It takes a strong, patient, loving and kind man to have a girlfriend with chronic pain, a history of abuse and numerous mental health issues.
When I met my boyfriend Steven on June 3rd, 2018, I had no idea that we’d end up in a relationship. What were the chances that my FIRST DATE in over 15 years would introduce me to the man that I’d fall in love with?
It was a shock and quite a surprise. To both of us, might I add.
Things haven’t been as smooth as buttermilk, though. I’m easily triggered and due to this, I’d convince myself time and again that he was also abusive; that I’m only able to attract toxic men.
I was so afraid to let my guard down and allow him to get too close.
I’ll sometimes think that there’s no way that he truly loves me, because how could anyone?
I’m poor, on disability, experience depressive episodes, have recurring anxiety attacks and I’m often unable to go anywhere because I’m just too fatigued or in pain because fibromyalgia is an asshole.
On those days, he comes over and we play Pac-Man. Or we’ll cuddle up on the couch and watch TV together.
He plays with my hair and kisses me on the forehead. We both enjoy the little things in life and that makes me happy.
He also brings me food and in return, I love to cook for him as often as I can.
He’s the opposite of what I’d grown so accustomed to.
He’s reliable. Honest. He’s respectful of my distaste for overtly sexual talk. He’s affectionate and holds my hand in public. He even pushes me in my transport chair when we go someplace where there’s a lot of walking involved, without any complaint.
It gave my mother some peace knowing that I had him in my life now. They got along well and I’m glad that they were able to meet before she passed away.
He carried her casket.
He also has a strong faith in God, which is extremely important to me.
He buys me flowers each 3rd of the month. He hasn’t missed a single one. He tells me how much he loves me every day, but it’s not just words, it’s in his actions.
There are days when I’m just amazed at how much my life has changed because of him. He makes me smile and feel like perhaps I am lovable, after all.
Although there’s no way to know what the future holds, right now I feel so blessed and I pray that he’ll be a part of my life for many more years to come.
My good friend Kim (who guest posted here for a spell) nominated me for The Chronically Hopeful Award.
Thank you, Kimmy.
The two of us share a disease. You may have read one of my MANY posts about it…yes, that’s right, fibromyalgia.
Since I really don’t do these award posts anymore, I’m only going to thank the person who nominated me (I did!) and then answer her questions.
Because I’m a lazy rebel with brain fog.
At what age were you diagnosed?
I was 24 years old when I was officially diagnosed with fibro, but looking back on my youth, there were mild symptoms as young as the age of 5. I believe that I was born with it (or maybe it’s Maybelline?)
It didn’t become blaringly obvious until after I gave birth to my daughter in 1997. She was five weeks early due to a condition called gestational hypertension. My labor was induced in order to save both of our lives.
It was a miracle that we both survived. The trauma my body endured triggered the fibromyalgia to really show its fangs. It took me two years to finally find a doctor who knew what in the hell was wrong with me. I cried tears of relief initially, because it meant that I wasn’t crazy, after all.
What were your first thoughts after you received this diagnosis?
Do you think chronically ill people are expected to behave a certain way when they are in public?
Yes, I do.
I look perfectly healthy, unless you’re really paying attention.
I limp. I have awful balance. I walk slowly. I wince in pain most days. I nod off constantly and forget to use my big girl words. My short term (and somewhat long term) memory is full of black holes.
I stare off into space often and I become extremely overwhelmed without much provocation. When that happens, I’ll freak the fuck out and have myself a lovely panic attack.
But most people don’t look that closely at me. They’ve often judged me when I use my handicap parking thingy or when I’m at Walmart on the zippy cart.
They can kiss my flat ass, though. I might have an invisible illness, but it’s as real as global warming.
What is the biggest misconception about your illness?
I know that it shouldn’t irk me, but when people tell me that they hope I feel better, I want to scream “it’s chronic, damn it!”
But I just say thank you, because I’m usually a polite human.
There’s no decent treatment or cure, so I am stuck in this never-ending cycle of good and bad days, just trying to walk the line.
Don’t do too much or don’t do anything at all.
Have you seen any significant strides in the treatment for your illness?
I got tired of bee-bopping around to doctor after doctor. My current physician and I are on the same page with medications. I want two things to help me manage my fibro; pain medication (200 mg of Tramadol a day) and my muscle relaxer (20 mg of Flexeril a day.)
I take Magnesium and B-12 supplements. I’ll use CBD oil sometimes, but I really don’t see what the big fuss is all about.
I also smoke some marihuana now and then, when I can afford to purchase some. I do tend to take breaks from it for months at a time though, within the last decade that I’ve been a “pothead.”
That pretty much sums up this post.
Again, thank you so much Kim, you’re a true chronic illness warrior and I’m honored to call you my friend.