Monday, August 29, 2011

Dignity is stripped in the blink of an eye

A lady was/is having a hard time the past few days.  She has a chronic illness and was feeling lousy about pretty much everything going on in her life-(anyone living with a chronic illness can relate to that absolute feeling of no! not again-type of despair.) She broke down the other day and I wanted to share this with everybody; not because it's a sad story, but because it is a real story, and because it shows how support from her husband-words of support-helped her immensely though this.

If you follow me on Twitter you know that I’ve been dealing with issues at work: Lack of hours; going in to work and then being sent home before even clocking in. This has been going on for two weeks. I had a mental breakdown couple of nights ago because I have not accomplished anything in what I had deemed as my new found extra time.
Why wasn’t I getting anything done? I wasn’t at work so I should be getting something accomplished at home, right? Yet I was also coming home and vegging/napping for a few hours. Is this how it was going to be in January when I stopped working? Would I ever get anything done? Why am I so useless?
Every spoonie has that moment when they belittle themselves or think they should be getting more done. Even if we’ve read “The Spoon Theory” and know we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves, we are. My lovely husband held me during my little pity party and reminded me why I can’t (shouldn’t?) be so hard on myself.
He said, “This is no indicator of what life will be like in January. You’re using spoons every day! You get up, get dressed, catch the bus, walk from the bus stop to work, sit for an hour waiting for your shift to start, then you have to catch the bus home when you’re told you’re not needed and sent home, and then you still have to walk home. You’ve prepared yourself emotionally and mentally for work. Geared yourself up. By the time you get back home you’ve wasted 3-4 hours, not to mention the amount of spoons spent emotionally, mentally, and physically. You need to reset your brain. I understand. Stop being hard on yourself!”
I think we all need those reminders. Even if we know we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves we are. It’s human nature. Society plays a large role in it also. So this is my reminder to all spoonies. Don’t forget that all tasks, no matter how insignificant, do take spoons. We need to reset ourselves when plans change. It’s okay.
Article written by staff writer, Suzanne Moore

Please read and learn from is difficult to live with someone who has a chronic illness.  The relationships changes and roles get blurred so fast...if we are not careful, a happy partnership could spiral down to 2 people looking at each other full of frustration and resentment.  We sicko's-(and I say that endearingly)-need to appreciate our spouses every day and make sure they are living for more than simply taking care of us. We think we're trapped within the evil confines of our disease--well so. are. they. Plus the added responsibility of work, house chores, etc...and they lost part of themselves as well.  Loss touches, or in some cases, strangles the whole family, not just the person with the illness.

Spouses and partners--well, you need to remember a disease took over your loved one's life.  They did not choose their ailment over relationship bliss.  Compassion and understanding are things that do not cost money, nor do they force you to physically get up and perform some task. And while those 2 things cannot cure a disease, they can do more good for your partner/friend than a double dose of medicine. Not a talker or one to say the right things during stressful times?  Get over it.  You can always learn--you just have to want to do learn how to do something new.  Seriously, that is all that is stopping you--just you.

I have said this many times before...take the time to educate yourself with the disease your loved one has.  Yes, yes, I know they have-for Pete's sake, they had no choice...but looking at a disease from the eyes of the sick person is a whole different picture than what you -the not sick one- sees.  If taking one day, or even a week, to learn about the disease, and also how it affects other people will make your life easier and happier, then what the hell are you waiting for?

Appreciate each other today.  Don't wait until it's too late...there is a point on both sides where trust ceases to exist and apathy rules the people who once delighted in sharing everything.

Please--if that type of hell can be avoided by learning and changing a few things, why not go down that road?  Pride and dignity are not the same things.  Pride can stand in the way of healthy, loving relationships because all it does is say, "look at what I accomplished...look at what I do."  Dignity is stripped in the blink of an eye when pride stands before it; with it's arms folded and looking down on it, daring it to speak.


  1. I heard about you from Lisa Emrich's blog. Welcome to the MS blogging community.

  2. Dignity and pride--keeping them is my ongoing battle. But we be good. LOL

  3. Having one of those days today. Nice post. Pride and dignity are definitely separate but connected.

  4. Hey Kim,
    Sorry to hear you are having one of those days-sometimes I wonder if the colder weather coming in knocks us off our game a bit more than usual? Sending you big hugs!