Monday, July 31, 2017
Interpersonal relationships have the capability to hold great power over and for ourselves. We tend to find value within the opinions of others rather than within ourselves. We, understandably, grieve the loss of relationships with others but we far too often lose ourselves amongst our relationships with others as well. It's easy to start to doubt ourselves when it comes to others.
When I decided to end my marriage, I chose to end a lifetime. A lifetime of hopes and dreams. I greatly grieved this loss and I greatly celebrated when I found myself amidst the pain. I survived emotionally and physically. And yet, even with my personal oath to never lose myself again...I still allowed myself to doubt. Doubt of myself, my future, and my worthiness of a blissful future.
With my divorce, not only did I part ways with my marriage but I also parted ways with my lifetime caregiver. I worry about my future with my chronic illness, about who would provide care to me as I age and become more ill. Even though I whole heartedly believe I deserve a loving life partner, I remain amazed when my chronic illness is accepted by a partner. It's that doubt creeping in at the corners of my life, always there ready to pounce upon my fears. I almost can't fathom that another individual would willingly take on my chronic illness and the caregiving it requires. Chronic illness demands much - much from ourselves and much from others. It is unforgiving and high maintenance. Why would another take on such responsibility willingly? We don't even want the responsibility of ourselves. It's as though I've destined myself to a life alone and when someone challenges that belief, I'm left in dismay at such a selfless act.
I recently found myself complacent to the point that I believed no one would ever be willing to accept this caregiving responsibility. I doubted myself without even realizing I was doing so. This realization startled me, especially when soon after I quickly discovered acceptance and care in another.
How could I have allowed myself to place such doubt upon myself? We are all worthy of care and acceptance whether it be from platonic, familial, or romantic relationships. There is always someone who will accept us as is and love us for who we are and that includes our chronic illnesses.
This awakening with the gentle reminder by another of my own self worth was necessary. I realized I couldn't permit myself to continue down such a self destructive path of doubt. I can't risk losing myself again. Losing myself was detrimental to my psyche - I was left with a broken spirit that required extensive self love to flourish again. The work we place into ourselves is excruciatingly difficult and never ending. But the reward is far greater than the work. We must never lose sight of this or we risk losing ourselves once again.
Each of us deserves far more out of life than we realize. It's time we come to the realization and put to the side the negativism, criticism, and doubt that we allow to seep into our hearts. Life is deeply more enjoyable and rich when we stop harming ourselves and instead let our souls flourish in love - love of others and of ourselves.
This is my life with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and Short Bowel Syndrome. I was diagnosed with FAP as a child, underwent total colectomy at age 9. I experienced life threatening complications resulting in 4 more surgeries that year and developing medical PTSD. I had an ileostomy for 6 years before having it reversed into a straight pull-thru that also resulted in life threatening complications requiring an additional surgery the following year. In 2021, I required my 8th surgery to remove my gall bladder due to gall stones and FAP. This surgery exacerbated my, at the time undiagnosed, Abdominal Migraine which is now being treated.