#HAWMC Day 11: “Date Night. We’ve seen some posts from Health Activists on dating tips when you have a chronic illness. What tips do you have for those looking for the one fish in this big pond?”
When I’d met my husband, I didn’t know I was sick.
When I’d told my husband I was sick, I was pretty sure that there might exist, however small, a possibility that our relationship may come into question.
He proposed to me three weeks after I told him.
So, I get to put my own personal spin on the prompt by writing about maintaining “date night” and its importance in the ongoing journey through chronic illness.
*Disclaimer: My husband is a step-daddy to my children, thus when they are off to their father’s house, we are able to focus more on events and activities that we can do together. Thus, I am in a fortunate position with respect to being a mother, but having time available, and lots of it.
Here is a “Coles Notes” version of how I approach my journey with my husband being a primary care provider:
1) We talk. A lot. And really not that often about my health, directly. We talk about the weather, the news…about NASCAR and wrestling…about geocaching and playing Kubb. I’m not Lupus. I’m not diabetes. I’m not fibromyalgia. I share information that I think will help other people to become their own advocates…but I don’t give a good gawddamn about it when I’m living to be “Me.”
2) We have flexibility. If I can’t work my legs, we play Magic the Gathering. When my brain is fuzzy, we go for a walk. Anxiety + Food = No. Thus, if we’d wanted to go to dinner before shopping, we go shopping before dinner.
I cannot stress how important is to OWN YOUR SHIT and make yourselves (team effort!) a list of possibilities. That way, YOU don’t feel guilty for not doing “X” because you simply pick “Y” instead.
– board games
-walk the dog
-Google (seriously…pick something you’ve heard about…and Google it!)
-Google Maps…go to the street level…of places you’ve never been
-People watch from a bench at the mall with a mocha-choca-latte thingie.
-Try his hobby…I tried making a chainmail bracelet…it was an awesome thing to do because it was new to me
-Have him try your hobby. My husband made me a couple of scrapbook layouts while I was away for a weekend…they were both of us and he had them framed and hung when I got home. [enter collective “D’awwwwwwww, stage left]
-Can’t do your hobby anymore? Why do you not pick a new one? (this one makes me the saddest…watching friends no longer have happiness because they can’t “____” or “____” anymore…I can’t do gymnastics, dudes, but I’ll try anything else once…)
Sometimes, it really is that simple.
What I think, is that people are making conscious CHOICES to not do things.
I said it.
I said it because I used to, and still sometimes, do the same thing my damn self, and I am begging you to skip the mistake of that choice and for the love of all things…DO!!!
Your esteem lifts. Your partner sees the “You.” that is you…not your medical appointments and pain pills and supplements and….
Also, I suggest redefining your definition of “Date Night.”
Maybe it’s in the afternoon. First thing in the morning.
Maybe it’s turning the couch into a fort (don’t mock it ’til you try it).
Maybe it’s anything BUT what you previously would consider a “Date Night”…but the point to focus on is that IT. IS. FOR. “YOU.” BOTH.
What adjustments have YOU made in your ability to spend quality time together??