A few months ago my husband looked at me and said “I really don’t know who healthy Anna is.” And he wasn’t wrong. He met me when I was really sick with Lyme Disease, and I was still fighting it when we got married. I still am fighting it in a lot of ways, I’m still on medication. I’m still trying to get my “normal” back, but most of my life has fallen back in place. I’m blessed. I know a lot of people don’t get this far with Lyme, but something about that line hit me hard, he didn’t know who I was healthy.
We all are different when we’re sick, even if we have the same loves and personality deep down. It gets distorted by pain, our hobbies get dismissed because we’re not able to do them. We struggle to be ourselves when we’re ill. There’s no way to sugar coat it. I was a lot grumpier when I was at my sickest and definitely a lot weaker and less enthusiastic.
But still, I got the love of my life while coming out of this terrible illness. Someone fell in love with me when I was my grumpy unable self. That’s a testament to our love story for sure but it’s also more than that.
You are worthy of love even if you are sick. I’ve written about finding love when fighting your mental illness before, but now that this crazy amazing thing has happened during physical sickness too I want to address it as well. So many marriages fall apart when someone becomes ill and that’s terrible, and those stories scare chronically sick people from even trying to find a love. But it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It doesn’t mean that it’s never going to happen. It does mean that you’ll have to look harder. It does mean that the love will have to be very honest and pure. But you can find someone who understands your illness and you. It might not happen quickly, it might take a lot longer to happen than you want, but your illness doesn’t rule out love. You are still capable of loving and you are still capable of being loved.
If you’re fighting a chronic illness, or even just a very long illness, don’t rule out love because it might be harder. It can still happen.