People have different ways of coping with having a chronically ill person in their life, just as we sick folk have our own different ways of coping with being chronically ill. Some people rise to the occasion, some people respectfully fade away, and some even fall in love with us.
When I was first diagnosed with myasthenia gravis just after my 20th birthday, I lived with an overwhelming fear of rejection. I allowed this fear of loneliness and isolation to play such a big part in my life that I unknowingly started isolating myself. I did not give people a chance to enter my life because I thought I knew they would leave soon anyway. I mean, who wants to be friends with or date a sick girl?
I used to feel like those who stayed in my life did so purely because they were trapped by their humanitarian urges or good hearts alone. The only drug that has been able to save me from myself and my destructive thought patterns is love — as cheesy as that may sound.
It is important to note that love need not come from a romantic partner alone. Love can come from a family member, a friend, or even a pet. If you are lucky, you might find yourself receiving love from more than one source. You cannot pour from an empty cup — and being sick means your cup is almost permanently left empty. Love is one treatment for loneliness and isolation that is guaranteed to show results.
It is important to learn, from those who love us, that we are worthy of love. Those who care for us do not only think about us as a sick person — we are more than our diagnosis. We must believe this so that we can experience what is, in my opinion, the most powerful kind of love: self-love.
Life with a muscle disease is extremely tough because we soon realize how little we can do in comparison to the days before we fell ill. We may be continuously comparing ourselves to a version of ourselves that no longer exists. We may be unnecessarily tough on ourselves. We may be isolating ourselves on purpose. All of this can be draining and bad for your mental health. Those are examples of practicing the opposite of self-love.
Loving yourself may enable you to accept your new situation or perhaps even embrace it. Self-love teaches us that we are enough despite our limitations, and may lead to feelings of acceptance and perhaps even happiness. Love is a powerful tool that we often underestimate. I believe that self-love is as important in the treatment of myasthenia gravis as remembering to take your immunosuppressive medications. Life is beautiful; never stop fighting.
Myasthenia Gravis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.