Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Supportive Lengths

 life's a polyp

In Alone Together, I shared my own struggles with disclosure of private information and the heartfelt pain that accompanies keeping secrets. This is a matter that is ever present in my life at this time and likely will be so until I'm able to obtain closure. Closure, something that I thought only would come with a final decision and announcement. But as my heart and mind weigh heavy and I'm brought to tears at least once a week, I'm realizing I need more than that. Sometimes we need a lot

I tend to overanalyze everything. I ponder, question, and mull over information, thoughts, feelings, and questions for hours, even days at times especially when I'm overcome with emotion. It is exhausting and we can only do it for so long before we finally give up - either accepting or no longer caring about what originally made us care so deeply.

I stopped the thinking. Instead I listened. I listened to my spirit and my spirit let it be known what is needed for that closure.

I shared this with my husband as I will need his participation. My darling husband is too good to me and is one of the most supportive and caring individuals I know, even if he doesn't always show it to the outside world. A couple weeks ago I told him that I wanted to have a private incense burn for cleansing. This week I expanded, I need a full smudging, not just some bits of sage thrown into a fire. I need to go through the actions and cleansing one another and because I am a very tangible, commemorating type person, I need it photographed. I need the visual reminder to further flood my memory and senses with that moment of shared release and love. A flooding that I will be able to grasp when I need that sensory reminder.

And after I shared with my husband what I needed and he dutifully, without hesitation agreed. I realized the supportive lengths our loved ones, especially our caregiving loved ones go for us. This cleansing is more for me than for anyone else yet I need my husband's participation, I can't reach that sought after closure that I so desperately need without his participation. I can't. It won't happen alone. And without me even saying that, he knows it. How are caregiving loved ones know us so well.

The things we need to finally feel better, safe, relaxed, at peace are sometimes very little and others are big and sometimes they don't make sense at all, particularly to someone not in our situation. With our disease, we have ample opportunities for much needed support and help.

When a loved one takes the time to share what you mean to them and to let you know you're not alone in your struggles.

When a loved one brings you a meal that isn't from the hospital cafeteria, when you sink your teeth into something you can't possibly get yourself and your tongue tastes the flavors of a home cooked or restaurant cooked morsel. Your heart sings and you instantly melt into a pile of gooey delight, forgetting where you are and what's wrong.

When a loved one gives you an item and you cling to it through your tests and procedures for as long as the medical staff will allow, when touching that item seems like the only thing that can ground you and make you feel a bit safe, a bit comforted through the stress and fear.

When a loved one tends to your affairs and your home for you as if it were their own because you're too weak and fatigued or worse, in the hospital again. The security of knowing your home needs, your belongings, even your living treasures are being looked after and the relief of the stress of managing survival and home needs.

Such are precious bits of support that fill us with gratitude, actions that touch our hearts and spirits with their gifts of relieving stress, providing security and comfort, sharing pain and happiness. We ask for such support without even asking a lot of the time. As sickies, we often share a common sense of guilt and stubborn pride. Guilt when we receive the support and help we, in reality, do need and a stubborn pride that keeps us from asking for all the support and help that we need.
With all the commotion related to our physical and mental health, we are ever so grateful but it's easy to not grasp the full supportive length a loved one is willing to go for us, particularly when it's not questioned and even when it's not spoken but just known that you need this length or that length.

To not be questioned about the rhyme or reason for why this length is needed over another length, this is a gift in itself as well. This is the gift of love.

I hope you have such a person in your life. These individuals are a gift and as much as they understand you, your needs, your situation and your sure to let them know amidst the commotion, you appreciate all their efforts and willingness. Odds are, these individuals also see you as a gift in their life.
After all, without this shared love, at the very least our struggles would be much greater and their lives would be much less interesting.


  1. Ahhh, I couldn't do this without my amazingly supportive husband. I'm really glad you have an awesome one too. Today I was exhausted, I needed to sleep, and couldn't watch my son who was home from school. My husband missed a couple hours of work because he stayed home to watch him, even though it added stress on him. Later I said, "I hate this. I hate myself. I hate that I'm so tired." He said, "You need rest, it's okay. You have FAP, and because all it entails you have to sleep when you're tired."
    To have someone say those words is freeing.

    1. YES! I'm so glad you're able to freely voice your frustrations and needs to him too. Sometimes it's hard to tell someone what we need or feel, even when they are so supportive. I find myself worrying that he will take it personal even when it's not, I just want to spare him additional stress. But that's what a true partnership is right? Sharing good and bad and navigating through it together. :)
      Hope you're feeling more rested tomorrow too