Friday, 30 June 2017

Single status in chronic illness...

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Many people take the time to send me messages, claiming that I have perhaps helped them feel less alone, less isolated and less afraid in their battle against chronic illness. I never believed that my words could have the power to do that, until I remembered how articles on other topics often help me. Words can be comforting, they can tell you exactly what you need to hear and that is remarkable.  I however, am more grateful to those who even take the time to read my words.

My blog has been through quite the evolution with me. From mostly negative ramblings just after diagnosis as a teenager, to worried posts and finally, to a place of feeling mostly positive yet reflective. Writing is an incredible outlet for me. Words have the power to flow onto paper in a short amount of time, providing elements of peace and clarity within topics of my life. Right now, I am in a time in my life where I need a big boost in hope. I need to believe that out there, is something incredible waiting for me. So if you don’t mind, today I want to vent about a topic which crosses my mind almost daily. It has slowly but surely, crossed over into my lack of confidence, self-image and self-worth.

There is something behind the scenes of this blog which also causes me to feel intense loneliness and worry. Many question why I worry so much about the following topic, why I stress about it, why it makes me upset and why at times, it breaks my heart and makes me question my worth. That topic is my status of being single. A chronically ill, wheelchair user who is single. The cherry on top of that glorious cake comes into play now - my biggest goal in life is to become a wife and a mother. I know that sometimes, that makes people roll their eyes and question why it is important, but it has been a dream of mine since I was around five years old. You can probably understand why I feel the need to write a full post on this topic.

Back in the day when I was eighteen, a boy at the time told me that in the prime of his life, he should not be concerned about myself or my health. Instead, he should be out there living as young people should, with the motivation to move on from me and to enjoy his life. He then switched his phone off, blanked my replies for twenty-four hours and left me with those words spinning around in my mind. I sobbed as dramatic eighteen year olds do, yet I also had my world of chronic illness, symptoms and disability to deal with alongside of this. At this time, only a select few knew the depths of my disability. Now, this is nothing to do with the person, we were certainly not soulmates. This is to do with the chosen words used which seemed to struck a chord with me like lightening to my chest. The comment that was delivered in 10 seconds flat has stuck with me every single day since. I would put money on the fact that this comment in particular has never crossed his mind again, yet, hand on heart, there hasn’t been a day since in which I haven’t questioned internally whether he was right. Most of the time, I truly believe he was.

 Since that fateful comment, which given the benefit of the doubt was possibly said in anger, frustration or jest (I will never know), I have believed that maybe I am not worthy of finding love. It has stuck with me like glue, almost a deep rooted belief that maybe, I’m just not destined to be in a pairing. Maybe it is my health that makes me unworthy? Maybe it is who I am as a person that makes me unworthy? Maybe I am too big of a responsibility? Maybe it is the cards I have been dealt with in life? Perhaps it is the fact that I have mobility impairments? Am I hideous and unattractive? Yet there is a tiny part of me that deeply wishes, prays for and actively seeks this perfect and happy scenario of being able to find love, get married and have children. On one hand, I think of those hurtful words daily and on the other, I pray for the same thing over and over.

Now, I’ll be honest here. My love life has been bleak. Rolling tumble weed in a cheesy cowboy movie kind of 'bleak'. Love hasn’t seemed to roll around just yet or in the passing years. I feel deeply embarrassed to admit this, but for the purpose of this post I shall. I have never been asked on a date, in fact, I'm pretty non existent to many boys due to my chronic illness and limited socialization and so, I hate to say it but maybe that person was actually right. My mind has begun to create a thought process in regards to my reality as a singleton. Maybe my health does make me incompatible? Maybe it is a huge inconvenience to others? Yet, the receiving end of that 'inconvenience' is me. A girl who also wants to find love, marriage, happiness and a family unit. When I dwell on the situation, that thought creeps in like an old companion. I hate that I give a negative thought the power, yet sadly, the reality almost matches what someone from my past once told me. 

Everywhere I look, people both healthy and chronically ill are getting engaged, married, having babies, moving out, being promoted and yet, whilst I feel happy for them, there is in an element within me that feels twinges of sadness too. Knowing full well that life is passing me by whist I wait for my health to become back on track in order to get the same out of life. At least, it feels like that way currently. I know of many successful chronically ill individuals in long term relationships, yet you never hear of how they found their soulmates whilst housebound, bed bound, in ICU or just by chance? Sometimes, it does feel like I am the odd one out in this journey. 

Many people tell me it was a foolish mistake. We are all young, we all make mistakes and often say and do hurtful things, yet words in particular touch a nerve. They can be hurtful and they truly can stick with us. I am sure that many of us can have flashbacks to when someone has said something we took to heart and then proceed to tear ourselves apart over. I’m not a very confident person but in terms of feeling loved, I just can’t help but feel that it perhaps isn’t meant to be. That thought alone is heartbreaking, despite my prayers, wishes, desires and efforts. Yet, I also know that I am chronically ill and haven’t had many chances to find love. I know full well that it isn’t always easy when your health resists all that you want to achieve in life and as a person.

My life in terms of my health circumstances unfortunately is not like regular people my age, but inside, I am still the same as everyone else my age. I can have adult conversations, I can laugh along with people, I can binge watch the same rubbish TV shows, I can look after my god children, I can cheer someone up, I can be a good friend, daughter and I try my best to be a good person. None of those elements change due to my health. So why on earth do my health circumstances and situation make me feel so unworthy of being in a relationship?

 I am sorry to pour my heart out on here, so negatively. I was always ashamed to write a post on my single status but today, I am asking you to perhaps help me find some clarity and peace in my situation. If I have learned anything from blogging, it is that I am certainly not alone in worries and concerns surrounding chronic illness. If you too are feeling the following concerns, worry or ideally, have a story of hope that can help soothe my apprehension for the future in regards to relationships, please do share in the comments below via email or on my social media accounts.

1 comment:

  1. Oh you beautiful soul. I've wondered the same thing. I've never been in a relationship, didn't have my first date until 22 and while I didn't expect that to turn into my husband, it was going well enough for a month that I thought I'd at least get some relationship experience! It wasn't to be, and I still don't know why - it was going perfectly well until one day there was just nothing. No argument, no disagreement, just questions.

    Will someone love me if I still don't want children because I truly don't know if I'll have the energy for them? How will I find someone if I'm still unable to work full-time and am living with a parent?

    Sometimes I just have to acknowledge that it hurts and it's real. I can be genuinely happy as I watch my friends enter new relationships or become engaged, and then later recognize the pain and uncertainty of when (possibly if?) I will find someone or partake in "dating."

    I somehow remain hopeful; if there's one thing I've learned in the past year and a half it's that my personal timeline means nothing. Keep writing, I'll be thinking of you if you do the same for me :)