What It's Like Dating With A Chronic Illness

What It's Like Dating With A Chronic Illness

Not exactly easy
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As those who read my first article which was an open letter to the Doctors of the world might have guessed I suffer from a chronic illness. Which illness that is the doctors are currently still figuring out. When my symptoms suddenly got worse in July of 2015, I ended up in one of the local hospitals twice in the span of a month. Each time for approximately 48 hours and me leaving the hospital more frustrated with the lack of answers than I was when I first went in.

I’ve done a lot in my life thus far and it’s been amazing. At 18, I studied abroad in London for a semester, so January of 2010 I flew and lived in London for 4 months. After coming back I bounced around trying to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. In that time period I ended up applying and completing the Disney College Program, which turned into me moving to Florida in 2012 and staying there for 3 years I laughed and cried and made some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. I changed jobs and locations inside of the Walt Disney World Resort and have so many fantastic memories. I cherish each and every one and all the friends I have made along the way. In 2013 I donated Peripheral Blood Stem Cells through Be the Match and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

(Myself in London, January 2010)

(Myself in Magic Kingdom, most likely 2014)

(Post PBSC in May of 2013)

(July 4th 2015 Albany NY)

Of course at the end of June in 2015 I moved back so I could go back to school and finish my bachelor’s degree, which I had put on hold while working in Florida. Less than 2 weeks after I came back was my first hospital stay and subsequently getting more doctors than I realized was really possible for someone who was 23 and had been mostly healthy until this moment. Yeah I had issues but hey who doesn’t? It was supposed to be normal and never in a million years did I think that I would be still trying to figure things out and never did I think that 2 years down the road I would be sitting in my apartment having to take pain meds because the pain was getting worse and that was the band aid to this problem. Didn’t actually heal it but it helped.

Of course I’ve realized some things at this point, dating with a chronic illness is a joke. Or at least in my case it is, I try to put myself out there but then you get the problems. I push myself too hard to go out and be with people and I push myself into a flare which means I spend the next week exhausted while trying to work full time and balance friends, family, doctors, medications and trips to the store. Plus keeping up with housework and making sure that there’s actually food in my apartment, I’ll give you a hint roughly half the time there’s only a few staples. I work in a restaurant so I don’t really ever cook. And when you spend most of your time at work food tends to go bad when you do have it. Also most people aren’t exactly accepting of you cancelling plans at the last minute because you really don’t feel up to it or you are having a bad day with your illness, trying to find a significant other who will accept these things and understand is like finding a needle in a haystack.

So that’s where we get to the dating issues, personally I’m a hopeless romantic who despises the hook-up culture we’ve found ourselves in. I want the love that people write about, not the one night stand we try to pretend never happened. So we’ve got online dating and personally for me these things never seem to go very well. I mean how hard is it to have an actual conversation and not just talk about sex? Apparently not that easy, believe me I’ve tried. So now I’m trying to meet people by going out but let’s return to what happens when I push myself shall we? It doesn’t end well for me.

But even with all of these issues I still have hope. After all hope is one of the things that we never truly lose. In this life there is never really anything certain except that at one point it ends. What you do with your life is really what counts, how you are as a person is what matters. Even with my health being ridiculous I still try to remain positive and find the silver lining in every situation, because that’s really all that we can do. Life is what you make of it after all.

So next time you happen to be out at the bar and see that cute person who maybe is also wearing a brace of some sort or maybe has a mobility aid (cane, wheelchair etc.) and you want to talk to them. Do it. Who knows maybe they are one of the coolest people you will ever meet. Just try not to make a big deal of the mobility aids okay?

Cover Image Credit: Pexels.com

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To 'That Guy' From High School, My Life Was Always Better Off Without You

I truly wish that I would have never met you.

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Silly me for thinking that you were forever - believing the promises and accepting all of your gifts. I took your words to heart: "I want you and only you for the rest of my life." You fantasized romance for me. I thought those feelings were only possible in the movies. I raved about you, spoke so highly about you, and about how I could see a future with you. Silly me.

Silly me for losing friendships over you. I had best friends before you. But then you had me convinced that you were the only person that I needed. They all warned me but I was blinded by your love. There was no way that they could've been right. You were so sweet. You would have never. Silly me.

Silly me for choosing you over experience. You controlled every ounce of my being. I wanted to go out without you but I wasn't allowed. I missed so much because of you and I thought that was normal. I was no longer an individual but rather someone who's life was dictated by someone else's opinions. You told me what was right and wrong. Silly me.

Silly me for believing what you said about my body. I was perfectly content before you came along. But yet there I was, attempting to lose weight and wear more makeup because you told me to. I became a new person around you - one that I didn't like. But I did it anyway, for you. Silly me.

Silly me for thinking I was the only one. I believed the lies that come flowing out of your mouth as if they had been rehearsed for days. You conditioned your eyes to innocence - and I believed them without a doubt. Silly me.

Silly me for not picking up on the signs. Your lies had been inconspicuously drilled into my head. I couldn't even think straight. You had me overcome with emotion to the point where I ignored the hints: the texts with other girls, the lies, the rumors. It all went unnoticed. Silly me.

Silly me for giving you the time of day after I found out what you did. I had always heard of people being cheated on but I never thought that it would've happened to me. Yet, there I was trying to justify why it was okay for you to cheat on me 20+ times. You had me questioning what did wrong to make you not want me. You made me question myself and who I was. Silly me.

And silly me for not knowing my worth earlier on. You stole my happiness, you stole my confidence, you stole my voice, you stole my trust - things I will never be able to fully regain ever again.

I still think about it from time to time, and when I do - I hate myself for ever letting you have that control over me. I truly wish I would've never met you because my life would have been so much better off without you.

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The 3-Year-Long Goodbye

If in some distant place in the future we see each other in our new lives, I'll smile at you with joy.

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There is finally a "the end," riding off into the sunset, happily ever after. There is definite closing of the book, and I finally accepted that our ending actually helped me. I'm the kind of person that desires a mutually peaceful ending to a relationship. To start, I want you to know that whenever you came into my life, I believe it was the right time and place. Things fall into place and happen for a specific purpose, and that includes what we had. I learned things about life, love, and loss from you. I'm now grateful for the things you taught me, whether they were lessons that hurt or pleasant surprises; in some way or another, it all made me better.The worst part about not having closure is the unknown--we never got to read the epilogue of the story or hear that last note of the song. I finally came to terms that, I don't need you to have my own closure. There are days when I miss who I was when I was with you; when I miss what we had. It's hard to say what I think would have been, but then again, what does it matter now? We can't focus on the what-ifs and the if only's. If we think in terms of that, the reality of what we had will fade and feel like another uncharted territory. I am completely thankful our relationship feels like a past life or a faint remembrance.

When I say I miss what we had, I mean I miss the good times. Not the times you cheated on me, lied to me, used me, mentally and emotionally abused me, and failed to give me what I truly deserved. Part of me will always wonder "why?", but then I remember: you were already broken. Your dad was an addict who died before you were 10. Even if he was around he wasn't capable to show you what a man really is made of. Your mom, the woman who chose alcohol over you and drank herself into a stroke and left you and your three siblings to figure this life out all by yourselves. And we can't forget about your druggie brothers and your promiscuous sister. Who were you to fall on when times got bad? That's right. Your equally f*cked douche bag friends. Oh! Remember that one time your drunken friend shot in me the foot point blank with an airsoft gun and I slapped him, but you got mad at me because I slapped him? Or that time you left me to go party with your friends? Or even better when I was your wedding date but you cancelled on me the day of to go fuck some random whore at the wedding. In the end I can not be mad at you anymore. It may have taken me three years, but I have finally realized everything you did and said that hurt me was simply because you were already broken. To this day, you still deny the fact that anything you did was wrong.

In the beginning, you made me feel like I was the only girl in you world. You made me feel like I was everything and all to you. These feelings faded away quickly when you let your ego get in the way of our relationship. You hated me within weeks of us being together, you made me go behind my parents' backs, belittled me, and abused me mentally. Love blinded me of the ways that you made me feel, it blinded me of the words that you used every time words came out of your mouth, it blinded me of the way that you treated my friends and family, and it blinded me of the way that you treated me

In the end, after three years. I can finally say goodbye, and honestly say you have no control over me anymore. But please know, I wish you the best in everything you pursue. I hope I made a healthier impact on your life than you made on mine, I hope you remember me as a girl you should've treated better and learn from that. I hope someone never abuses you like you did me and I hope you find happiness in your new life. Most of all I hope you find help and mend yourself into a healthy man that is capable of love and peace. I know you have it in you, you just have to want it. And if in some distant place in the future we see each other in our new lives, I'll smile at you with joy.

-The girl who is finally ready to say goodbye

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