In Sickness And In Love

Despite my 13 year marriage ending painfully I optimistically held on to this wild romantic notion that I would find my new man swiftly, fall in love and live my happy ever after. After all, I didn’t look like the back end of a bus so all I needed to do was join a few dating sites and before long I would strike lucky in love… right?

Dating as a healthy and fit young woman in my late 30s in theory should have been a breeze. I kept myself in shape. I knew how to hold a conversation and definitely was not the high maintenance bunny boiler type……. but nothing could have prepared me for the journey that lay ahead.

The first problem; I had never really dated in my youth so I had no real idea what dating really was. Apparently neither did most of the men I met.

The second problem; dating apparently now lives in cyber space and I seemed to just collect dozens of pen pals and new Facebook friends. Meeting anyone in person was more difficult that getting an appointment with my GP!

The third problem; I wasn’t a ‘single woman’…. I was a single mother.

Fast forward a few years, 1000s of hair dos, outfits and more wrinkles later and I was STILL single. Bridget Jones had nothing on me!

So there I was fit. healthy and couldn’t find a sane unmarried man. Could it get any harder?

Yes it apparently can…..I got sick!

Gah!

If I can’t find a man when I when fit and healthy, how on earth am I going to find a man when I am falling apart?

Maybe they wouldn’t notice I thought..… I could just put on my heels, wear my hair bigger, put on inches of war paint and smile.

I would throw everything into that first date like a debut performance of a west end show…. in overdrive to prove I was just fine and dandy. But it cost me dearly and it would leave me crippled with exhaustion for days after.

Eventually I figured that once my cover was blown they wouldn’t want the sick me anyway so I started to make excuses to not see them again….’work is busy’, ‘my kids need me’. ‘I am not ready’..… Countless failed relationships were left in my wake, my confidence was crumbling and I feared being found dead, alone and surrounded by cats.

For ages I debated silently that maybe I should remain single and not burden anyone else with my issues. The fact that I don’t sleep, eat a weird diet, get tired easily and mostly look like a refugee could be too much to expect a potential mate to see past. So I withdrew from dating for the longest time since my divorce. And it felt crappy! Do I really not deserve to find love and happiness?

There must be others like me? When I looked I saw that there was indeed chronically sick folk who were experiencing the joys of a loving union…..

I probed ‘what do you think about being in a relationship when chronically sick?’ to which one replied:

‘I feel crap whether I do it or not, so I may as well do it! I may feel absolute crap but it’s a happier state of crappiness!’

Boom! My condition does not define the person I am. I can still love with all my heart. I can still care for someone, I can still hug, laugh and enjoy most things that life has to offer.

If I can love someone with all their imperfections then someone can love me too. After all, I have developed the most amazing strength and resilience living with chronic illness. That kind of makes me a super hero! I might not be running marathons, partying all all night long or chasing that high powered career anymore, but I am still capable of lighting the world and making it a better place to live.

So to all my fellow chronic illness sufferers who think they aren’t worthy of love or that you shouldn’t date when sick. Screw that! The right person will see your incredible resolve and grit and want to be a part of that.

Better still, love is the most wonderful form of natural medicine there is.

Maybe, just maybe love is all you need!

In sickness and in love,

Jill – The Fat Controller

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