*Disclaimer– Am a Fibro Warrior myself. When I refer to chronic illness in the article, it is Fibromyalgia that I reference. I have broaden the scope of the article to include all with a chronic illness as I believe a lot of us suffer and struggle through many of the same issues.
1) True Grit – We chronically ill have got to be tough cookies, ya know. Single or committed, our drive and determination are all that carry us some days. Because that little voice inside our forever aching bodies would surely take over if we would only surrender to its beckoning call for the bed or couch.
So where does the single part fit into this scenario? For us single ones, we do not have the option to ask a significant other for that extra hand when putting up a curtain rod. If we need a hand, we have to ask a friend or family member. If any of you single ladies are as I am or rather were, fiercely independent, we don’t know how to ask for help well. Yet, when we do ask, it seems timing is off. Our friends can’t seem to help when we are free or visa versa and we are not patient enough to wait. Or, wait, is that just me? Am I the only one that simply gets in there, does it without asking for help and end up putting myself on couch lock for a few days? I somehow doubt that I am.
I know why I don’t ask for help. Possibly it’s why you don’t ask too. I refuse to ask anymore because no one has time to help out. Feel as if I’m intruding on their already booked life. However, if friends / family do take time to help, I am ever so thankful and appreciative.
2) Patience – Had a hard time trying to decide if this one should have been first or not. We use patience just as, if not more, than our true grit. We do a lot of waiting for whatever. We wait for our medication to kick in and take away some of our pain. We wait in waiting rooms to be taken back to smaller individual exam rooms to wait some more. See the pattern? Thought you would!
Now, the being single aspect of patience and chronic illness. You see those dishes in that sink? We either have to listen to our bodies and slow down. Or we get those dishes done and risk putting ourselves in bed for a month because doing a few dishes threw us into a flare-up. Being single, simply put, means we have no back-up plan. No one to rely on to pick up our slack. We single ladies learn to work at a slower, more easy pace and take several breaks. We can not afford to be in bed for days on end.
3) Courage – You may be asking how this one fits into the mix. Stop and count to yourself, how many times you have fallen. Now … count how many times you’ve gotten back up. Exactly! That takes courage. It takes a tinge more courage to be able to do that without a significant other with one hand around yours and the other on your elbow helping you up out of the muck. No one else around to be your cheerleader. No one else around to see you. It’s just you. All you! That’s courage, my friend.
Last, but not least …
4) a Sense of Humor – This one goes without saying for anyone, regardless if you have a chronic illness, healthy as an ox, in a partnership or single as the day is long. Everyone needs a healthy sense of humor and the ability to laugh at themselves and with others. “The power of laughter to heal shouldn’t ever be underestimated ” says an article from www.mdjunction.com “The benefits of laughter is the knowledge that our mood can affect our immune system. This is good news for those suffering from chronic illness because it essentially puts the power back into their hands instead of remaining victim to dismal diagnosis and reliance and synthetic drugs that may do more harm than good.”
Bottom line … Be happy with yourself. Laugh … loud and often. Above all else, don’t be afraid of your own company. Get to know you, outside of the chronically ill you. There was a person inside there before illness. Let there be one inside there with the illness.