylalajean
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