Love Taught Me Strength Is More Than Suffering in Silence
Love Taught Me Strength is More Than Suffering In Silence
I often write about the beauty of life by sharing lessons I’ve learned from living with myasthenia gravis (MG). I tend to be optimistic in my approach to the hand life dealt me. However, one other thing MG has taught me is that being strong by yourself isn’t sustainable.
I used to believe that independent, self-sustainable people who never spoke of their problems knew everything about how to handle life. Of course, I aspired to be them. As a result, I felt guilty whenever I spoke about my problems.
Then one thing changed. I fell in love.
I met Thomas and life was suddenly different. Suddenly, those midnight treats I went to buy from McDonald’s involved another person; a guy stands in the queue for me while I sit down to spare my muscles. The same guy would accompany me on study dates and take me home when the ptosis and diplopia sat in. We would do things together and somehow they were better than when I did them alone before. We loved each other. We still love each other.
It’s been six years, officially, and we’re just as in love as the night we met seven years ago. Our relationship is perfect. By perfect, I mean we argue a fair amount, challenge each other’s views, and help each other grow into better human beings. We are also both incredibly stubborn and so this next lesson took a while for me to learn: Stop suffering in silence.
Suffering in silence means leaving it up to your partner to figure out if you’re being a little lazy sleeping in on a Saturday or if you’re heading toward another symptom flare-up. It may also result in the inevitable fight if they call you lazy when in reality you’ve known for a few weeks that your symptoms have been creeping in, making their dreaded return.
Although it may feel like our significant others know us better than everyone else, you are still the only person who knows how you really feel. We must voice our feelings to help them understand what we are going through instead of expecting them to intuitively know. Our illness can be invisible, and sometimes it presents like a hangover … until you realize it’s been three weeks and the “hangover” remains.
Thomas and I have recently moved back to the same city after more than a year of long-distance relationship trials. I have committed to being more honest about my health and how I feel, and it has worked wonders for our relationship.
I am happy to report that our most intense recent quarrel erupted when he woke me up an hour too early for work on a Sunday and I did not realize until I was on my way to work … an hour early.
Be honest with yourself and those around you about how you feel. We can’t always protect everyone around us from our reality. We can only hope they join us in our fight.
Never stop fighting. Life is beautiful.
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