I’ve got a simple (but super-effective) way to improve your relationship when you have a chronic illness. Read part 1 here.
Last week we looked at a simple way to begin making your relationship better. Relationships can cause challenges, but when we are chronically ill, that brings it’s own challenges not just to us but to our relationships as well.
We Define Our Situations and Ourselves
Chronic illness doesn’t equal aloneness. I know there are all those horrible statistics on women/illness/marriage/age.
I don’t believe them – a number could never encapsulate your wild, glorious, healing, growing self.
You are not broken. Categorically. You are in actuality, beautiful.
You may be struggling, hurting, aching and bleeding, but I do not believe that you as a person are irreparably damaged or less-than. I see your beauty. And your beloved will think you are beautiful too. (Your beloved might be another human, or even yourself).
We don’t have to hide away if we look different, but we don’t have to pretend life is all roses either – this stuff hurts.
Moving Beyond Blaming
I know you are really hurting. Like, really hurting. And your partner probably knows too as they’ve seen you go through this before. So actually, shouting at them or taking things out on them won’t make the situation any better.
It can be tempting, however because you are there and they are there and you just want to let all the frustration out, but stop.
You have an opportunity to connect here, to make your relationship grow stronger.
Here is where the statistics are wrong – they don’t take into account how a crisis is a possibility for opportunity. You can use each time to grow closer.
How to do this? Know your partner is not to blame and you are in this together.
So hurting them is really counter productive.
What you need instead are some tools for coping with the frustration, anger, fear and regret you are filled with. I have made a list of practices that help you cope with difficult emotions here.
What to do when you are so angry/upset you could scream (instead of screaming at someone):
- Throw ice cubes into the bath – they give a satisfying smash
- Tear paper
- Hit the wall with a twisted hand towel (thank you Kate, for this tip)
- Punch a pillow
- Write your feelings down
- Talk your feelings out – ask someone to listen and not give advice
- Create art
- Put the feelings in a box far from you to dissolve away
Can you move forward today with the awareness of when you are imposing your emotions on your true love – and then take an action to change that situation?
What’s your favourite safe way to express your emotions? Let me know in the comments!
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