In the past few days I have been struggling with something very common to chronic illness patients. I face this feeling every year around this time...The thought of, "What makes me worth it?".
With all the Sjogren's issues that I write about in my blog, I rarely go into how much my husband and daughter are affected by my illness. It's usually about what a Sjogren's patient has to go through. For every allowance I have to make to live, survive, and overcome Sjogren's. Every. Single. Day. My family deals with every bit as much, if not more than I do. There's missed trips to the park on low-energy days. My husband has taken over the bulk of the laundry duties so I don't have to carry baskets full of clothes up and down the stairs. And he let's me put my, ice cold, Reynaud's hands on his back to warm them up. That's just the tip of the ice burg and doesn't even begin to go into the tiny little things that my husband thoughtfully does for me every day, in order to make things easier for me, that I don't even realize that he's doing.
It hurts. I have guilt so deep, for what my husband and daughter have to endure because of me, that it hurts. It digs into my heart and just sits there in a heavy lump that makes my eyes burn with tears and my throat close up with remorse. And it leaves me wondering what makes me worth it. What do I give to them to make up for the fact that they deal with these hardships because of me. I don't mean monetarily, or anything so superficial. Buying my daughter an extra DS game isn't going to solve the issue clearly. It's about what I give to the relationship that makes my husband want to stick around and makes my daughter continue to love me unconditionally without getting tired of the ridiculousness of this disease we deal with. Because it IS a "we" that happens when a person in a family has a chronic illness.
My mind seems to wonder and wander over and around these thoughts and feelings about this issue. And I hope that I may have conveyed just a small portion of what I am thinking and feeling well enough. Though, I do feel as if this post is a little "all over the place" as I wrote things as they came to the forefront of my mind. Or perhaps it is merely a good example of the complexity of emotions and thoughts that revolve around dealing with a chronic illness on a daily basis. Sjogren's isn't just about how it affects a person physically. There is a very real emotional side that comes into play as well ( as is the case with a lot of chronic illnesses).
For now, I am trying to block out these thoughts and feelings of, "What makes me worth it" and focus on "I am enough".
I. Am. Enough.