I hide my pain a lot of the time from my partner, friends and family in fear of being a burden. People always say to me, “You don’t look sick.” First of all, what does sick look like? And second of all, I have mastered looking well when really I am in a lot of pain.
I have gotten a lot of questions about how I have maintained a long, healthy relationship with Andrew while dealing with chronic pain. I am going to share with you some tips on how I have been able to achieve this.
- When You Have Energy and Feel Good Pick Up Extra Chores: On days where I don’t have pain or have very little pain I try to pick up extra chores such as grocery shopping, loading and unloading the dishwasher, deep cleaning, and cooking. We usually split the chores equally but sometimes Andrew gets stuck doing more. I usually just blame this on him being a better cook!
- Have Great Girlfriends: Make amazing girlfriends who you can complain to, they will always listen! It is nice to have someone else besides Andrew to vent to. I understand that he might get tired of hearing the same old, “I don’t feel well.”
- Get a Dog: But only if you have time and are responsible enough for one. Cowboy has helped me so much and keeps me company. I spend a lot of time on the toilet because of my bladder condition and he is always there sitting looking up at me or jumping in my lap.
- Keep a Journal: I love getting my thoughts out on paper. It helps to just write exactly what is on my mind when there is no one to listen or if I don’t feel like talking. I also use this to go back and reflect on times when things were easier/harder.
- Communication is Key: Don’t let resentments build up or they will all come out at once and it won’t be pretty.
- Create an Online Support Group: After opening up on my blog about my condition I received a lot of emails from other women struggling. They have been some of my biggest supporters. We can bounce ideas of each other and vent. We both know what each other is going through.
7. Know that Your Partner Loves You No Matter What: Remind yourself of this and believe it. They wouldn’t be with you if they didn’t want